This past Saturday, I ran my fourth half marathon. It was the second half marathon I’ve run since having a kid, and what I am about to tell you about how to train for an endurance run will blow your mind. Become a Mom. Forget the Powerade. Ditch the GU Packets, and scoff at hi-tech compression running tights. I have not had this much energy and oxygen left at the end of this set of consecutive 13.1 miles since… well, ever. Once you begin to follow the Mom training plan, you will see for yourself how much quicker your post-race recovery time will be, and how to utilize your physical output in smarter and easier ways. Still skeptical? I’ll let you in on my dirty little secrets free of charge. You’re welcome.
Once you become a Mom, you learn to find energy when you think you have completely run out of gas at the end of the day. Granted you’re only running on fumes, you know you need to perform. Same with running. Just when you think you have run your last mile, think to yourself- If my life depended on it, I could run another mile. Just like when you are struck by extreme exhaustion when you walk in the door after work with a hungry toddler at your heels, and all you want to do is lay on the sofa until tomorrow morning, you Mom Up and get dinner on the table. Dinner’s not going to make itself, and your miles aren’t going to run themselves for you. If you made dinner, you can run another mile. (At least you won’t have to worry about trying to force-feed your mile steamed broccoli.)
When you are finished with your run, life is there waiting for you. Before I had Jake, when I finished my long run, I would often times take a nice little nap on the floor in my living room. Face planting the hardwood after running for 80 minutes used to have that effect on me. Back in the good old days, I would rise on Saturday mornings around 9:00, and putz around the house in my pajamas for an hour before putting on my running gear and clocking my long run some time before lunch. When I was done, I would commence face planting and give myself a pep talk to crawl into the bathroom for a shower. What did it matter how late in the afternoon it was? Husband and I had all weekend to ourselves! I didn’t even need to wear a watch back then! Time was ON MY SIDE! Fast forward to Now Now, and on Saturdays I will creep downstairs to the treadmill while Jake is still sleeping, and get a leg up on my miles so that Mike and I can tag team the morning activities. On occasion when we “sleep in” until 7:30, I’ll get myself on the ‘mill as soon as Jake wakes up and usually by the time Mike administers breakfast and takes Jake for a walk around the neighborhood, I am finishing up my 8-10 mile run. I head back upstairs and am greeted by a pajama-ed Jake screaming “Mommy!! Mommy!! Mommy!” He is ready to roll, and Mom joins him at the table with his crayons and coloring books. And, just to give you a frame of reference- this is all done by the time my pre-kid schedule had me on my first or second mile into the run.
Jake training for his first race while Momma Runs the Hartford Half Marathon.
I put my new training plan to the test at the Hartford Half. During my training I kept telling my husband that I felt better than ever. Out of all four of my half marathons, I felt the most prepared for this one, and the least exhausted when I finished my long runs. In fact, I ran 11 miles every Saturday during the last month of my training without face planting- not even once! So, going into the race last week I felt pretty positive that I’d finish strong, which is always my number one goal when running a half marathon.
No sooner had I crossed the finish line and accepted my finisher’s medal, (but before that, running up to Jake, Mike, and my father on my way to the finish line to plant a kiss on each of their faces), that my Dad greeted me with a big hug and said, “Um…Jake just took a big one…Mike said he’s going to need your help.” We found Jake & Mike in the crowd, and Jake ran up to me with the biggest smile on his face (and the biggest diaper in his pants). I scooped him up, squeezed him, distracted him with my shiny new medal, and began to change him. Later that night, we all went to my parents’ for pizza and wine (my usual post-race celebratory meal). While my mom and I were in the kitchen, she said to me that my father could not stop talking about how as soon as I finished my race, I changed Jake’s diaper, and off we went. He was so surprised that I was not tired, and that you’d think I’d be exhausted and ready for someone to carry me to the car after running for two hours. My mom laughed at him and told him, “She’s his mother! What did you think she was going to do? That’s what mothers do!”
True Statement- When you become a Mom, there are times that you just have to perform. Remember how dinner wasn’t going to make itself? And your miles weren’t going to run themselves? Well those diapers aren’t going to change themselves, either, and fortunately for you, you are at the top of your form, thanks to your Mom Training Plan.