In like a lion, out like a lamb…

They say that spring comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.  I feel that exact way right now about my race schedule for April through June!  In the past 3 weeks I completed Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon and a Ragnar Trail Relay. I am now in my two week taper plan for the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon.  My spring race training plan resembles a lion, in that it is fierce!  There were many miles included weekly in the plan, a mix of trail and road miles, and I also upped my cross-training this year for the marathon. Couple that with the fact that I was off for almost 3 weeks from injury (strained calf) and illness (upper respiratory) and I sometimes felt as if I had been run over by a lion.

My last marathon was a year ago. I had forgotten what it is like to train for this distance. I am constantly hungry and I sleep well {read: my head hits the pillow and I am out} at night!  I have to carefully plan my mileage each week around my full-time job as a mom, my {other} full-time job, hockey practice, my husband’s training schedule, my extended family..it is exhausting!  I know it is all worth it in the end, but this training is a painful reminder how time consuming it all is.

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This leads me to think:  How do mother runners fit it all in?  

Here are some key pieces that help me to successfully complete my training:

  1. Supportive family members – If it were not for my husband and children cheering me on, I am not sure I would have the drive to lace up every day.  My husband is also a runner and understands the time commitment. When I worry about missing “something”, he is there to tell me it is okay to run. Or maybe he helps me reconfigure the schedule.  He is a great sounding board when I need it!  My boys are always telling me to “have a good run” and give me supportive kisses as I head out on my long weekend runs. They are genuinely interested in how my runs go and always want a recap when I return.
  2. Awesome friends – Not all of my friends are runners.  It is hard to explain to them why I am MIA on the weekends. But, I never hear them complain if I have to miss a coffee or lunch date.  My friends that are runners already know, so they usually text me and say, “When are you running Saturday?” and then make plans with me around that. My friends are super awesome that way.
  3. Training partners – There are days when I am dreading a long run on my own. Those are the days I put a shout out to my Moms Run This Town running tribe to find some ladies who wants to run as far as I do but don’t want to go it alone either.  It always energizes me to show up for a run and see a smiling face (or more) ready to go the distance with me!
  4. Letting some of “the things” go – During training times, I will admit I let things go that I normally would not. This means, laundry isn’t always washed and put away the same day. Dust settles for longer periods of time. But, I do my best to prioritize and make sure I spend time with the people I love.  In the end, life is about the experiences and not “the things”, so I do my best not to stress about those.

Again, these are all “secrets” that apply to my situation.  I am sure there are mother runners out there that would add other things that work for them.  All of those things being said, I am hoping they help to make my spring season go out like a lamb–soft, gentle, and sweet!

Pre-race selfies with other mother runners.
Training buddies keep me motivated!
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