The Best Gift

Happy Monday and happy day after Mother’s Day!  I hope you all had a great weekend.

It was a little chilly and rainy in NYC this weekend.  In fact, we took the girls for a run on Saturday and got stuck in a downpour.  They managed to nap through it while we hid under the RFK Bridge on Randall’s Island.  Rock and I were soaked, but the girls were perfectly content in their stroller.

On Sunday Rock rearranged his work schedule to gift me an hour to run by myself.  I saw on the Today Show that most moms would like the day off from parenting, but I wanted to spend the day with my girls.  However, after pushing the girls in the BOB Dualie for the past two weeks, it felt awesome to run on my own.  It feels so effortless when you ditch pushing 60 pounds up and down the hills around here.  I was cruising!

TroutFest1

It was also a really great time for me to reflect.  I use my running in a variety of ways.  Sometimes it is about testing the limits of my body, or my mind.  Other times, running is a way for me to clear my head or work through different situations.  Running is my therapy.  I almost always come back with a clearer head and ready to be a better person, regardless of whether a run goes well or not.

On yesterdays run, I was reflecting on being a mom.  It certainly hasn’t gone the way I had prepared for most days, and it certainly didn’t start out the way I had planned.

Like many women, I had hoped to get married and start our family.  But as life often does, things took a little longer than planned.  At the time, it was very difficult for me emotionally.  I spent a lot of time dealing with those emotions on my runs.  It was cathartic.

Once I was pregnant, the miracle of what was to come was appreciated in a completely new way, perhaps more than I would have realized had things happened faster.

I ran through both my pregnancies and felt like it was a special time that I got to spend with that little peanut growing with me.  I hoped that perhaps my being healthy and active might be passed along to our little ones.

These days, I run with the girls in the stroller and I enjoy my times with them, even when I repeatedly hear, “Can we go back home now?”  I like our adventures to new places or playing “I Spy” as we go along.  I love having the girls see me enjoy running and exercising.  It is something we get to do together as a family.

MomsDay5

Things have definitely changed.  I don’t get to sleep in on weekends anymore because some people think 6am is a perfect time to jump up and get going.  I don’t have the luxury of sitting around and drinking coffee until I feel ready to go on a run.  We have nap schedules and bottle times.  You either get your run in during the allotted time, or you are out of luck for the day.

There isn’t always as much time for workouts or for prepping the best meals.  I haven’t done a workout besides running in several weeks now, because it just hasn’t fit into my day.  And you know what?  That’s okay.

MomsDay3

The night before Lucy was born!

MomsDay2

These girls….they’ve made me stronger in ways I never could have imagined.  My two year old knows how to test the limits in ways that drive me nuts and also secretly crack me up.  The way she can ask the same question repeatedly for 15 minutes makes me think she has a future with the CIA.

The love they have showed me and the things they are teaching me makes my heart want to burst full of joy.  Just thinking about them and what they have brought into my life brings tears to my eyes.  They have made us a family!

Being a mother runner isn’t easy.  Running itself will never be easy.  But I certainly believe that being a mother runner can actually make you stronger than you could ever possibly imagine.

MomsDay6

Somehow I have less time to run and less time to work out.  But in the months after having Mary, I PR’ed in my return marathon.  A few weeks ago I won a race as Lucy ran along with her dad.  Being a mom, and the act of becoming a mom, gives you the strength to do endless things.

The greatest gift I’ve ever received has been these two little girls.  I’m forever grateful for the strength they have given me and for their patience as I continually learn to be their mom.

I also want to send love to any woman who has hopes to be a mom.  There was a time when reading Mother’s Day posts was difficult for me.  A friend perfectly said yesterday, “Be patient.  God may not be done writing your story just yet.”

Happy Mother’s Day.  How was your weekend?  Anyone else love running with their kids or fur kids?

Thanks Kiddo

It is hard to believe that I have been a Mother Runner for almost 2 years now (21 months to be exact and we are 4.5 months out from meeting our next one!).  A lot has changed in those 21 months and I believe I have changed quite a bit myself.

Being a parent isn’t always easy.  There is no way to prepare for the true toils of becoming a parent.  First there are the sleepless nights.  I knew we would be up.  But I had no clue just how little sleep we would be living on during those first few months.

christmas10

I’ve spent a lot of time with children over the years.  We teach sports and activities for a living and I have had plenty of babysitting gigs.  Regardless of the amount of experience, you quickly realize just how clueless you are.  Getting to know your little baby and their personality, riding the random illnesses and sick days, and just plain figuring out how to juggle everything, takes time and patience.

I’d like to think we have figured out quite a bit so far, but every day has it’s changes and challenges.  In any given day I have moments where I think our little girl is the most incredible ever, and five minutes later I’m ready for a break.

New milestones bring new challenges.  Right now we are dealing with the start of those Terrible Twos.  Tempers are starting to flare.  The piercing screams and shouts this little munchkin can make are mystifying.  I’ve done my share of Googling and reading parenting sites lately.

But the truth is, being a parent and being a Mother Runner has made me a better person and also a better runner.  Sure, I have learned to live on a heck of a lot less sleep.  I have also learned to let go of a few things.  I love a clean house and a set schedule.  I have learned that things aren’t always perfect and sometimes a little mess or a bit of randomness can lead to a great time.

brie1

Oh the messes!

When I was pregnant the first time, I worried a lot that my running would never be the same.  I watched as I got bigger and my pace got slower.  The good news for Mother Runners and Mom’s To Be, is that you can actually become a better and stronger runner than ever before.

GlenArbor3

Having a child is no easy feat.  I once read that the act of labor takes you to the brink of where you think you cannot make it any further.  It is one of the biggest physical challenges you will ever face.  Being pregnant is a challenge in itself; 9 months of an evolving body is something else!

If there is a theme to this post, it is patience.  Pretty much anyone who knows me would tell you I fit the bill of a Type A personality.  Patience isn’t always my strong suit.   Being a new parent and a Mother Runner requires a lot of patience.

To come back from being pregnant and having a baby, takes a special kind of patience.  I needed to allow my body to adjust and relearn a few things.

I had to learn balance.  Finding the time to get a run in most days requires some skill (especially when both parents are runners).  Sometimes I have to do a shorter run.  Other days I have to hit the treadmill during nap time or after Mary goes to bed.  There is no time for messing around!

Mary&Mom

For all the lessons, adventures, ups and downs, I am forever grateful to Mary for making me a mom and a Mother Runner.  She teaches me new things daily and brings joy to our family that we never could have imagined.  She’s hilarious and exhausting and I wouldn’t change a single moment.

Mary5

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!  What are your best and most difficult adventures?