Feeling Proud of My First 5K
I’ve just got to start by saying how proud I am of McKenna and Amanda (and her talented hubby!) for producing the most excellent first episode of The Mom Crowd Show. In case you missed it, the grand debut was yesterday, and you can catch it by clicking here. I don’t know about the rest of y’all but I can’t wait to see more! And I am honored to be a part of this blogging crew.
Now, onto another reason I feel proud.
After two pregnancies, a stressful move from one part of the country to another, and hundreds of boxes of Cheez-Its, I was bigger than I had ever been. For many months, I was just too tired and stressed out to worry about it. Come last December, though, two things happened that inspired me to action: the annual Rocket City Marathon came running through my city – heck, my neighborhood! – and a friend of mine in Texas had just completed her first half-marathon. As I watched the runners push themselves and as I read my friend’s awesome account of her marathon experience, I found myself saying aloud, “I’d like to do something like that sometime.”
And I realized that there was no time like the present. I was new in town. I didn’t have a lot of money for entertainment. My phone wasn’t exactly ringing off the hook with social opportunities. I needed to lose some weight. And I needed a self-confidence builder. Enter my new, free hobby: running. I’d never really done it before. But I knew I had to give it a try. We have a treadmill at home, so there really was no excuse!
I started off slowly, with my friend Jan’s coaching. She made me a running calendar to follow, which I did, faithfully, for about ten weeks. I was feeling great, and the pounds were coming off. The psychological benefits were the most rewarding: I felt as though I was the most beautiful mom in the world. And frankly, it’d been a very long time since I’d come anywhere close to thinking something like that.
In mid-February, I realized that our family could not handle the sacrifice of scheduling that’s required of marathon runners. The runs were at least an hour long at that point. I knew I could keep up with it physically, but time-wise, we couldn’t fit it in, unless I got up before the kids (and yeah, that’s not gonna happen.) I knew I was going to have to suspend my marathon running goal, and I was okay with that.
I decided to focus on 5 and 10Ks (3.1 and 6.2 miles, respectively) from that point on. Right around that time, McKenna posted about running her own 5K race, and it was so fun and encouraging to read about her and other moms go for it. I kept at it, and McKenna was a great encouragement to me!
Ultimately, I chose to make my race debut a 5K, and I’m glad I did. I set a goal for myself and made it happen. It was an important accomplishment for me. (You can catch my take on the race at my personal blog.) My husband and the kids have been cheering me on from day one, and Lucy has watched me train day in and day out for the past several months. As soon as the sneakers come on, she asks, “Mommy exercising?” It makes me proud that she sees me do this on a regular basis. (The Cheez-It consumption, on the other hand, I manage to keep hidden from her! )
Why is this relevant to a mommy blog? Many of you may in the same boat that I was: lonely, bored, physically latent. I’d just like to say, if you have a desire to do something like this, go for it. As my friend Jan told me, “If I can do it, anyone can.” If it is possible, ask your husband, friend, or family member to watch the kids while you run for 30 minutes. It ultimately benefits everyone, because as we all know, if Mommy’s happy, the whole family is happy. And exercise is a great booster!
Most of all, when we get bogged down in the day-to-day mom grind, it can be easy to overlook doing things for ourselves. (I should know. I don’t even brush my hair now when I get out of the shower. Ha ha! Up, up, up it goes when it’s still wet.) Finding something that makes you happy and challenges you physically and mentally is great for your self-esteem. And the pride and confidence from your accomplishments is visible to the kids; they recognize it and appreciate it!
Have a great weekend, and do something that’s good for you!