How do I fit in my running with 2 small children?
First word: Patience. It takes a whole lot of that. And a different mindset. Before kids I ran whenever, and wherever I wanted. I had the freedom to do anything. Then once we had our daughter things were different. My life revolved around her schedule, not mine. I knew that I wanted to continue to run so I did when I could. I didn’t post on social media back then about my runs so I don’t have any pictures of that. However, my biggest and strongest support system was my husband. He knew that I needed my runs most days and so he let me get out when our schedules permitted that. Prior to kids I was always a night time runner after work and on weekends later in the day. It wasn’t really until a few years ago that I started to wake up early and get my runs done before the kids were up, because that became an easier time. It helped a bit with mom guilt too. That guilt where you should be spending all your time with your kids and not doing anything else. Especially since i’m at work 5 days a week full time. However there’s been plenty of times where I’ve had to stop my run and get off treadmill for various kid related things (change diaper, wipe butts, snacks, get toy for them, etc). That’s when my mindset needed to change. It again was about them, not me. And sometimes runs got altered and I had to be ok with it.
Going back to when Lily was a year and a half and Braeden was the new baby I was running 3x per week and that meant two weekdays and one long run on the weekends. It really wasn’t enough but it was all that I could find the time and energy for at that point in my life. I ended up becoming injured after my first post baby marathon in late November 2015. I took some time off (weeks) and then was back to running and at that point I got up to running 5x per week. I ran two half marathons in 2016 and then decided to run another full marathon in 2017. Despite being in better shape and running way more than before I again was plagued with the dreaded IT Band Injury. I went to see a sports medicine doctor and he diagnosed me. WEAK GLUTES AND HIPS!!! I now see and hear about this so much more. As we get older we cannot just run and that’s it. We must do allllllllll the strength and core work. We must get back to the basics as we call it. That stuff will help ward off many injuries and can be done a few times per week in a short amount of time. Even at any point in the day.
So now that my kids are age 5 and age 6 and doing activities, and both of us working full time, it makes finding the time to run even more challenging. On most week days I have to get up early (5am) to get my run done because the kids now have week night activities and homework and we are super busy. Also, we transformed the basement into a fun area for both us and the kids. It makes working out much easier because they can be down there with me and enjoying themselves as well. It’s great having all the workout stuff at our house so that I can get my runs done early morning without having to leave the house. And that way my husband can go to the gym while I’m in the basement. It’s a good balance and it’s been working well for us.
On nicer days my kids have asked to go running with me. Or I will ask them. We won’t go long of course but it gets them out and about and I love having them with me. It literally WARMS my heart. I hope that they will still want to run with me when they get older and that it can be a family thing. They do come to all my races and again, mad props to my husband who has to watch them and keep them entertained while I’m out running my races. We all do need that special something in our life to make us better, stronger, and more confident. That is what running is for me.
So, to conclude: It has taken a whole lot of patience and a different mindset to be able to run all that I do, and balance the lifestyle of working full time and being there for my kids, and husband. Anyone can do it. You just need to figure out how it can work for you, be consistent and show up, even when days are bad or things don’t go your way. The effort you put forth in your every day will help you more than you could ever know. Remember, results don’t happen over night! Thanks again for reading my blog. I appreciate your support.