Admitting I’m awesome

Brazen or brass, I’m just going to say it. I’m going to run a marathon when my baby is 9 months old, and that’s every bit as amazing as it sounds.

I’m not always this forthcoming. As a mother to a baby, I often find myself around other mothers with babies. Not surprisingly the conversation among all these mothers with babies often turns to THE BABY WEIGHT.

“Have you lost the baby weight?”

“I just can’t seem to lose the baby weight.”

“I can’t fit all this baby weight into any of my cute clothes!”

“I want to lose the baby weight, but I’m always so busy and tired. I barely have time to shower! How can I be expected to exercise?!”

I generally answer that question by shutting up. I zip my lips, and check myself out of the conversation (even though I know the answer is quite simple – stop showering). I mean, let’s be realistic. No new mother struggling to find 10 minutes to play Wii Fit wants to hear about how I’m training for a marathon.

Only I take it too far sometimes. I keep quiet for one too many conversations, and all of a sudden someone’s telling me how to train for a 10K. I smile and nod because what else am I supposed to do? Interrupt with a humble, “That sounds like a great plan! Not too different than what I was taught when I got my running coach’s certification. I might even try something similar if I wasn’t training for this marathon right now.” No, I don’t say that. Because that’s actually not humble sounding at all. Instead, I smile and nod and send the marathon into hiding.

But that feels awkward. So I decided to tell the truth today when someone asked directly, “How long is your long run?”

“Well…” I paused, “I’m actually training for a marathon. So it’s ramping up. This week I have 16 miles on the docket.” And just so I wouldn’t sound too egotistical, I added, “And that will be hard.”

I was prepared to swat away the inevitable, “WOW! OH MY GOD! How DO you do it?! That’s amazing! I wish I had your motivation! Will you bear MY children?!” I have a whole arsenal of comebacks for that sort of thing.

“Oh, I have to run to maintain my sanity!”

“I’m lucky to have a great support system. Jason is always willing to watch Ruby while I run.”

“Well, I go REALLY slow. That’s the only way I can make it!”

“As flattered as I am that you would think of me, I just don’t think I could handle pregnancy hormones right now.”

I was not prepared for what actually followed, “Do you think you’re over-doing it?”

The hamster wheel that is my brain immediately started spinning. What was that supposed to mean? Did she think training for a marathon was some hyper, unhealthy coping mechanism for my postpartum depression?

Just in case, I replied with, “No. I did this before Ruby was born.”

Did she think this was part of the eating disorder I don’t have? Did she think I was a negligent mother for spending so much time running?

“Well, just be careful with your joints.”

Or is she just opposed to long distance running in general?

“Oh I will,” I said… as soon as I figure out how the hell I’m supposed to do that without quitting.

running-with-stroller

As you may have gathered, I walked away from that conversation rather irate. All day I’ve been asking myself why it bothered me so much. And I think I’ve finally figured it out. She didn’t give me the credit I deserve.

That’s right. I said it. This isn’t a hyper, unhealthy coping mechanism. I don’t have an eating disorder. I’m not a negligent mother. And it’s HARD. No matter how slow I go or how supportive my husband is, training for a marathon is hard. Training for a marathon with a 6 month old baby is – oh yeah, I’m saying it – WAY harder. I’m working my ass off, and I deserve some credit.

I may not be the best mother, or wife, or keep the house clean, or even shower. But I’m going to run a marathon when my baby is 9 months old. And that makes me ridiculously awesome.

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48 thoughts on “Admitting I’m awesome

  1. I think you’re freaking awesome. Training for a marathon made me want to never run again. Helping my friend with her 11 month old twins made me want to take lots and lots of naps. So basically you’re my hero. I also pretty much expect you to guilt me into running a marathon 9 months after I have a baby.
    P.S. love the “mad mom with a stroller”picture. If you pace me in a race, I might kick you. Just sayin

    • Dumb phone. If you pass me in a race with your stroller I might kick you… but only out of pure jealousy of your awesomeness. 🙂

    • Ha! Thank you Katie. Twins is a whole other ball game. That sounds about 10,000 times harder than running a marathon to me. And will you please run a race with me already??? It doesn’t have to be a marathon… a half-marathon will do. Go ahead and feel guilty until you do. 😉

  2. You are such a rock star. I trained for my first half marathon this past spring and the time commitment just for that, and without a baby at home, was astounding. You deserve boatloads of credit, not just for the training, but for being an amazing role model of perseverance and healthy living for your baby

    • Thank you! You too are a rock star for running a half! Those aren’t a walk in the park (literally) either! Right now all I think my training means to Ruby is more time away from a boob… Ha! But perhaps in time she’ll learn something about healthy living!

