So you're a mom now. Upon holding your new bundle of love for the first time, you automatically crossed the start line of a new chapter in life (arguably the most important!). With the new title of "mom", your story of motherhood begins to unfold before you. There's no going back, and furthermore there is no finish line in sight!
I'm three quick years into this new chapter, and there are a few things that I find myself clinging to as I continue to run this race of motherhood! It's my faith, my family, a desire to always see the funniness of life, and a need to STAY ACTIVE! Enter in Stroller Strides and Running. Stroller strides...a gift to all active moms on their search for sisterhood through the bond of motherhood, all the while receiving a free hour worth of entertainment for your kiddo, AND the added benefit of tightening up your tushy! It quickly became part of my new mom routine. When me and my little lady weren't stroller striding, we RAN. I strapped my sweetie in the single and off we went- just me, my babe, and B.O.B pounding (errr...rolling?) the pavement...the wind in our hair!
Maybe you have been contemplating getting into running. Maybe you ran before you became "mom", but now the thought of getting out there pushing your kiddo in a stroller seems daunting. Maybe you haven't ever considered yourself a "runner", but want to try something new and exciting. Whatever your situation or relationship to running is, my advice is to give it a go!
Don't know how to get started? Here are some tips!
First and foremost, just GO...
As moms we have a million excuses of why we can't set aside time to take care of ourselves. There's always a sink full of dishes, a basket (or two) full of laundry, meals that need to be made, children that have schedules...it never ends. But a quick, or not so quick, run can be a perfect remedy to your mom challenges. It will no doubt clear your mind, and give you more energy to tackle the always growing, never-ending mom "To Do" list.
Leave any feelings of intimidation in your dust...
Just let them go! Maybe the thought of running in public is a scary one for you. Maybe you think that other runners will be looking at you, judging you. Maybe you're self conscious about your running gear, or lack of gear. Well it's time to get real! Own where you're at. Replace those negative thoughts with positive ones! You're a mom. You brought a child into the world!!! You can do more things while obtaining less sleep than most people could ever dream of! Get out there and own that girlfriend!
Be as consistent as your life allows...
To improve at any new activity, you must repeat it, make it part of your life, make it your routine. It takes approximately 21 days for a new behavior to become a habit. I guarantee if you stick with running and do it when you can AND want to, it will become something you love and look forward to, not just another item on that always growing, never-ending "To Do" list.
Find a running club or running buddy...
If you're a true mother runner, you have an automatic running buddy in your kiddo. And who better to start with really?!? They admire you more than anyone in the world, and when they start talking it's like hauling around your own personal mini-cheerleader. When you're ready, getting involved in a coached running club (check that it's stroller friendly) means that you automatically attain a new set of friends who you have something in common with. And with a knowledgeable coach, you can take your running to the next level, think PR's baby! Running clubs...it's camaraderie, accountability and freedom all wrapped in one perfect little package.
Finally, you'll want to get your toolbag of motivation and tricks ready...
Sometimes running can get tough.Your mind can start to wander, and all of a sudden you notice how hard you're breathing, how heavy your feet feel, how hot or cold it is, etc. Time to open the tool bag! My favorite tricks for when the going gets tough:
Engage your kiddo - The older they get, the more entertaining and distracting they become. Have them tell you a story, play "I spy", tell them your favorite memory of them. If your pushing an itty-bitty, sing to them, tell them about your day, smile and laugh with them.
Listen to tunes that will motivate you - Whether it's an uptempo song, a song with a special meaning, or a song with interesting lyrics, find what works best for you and blast it!
Be productive - Make your mental grocery list, meal plan your week, or heck plan your dream vacation!
Find a mantra and repeat it - I read this in one of my favorite books on running, and at first thought the idea was silly. But then I tried it. It could be a word or phrase, anything that motivates you to dig deep. Needless to say, I "LAY IT DOWN" often during my runs!
Don't forget to pack for your passenger - Maybe it's a small pack of toys that they only get to play with when you go jogging. Maybe a lunchbox hooked to the stroller, that is easily accessible and full of yummy goodness.
Lastly, savor the moment - You are in the midst of the most unique time of your life...raising a young child. Think about it, cherish it, smile about it, and breeeaaathe, because it goes by sooooooooo quickly.
With all that being said...grab your babies and your sneakers and let's LAY IT DOWN! Join me and your other mother runners for the Fit4Mom Run Club, kicking off in a couple short weeks :)