My first half marathon was fifteen years ago when I participated in the first annual Cellcom Green Bay Marathon, the same year I graduated from high school. Since then, I’ve done at least one half marathon a year and have completed three full marathons.
I never ran track or cross country in high school because I didn’t enjoy running with or against my peers. I have always had a lower self-esteem, so I found a sense of peace when I would run alone with my own thoughts and at my own pace.
A great deal has changed in my life since graduating high school fifteen years ago, I’m married with two beautiful boys. Three years ago I had my first son, via emergency c-section. And six months ago, I had my second son, via planned c-section. These two c-sections have taken a toll on my body and the road to getting back into pre-baby shape has been a journey for me, having gained over fifty pounds with each pregnancy.
Before getting pregnant with my second, I trained for and completed a half marathon and my third full marathon. I was a new mom, nursing for a year (big time commitment) and averaging five hours of sleep a night (my son never “slept through the night” until 11 months). My quiet “me” time became my runs outside with nature and my music. I truly felt running helped me to be a better mom and wife.
A little after two years after my first was born, came my second son. Any mother with two children under the age of two years old can relate, my life became a little crazy. Now I’m chasing my two year old, nursing my second and still only getting five hours of sleep a night (as my second is following in his brother’s footsteps). It has been much harder this time around to find time to squeeze in a run. Thankfully, my mother and husband understand how much I need some “me” time and would help with the kiddos so I could get outside for a half hour run.
In mid-September, when I was cleared from my doctor to exercise, I could barely run/walk a mile. And it just plain sucked to have retrain my body on how to run. There were and still are times where I get frustrated that I have to work so hard to lose the baby weight AND get my core back into shape. I’ve had some emotional ups and downs since September, but overall I feel I am a better mom/wife because I run.
I’ve never been more excited to run a race as I am this spring. I want to prove to myself that with enough determination, I can do anything and achieve my goals. I know that my mind and body are healthier and I’m a positive role model for both of my boys. An added bonus this year is that my husband will be running with me and my boys will be there to cheer us both on!
-Amanda, mother of two