  3. This is an amazing accomplishment. I love to run, but I am not a distance runner. I will stick to the 5K runs. My primary goal now is to continue to get back into shape and decrease my running time as I get my endurance back up. Running helps me sort out so many things. I haven’t been running in about a week, and I definitely notice the difference.

    • How wonderful that you’ve found some therapy in running! It helps me emotionally too. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a 5K runner. It’s all in what you prefer. Just this weekend I was telling a friend about how I feel like half marathons are easier than 5Ks. I can endure a little pain for a long time, but have a hard time tolerating a lot of pain for a shorter amount of time. So you have my admiration!

  4. I will completely agree with you there! You are awesome and way to have a goal and stick to it. I couldn’t have imagined doing any of that with a baby…or without a baby for that matter :0)

  5. You are awesome! I am training for a half 14 months post baby and the time commitment is tough! I would love to do a full, but I just can’t wrap my mind around those long training runs! John is supportive, but man, still hard! I do tend to just stay out of those conversations though too, I might not run everyday, but I do try to get in some type of workout with lots of sweating 5-6 days and people don’t appreciate the effort at all! They do tend to assume there is something wrong with me! As far as I know there is not!

    • Just in case there is any doubt, let me be the one to clear it up for you. There is NOTHING wrong with you. Unless you have a problem with BEING TOTALLY FREAKING AWESOME!!!!!! OMG Sarah, you have two little kids and a baby and you’re training for a half marathon! I don’t run every day either. Working out 5-6 days a week is incredible! YOU ARE INCREDIBLE!

    • I think everybody hates running when they first start. Unfortunately you have to push through it sucking for awhile before it gets good. Not everybody thinks it’s worth it and I can appreciate that. Anyway, thanks for telling me I’m awesome. Ha! I think you’re awesome too!

  6. I’ll say it too.. You are AWESOME! And you have every right to announce it to the world. The only reason someone would say something stupid like that is because they’re fully jealous. Besides, did they give up all their hobbies after a baby? Your hobby just happens to be way harder than, say, scrapbooking. No one will ever ask me if I’m overdoing it. Good for you!

    • Hey now, let’s not underestimate how difficult scrap-booking is! Seriously though, I’m sort of amazed by everything you do. Like cook and clean and do cute Pinterest projects and, OH YEAH, have THREE kids!!! I know one’s still a work in progress. He/she still counts!

  7. Be careful with your joints? What is she, a physical therapist? If she knew anything about joints she’d know that you’re WAY more likely to injure them while you’re pregnant and your hormones cause all your ligaments to loosen up.

    You ARE awesome, by the way. I’ve given up on the idea of ever becoming a runner because I just hate it so much.

    I do find it interesting the number of women who complain about not losing the baby weight but do absolutely nothing to try to lose it. I know (for me) finding time to work out is hard (mostly because there are a million other things I’d rather do.) Which is why I diet. Turns out you can’t sit on your butt all day and eat whatever you want and lose weight! (Unless you’re my sisters, in which case I hate you.)

    • Oh Elsha, you’re always good for some sciency facts! Finding time to workout is hard, especially with babies and children. You definitely have to make it a priority to get it done. If it’s not a priority that’s fine. Just don’t complain that you’re not in shape or diet like you do. I love eating way too much for dieting. I think that would feel harder to me than training for a marathon. So, there you go, you’re awesome too.

      One thing I can assure you of – I do not have the mass balance your sisters have.

  8. You are awesome for doing this! I cannot imagine having a child and trying to train for a 5K, much less a marathon and you do deserve that credit! It bothers me that people get so judgmental with running. I mentioned I am doing a 50K to someone and they went in to the whole joint thing. The thing is, we have been doing this for some time. You did marathons before Ruby, I have been running longer distances for awhile… my body is used to it. Why else would I do it? People are so ignorant and judgmental of runners. And especially of running mothers, it seems.

    Keep being awesome!

    • I told you not to read this post!!! Haha, JK. I am seriously amazed by your training right now. You don’t need a baby for 50K training to be seriously hard. YOU ARE AWESOME!!!

  9. This post is so good. I wish I had known you when I was running marathons, because people love to pathologize running. I happen to have an eating disorder, so I am sort of a good target but not all runners do and I didn’t turn to running to keep myself anorexic or anything. It’s complicated and none of anyone’s damn business. People are envious and would rather look at you and tsk tsk than look at their own relationship to exercise, body and goal setting. If it’s working for you, sweet Jesus, keep it up. I ran 4 minutes today and my injury is achey. Gotta take it slow. Where’s your post on Yeah Write? I am not seeing it.

