When Mom Trains for a Marathon

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I am not a runner.

This thought goes through my mind every time I lace up my running shoes. In fact, when I’m running with other people I hope and pray they don’t know I’m just a poser, pretending to be a runner.  I buy all the gear, so I can look like one, but I still don’t think I am one.

Just a few years ago, I was a mom who went back to work full time, with 30 extra pounds to lose.  My corporate job had a gym, and I found myself there on my lunch hour to kill time.  I started by walking on the treadmill.  That got boring so I issued myself a little challenge: Run for 1 minute of your 30 minute walk.  That turned into running 5 minutes, then 10, then 15, and then, you got it, the full 30 minutes. And that is how it all began for me.  Honestly, I shouldn’t call it running.  It’s jogging…..slowly. But once I started, I couldn’t stop.  And it had helped me kiss that 30 pounds goodbye.

With a couple of half marathons under my belt, I hit the ripe old age of 40.  It stung a little.  And I found myself wanting to do something “big” to go along with the “big 4-0”.  A marathon was daunting.  But I decided I was going for it.  I always said I would NEVER run a marathon.  Yet, here I am, training to run a marathon in a few short days.  And bonus(?) my husband is training with me!

I’ve been a baby about it.  I’ve complained that my Saturdays in bed have become early morning long runs.  I’ve complained about the fact that my body is screaming at me most of the time due to soreness.  And I’ve complained that I flat out, just don’t want to do it.  But you see, in my life, sometimes, when it has gotten hard, I’ve quit.  I wanted to show myself I could do something hard, and not quit. And I don’t want my kids to see me quit.

I’ve learned a lot of things through this marathon training. My biggest takeaway is that when I thought my kids weren’t looking, they’ve been watching.  I’m not the only one who has made sacrifices, they have had to sacrifice because mom is running a marathon, too.  They have given up hosting weekend sleepovers until mom is home on Saturday mornings.  They have had grandma at their Saturday morning basketball games instead of mom and dad.

But they’ve also noticed something.  (Besides the fact that I stink after a run). Even though it’s hard, mom isn’t quitting.  Mom set a goal and is working towards it, despite it getting tough.  I’ve overheard my daughter say to one of her friends with pride, “My mom is training for a marathon!”  You can’t quit after hearing that!

What is your takeaway from all this?  Even though your a mom, set a goal and work towards it.  You’re not “just” a mom.  You can be mom and still do things you want to do.  You will learn from it and your kids will learn from it.  And if it’s a hard goal, know somewhere you can find it in you to “gut it out”.

So when you hear mention of the OKC Memorial Marathon, say a quick prayer for that fellow mom out there who is jogging slowly  running that marathon in hopes of attaining a goal.  And then promise yourself you’ll set one of your own.

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