Last week I took a few days off of running for various reasons, and I was completely okay with it. I started thinking about how a few years ago I would have followed my weekly workout schedule and gone for a run even if I didn’t feel like, or the weather was bad, or my body needed a break. I was much more regimented about my running and workouts. It got me thinking about how my running has changed since having Grayson. I’m more flexible, have less time to work out, and often skip my stretching, core work, and foam rolling. I thought I would share the ways I have changed as a runner since becoming a mom.
7 Ways I Have Changed As A Runner Since Becoming a Mom
1. Time Management Since Becoming a Mom
I guess you can say I’ve gotten even better at time management, because I have no other choice. There are a lot of things I want to do each day. Some I have to do, and some I choose to do. So I make it work. That means most days I am awake before 4:00am. I also go to bed around 8:30/9:00. I know it’s important to get enough sleep, but I am also the most productive in the morning. I’ve also learned to really prioritize which tasks I can get done during Grayson’s nap time.
2. Increased Confidence Since Becoming a Mom
I think I have become a more confident runner since becoming a mom. I’m not exactly sure why this is. However, I do think it helped me to run unofficial PRs in some of my recent virtual races. (And I had a c-section, so it’s not like I endured labor and delivery and am thinking that if I can do that, I can do anything…)
3. Running is highly valued
I am very much aware of how important running is to me and how much it helps me to be a good mom. It’s not that I can’t live without it, I just feel better when I can run. So I know I need to do what I can to keep running. Since I’m not as good at stretching/recovery stuff these days, I am more willing to skip a run when I need a break.
4. Running doesn’t come first since becoming a mom
That being said, running doesn’t come first. I’ve been more than willing to skip runs or cut runs short since becoming a mom. I took a whole month off last year when Grayson’s weight gain was a little slow and we were worried my milk supply was dropping. During the time I was getting plugged ducts every week and in order to manage all of that I knew my body needed rest. I didn’t even question taking that time off and then slowly started running again once things settled down.
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5. More in tune with my body
Getting back my strength, especially in my core, after a c-section has been a challenge. However, I can really tell when I haven’t kept up with my core work because my form starts to get really sloppy. I’ve also been more aware of when my hips start to get tight in certain spots so I can work them out before they become a bigger issue.
6. More daily activity
I spend a lot of time on the floor these days, which is a good thing for mobility! I used to spend 5 full days a week sitting in an office chair. Now I work part time, and whenever I’m not at work I’m moving in some way or another. We go for walks throughout the week and now that Grayson is on the move I am chasing him around all day long. It makes it harder to really relax and recover after a hard workout, but it also keeps my body moving and helps me from getting stiff.
7. Reduced recovery
I used to be able to put a lot of time and effort into my recovery. I would stretch and foam roll after runs, eat well balanced meals, and go to the chiropractor regularly. Those things just don’t happen as well anymore. I just try to do the best I can but I also remind myself that if I’m not recovering well, then I won’t be able to run as much. So it’s all about finding a balance that works and each week that looks a little different.
It took me a long time to get to the point where I felt like I could really start training and racing again after having Grayson. (Of course the whole COVID-19 situation has made things very different for running/racing in 2020.) I think this mindset really shows how I’ve changed as a runner since becoming a mom.
Earlier this year I finally felt like I was ready to start thinking about a marathon. I thought this would be the year that I could work on improving in race times and maybe even going for a marathon BQ. I was injured for most of 2016 and 2017, then I was pregnant in 2018, and retuning to running in 2019. Now I’m finally ready to race and of course all of the races are cancelled! I guess I will just need to continue having patience and hope that 2021 will be my year.
If you have kids, how have you changed as a runner since becoming a mom?
Did you have any big goals that were put on hold due to COVID-19?
Are you good about focusing on recovery?
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Now it’s time for the Runners’ Roundup! Link up your running and fitness posts below! Join myself, Coach Debbie Runs, Confessions of a Mother Runner, Runs with Pugs, Running on Happy and Organic Runner Mom to post your favorite running tips, experiences, race and training recaps, workouts, gear, and coaching ideas.