    • Thanks! I think running (exercise in general) is great for mental health, and training for races can be a positive way to focus a type A personality. Whenever that injury of yours heals (AAAAHHH! Hopefully before 2017!) and you start running again, you’ll have my full support!

      It was kindly recommended that my post was better suited for the Speakeasy and it took my lazy (in all areas other than running) ass awhile to switch the badges. It should be up now.

  10. That is pretty darn awesome! Training for a marathon takes kick ass dedication. I will never understand people who cannot give kudos, but instead sprout doubt. We suffer from enough doubt already and deserve to embrace our awesomeness.

    • Thanks! I think that’s also why it bothered me so much – I’m already filled with doubt. At this point in my life especially, my self-esteem is a bit shaky. Any and every kind of external blow is that much harder to take.

  11. Reblogged this on Moms RUN San Jose and commented:
    After reading this, I just have to say to all you moms out there running with your strollers or waking up at 4 AM for a run or running while your kids are in school in between getting groceries and cleaning the bathrooms – YOU ARE AWESOME!!

  12. Wow! You *are* awesome. Keep right on getting down with your awesome self. And don’t worry about the haters. I mean, what are you going to do about them anyway? You are not the Jerk Whisperer.

  13. I totally get this! I have very few “real life” running friends, and I’m usually very careful about giving away that information too soon- you just never know what kind of reaction you’ll get. And the overdoing it/ wearing out your joints one is especially annoying coming from people who don’t exercise. I think it generally comes down to jealousy and that’s the easiest way to affirm for themselves that they’re making the right choices. I definitely wouldn’t take it personally.

    • Thanks for commiserating! I guess I don’t talk about my training much in real life either because I’m not used to those kinds of comments. I definitely feel lucky to have some “fake life” friends out there for validation!

  14. You are awesome and an inspiration to me. Sometimes I wish it was more socially acceptable to chide people for saying “I can’t lose the weight” when they don’t do anything. That’s one of those things I try hard not to whine about, since I know it’s under my control. Ugh. I ned to figure out how to run more. I hate running in the summer here so much.

    • Thanks for such a nice comment. I can certainly understand how difficult it is to run in the summer. I live in Northern California, which has arguably the most moderate temperatures, and it’s still felt SO RIDICULOUSLY HOT!!! I don’t know how anyone runs in actual heat and humidity.

      • The running community basically shuts down here in the summer (Florida panhandle). There are races the rest of the year, but not in July or August. My husband actually bought a road bike, because then you at least get a breeze! It’s starting to cool off now, though, so it’s time to put away the excuses…

  15. You ARE awesome! My new running hero, in fact. So you said you are/were a running coach? Have you done other marathons then? In any case — first or fiftieth — nine months post-baby is beyond impressive.

    I ran my first (and quite possibly my last) marathon a year ago. My husband and I did Chicago. That training is brutal. Such a huge commitment. I really admire your dedication and you are setting such a great example for your child.

    My husband and I signed up again this year, but I bailed after the first month of training. My heart wasn’t in it, nor was my bad foot once the runs started to get a little longer. I still try to get out there three to five days a week for 30 to 45 minutes, though. Running is like a drug; I’m just burned out on the racing part, I guess.

    Keep up the good work, awesome mama! When is your race? I’ll be rooting for you!

    • Thank you so much for such a lovely comment of encouragement!

      I have run a slew of half marathons, but only one full marathon. It was many years ago and I had NO IDEA what I was doing or getting myself into. The race didn’t exactly go well and left me sort of burnt out on running too.

      I can totally understand why you bailed on the back-to-back marathon plan. You really have to be up for it mentally to survive all the training. I’m already thinking I’ll probably go back to halves after this one. They’re just so much more manageable.

      So I’m training for the California International Marathon in December. Thanks for the support! You keep up the good work too! 3-5 days of running 30-45 min is TOTALLY SOLID!!

  16. You are Awesome! I cannot imagine running that many miles, let alone driving it (I don’t have a car). Keep on running!

  17. I know that before I got into running I really didn’t “get” it. I wonder if that woman was the same. Running becomes such a fundamental part of who you are and what you do. Of course it makes sense to train for a marathon now. It’s a way to help you stay in touch with who you are.

    p.s. Go you!!

    • Yeah, I think you’re right. I think it’s hard for anyone who’s not running long distances to wrap their head around it. But you build up gradually, right? By the time you’re running 16 miles, that doesn’t seem crazy.

      You’re also totally right about how important running is to maintaining my identity.

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