Run Like a Mother

By Laura Broullire

I love the line of “One Bad Mother Runner” clothing and headbands that I see online and at expos these days, because I give serious extra credit to any parent – mom or dad – whose workout schedule revolves around the whims of young children.

I can’t tell you how many of my workout plans went right out the window this winter due to my kids. Two-hour snow delay? Sorry – there goes your date with the treadmill. A 7-year-old with a sore throat and fever? No kickboxing class for me! And here’s my personal favorite – the weekend I had to scramble to reschedule a long run because my youngest came down with a bad case of pinkeye… Sigh …

Now I love being a mom and I love being a runner, because in many ways those two roles fit hand-in-hand. For instance, distance running gives me the endurance and stamina I need to keep up with my kids. It also gives me the mental clarity and stress relief I need to tolerate my kids. (Just kidding. Sort of.)

Also, training for a marathon reminds me, in many respects, of preparing for childbirth. One of my favorite fan signs from a race last year read: “Hey, Mom! Labor was harder than this – now PUSH IT!”

So sometimes when I’m running hill repeats, I’ll look to the top of that next crest and think, “That’s only 30 seconds away. You can do this – remember the 90-second labor contractions? Before your epidural? Now that was hard work. This is a walk in the park.”

Or when I’m struggling to finish the last 5 minutes on a treadmill run, my brain will remind me: “Hello, do you recall enduring 12 hours of back labor with your first child? That was excruciating. This is nothing. Get rolling.”

Ultimately, I know that having kids has made me a stronger runner, simply because of the motivation of wanting to do this for them. I know someday my daughters will come upon a challenge – be it academic, professional or personal – that seems as long and arduous as a 26.2-mile run. My hope is that they will remember all my training, look back at this journey I’ve taken and think: “Huh. Mom ran a marathon. I guess I can handle this.”

Or maybe, just maybe, in my wildest dreams do I dare hope that someday down the line, perhaps one of my girls will lace up her shoes, join me on the long and dusty trail and become a “Bad Mother Runner” herself…

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1 Response to “Run Like a Mother”


  1. 1 lynn mcphee April 4, 2013 at 9:04 am

    so well put!


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