Open Mic Friday: Lil Runner
We are excited to bring you this week's interview of a runner who is sure to inspire you. She is in the middle of training for a marathon and not any marathon - she is taking on Boston. And if that wasn't tough enough, add on the fact that she just had a beautiful new baby boy and except for the little detail of delivery, barely missed a step in her training throughout her pregnancy and now as a running mom. And through all her recent changes, she continues to inspire us through her running updates in her blog as well as stories of her son Nicholas in her baby blog,
Welcome Lil Runner!
Why did you start running?
I started running in 2004 because I really missed competitive sports which I did through high school and college. I am a competitive person by nature. One of my best friends, Nicole, had run a marathon and made me interested in running one. I printed out a training plan, followed it, and started with Philly's Broad Street 10 miler in May. I was hooked! I did a half marathon in Central Park the next weekend, and did my first marathon, Steamtown (Scranton, PA) in October. From there, it is all history!
He is perfect and precious. You do not realize the amount of joy that will come into your life and the miracle that is a child. I love holding him on my chest - he is so tiny. I am cherishing every moment with him. When I look at him, I can't even believe that he is mine! I look forward to many runs with him in the future.
How did you handle running through your pregnancy?
My doctor - who I may profess my love to very soon - told me that since I was in great shape going into the pregnancy that I could continue to run, and to listen to my body. He did not restrict me in any way but knew I would be smart about running. I kept up my mileage but ran slower as each month went on. Some days were harder than others and at first, that was hard. I adjusted and started to feel lucky that I could run each day. I signed up for the Philadelphia marathon and my doctor told me that I could do it (at 28 weeks pregnant). I felt like the sky was the limit! I ended up walking the half marathon that day but I would like to do a marathon for fun earlier on in my next pregnancy.
What advice would you give running pregnant moms?
As long as you are already running - get approval of your doctor or switch to a doctor who will support you to run through your pregnancy. Listen to your body! You will have good days and bad days - don't push it! And look at each week as another gift that you are still able to run.
What tips have you found for balancing home and running so far?
I'm not back to work yet and I think that will present a new challenge, but so far it is all about priorities. Family comes first, but you also need time for yourself. That for me is where running come in. Yes - it is hard to fit everything in that you want to accomplish, but make running a priority and you will find the time for it!
What is the biggest question you have about running and being a mom?
I think that it is going to become more difficult as Nick gets better and more mobile, and as our family grows with 2 working parents. I'd love to hear from other moms about tips to fit everything in!
First, I want to finish Boston successfully, raising money for Dana Farber! Then I plan to do some spring races for fun.
After that, I want to work back to where I was before the pregnancy. I PR'ed all of last spring and I want to get my speed back and get even faster.
Tell us about your journey to Boston.
I have always wanted to run Boston. In 2007 I got the bug and the spring of 2008, I decided I was determined to run Boston with a charity in 2009. I knew that I wanted to start a family back in the winter/spring of 2008 and I knew I wouldn't get in a marathon to qualify so I decided I would apply for a charity that I had a strong belief in. I found out I was pregnant in June 2008 and applied for the Dana Farber (known for cancer research ) marathon challenge in September, knowing that it would be only 2 months after my due date. I decided that if I got in, it was meant to be, and if not, it wasn't. I found out in November that I was in! I was completely excited and partially nervous as hell!
Share your secrets for managing your weight so well during and after your pregnancy - you already look fantastic.
I have to think running helped me to gain the minimum amount of weight that my body needed to have a healthy pregnancy. I also cross trained, took yoga classes, and swam 7 days a week almost every week. I am a good eater, and I mostly ate when I was hungry throughout the pregnancy. I'm a vegetarian so I kept my protein intake high and made sure I was getting enough nutrients from healthy foods.
The weight came off very easily after delivering and in the first week after he was born. I still have a few extra pounds and the jelly belly, but all of my clothes fit and are so exciting to wear!I feel great!
What is your favorite training and/or race distance?
My favorite race distance is 10 miles. It is manageable and was the distance of my first race.
What is some of your "must have" running gear?
My favorite item is my nike hatphones. I wear them on the treadmill even indoors but love wearing them outside - I love having no cords hanging around!
Why did you start blogging?
I took a class "internet in the classroom" a few summers ago and one of our assignments was to start a blog. I started an education blog as I am a teacher and would post every now and then. This past summer I was kind of bored, and started looking up all things running online. I found that people were blogging about running and was instantly hooked. Just reading other blogs inspired me! I started my running blog to keep myself motivated, make myself accountable, and to share and get support from other runners. The blogging community is amazing - I wish I had started blogging earlier, but I am so impressed with the doors that blogging has opened for me!
Tell us about your blogs.
My running blog (Lil Runner) is all about my training, races, and life thrown in there. I started the baby blog to talk about the pregnancy and baby things but wanted to keep it separate (It's a boy!). I also started one for my fundraising efforts for Boston to share updates of my training with family and friends. (Next stop...Boston).
Who are some of your virtual running friends you wish you could run with or chat with in person?
Mama Simmons at http://simmonsfamilygrows.blogspot.com. Michelle lives in Hawaii and is an ironman. Reading about her training makes me want to be there training with her!
Clare @ http://musclesandra.blogspot.com. Clare had a baby in December and it was fantastic finding her blog and asking her questions about training throughout the pregnancy. We had similar outlooks about pregnancy and she was a great support!
Amanda @ http://runtothefinish.blogspot.com. Amanda is a great inspiration - she writes not only about running, but becoming a better person, and eating better. It is very refreshing to read her blog and makes me as a reader want to improve myself!
Aron @ http://runnersrambles.blogspot.com. Aron is somewhat new to the sport of running, having started in early 2008. She is very level-headed about training, and found a routine that worked for her for her runs. I really enjoy reading her blog and find her to be a super positive role model.
What is your ultimate running dream?
My ultimate running dream has been running Boston. Now, it is running Boston, getting to the finish, kissing my husband & son, and holding little Nick and putting the medal around his neck. Then taking a family picture of this moment. I'm already envisioning it and I can't wait for this.
What brings you back to running everyday?
The way that I feel after a run - a sense of accomplishment and feeling that I am doing something good for my body.