This post goes out to all the slightly out-of-shape, slightly chubby, slightly ready to change their body but not willing to do anything crazy, mommies in the e-house.
I titled this post (Baby) Mother Runner because even though I am a mother and runner, I am such an amateur about the whole thing. I'm not running any marathons while qualifying for Boston (that would be her), I'm not pushing two kids in a jogger stroller while running super fast (that would be her) and I'm definitely not looking like a model while I run (that would be her.)
|That's more like it.|
I am a working mom who has barely any time to herself, but loves to eat, and needs to exercise for mental health and also for my high cholesterol. My exercise of choice is running because it is the quickest and cheapest way to burn calories and get my heart racing. The endorphin high I get after a run outside is incomparable to all other fun things in life. It's addictive and I'm hooked. But all things in moderation, including moderation.
So I wanted to share some tips and tricks to get you motivated for running outdoors in some gorgeous Spring weather (I heard it's coming but have yet to see it). Here we go...
You must get fitted for sneakers.
Just go to a sports store, the small local ones usually have awesome customer service, and figure out the best shoe for your foot. You don't even have to buy the sneakers there, you can research prices online. The first time I did this, I balked at the cost of $80 sneakers, but dude, it's pretty much the only thing you have to buy to start running. I alternate between Sauconys and Brooks.
Schedule a time to run.
The biggest excuse we all have for not exercising (myself included) is that there's not enough time. But um, you're reading this right now, and you've probably had time to scroll through social media today, and you hit the snooze button a few times, and you're binge watching Netflix tonight. So you might have some time to devote to exercise. I get it, seriously, there are days I am literally running from one activity to another, and I just can't fit in a workout that day. That's called a rest day. We all need them. But most days, if you pick a time to do it, you'll realize how much more productive the rest of your time actually is.
Treat it as important as it is.
We all need time to blow off steam. We all need to care for our physical and mental health as best we can. We all could use a boost of self-confidence and energy. I look at running as my ME-TIME. If you still find it hard to motivate yourself to get those sneakers on and get out the door for 25 minutes, then just tell yourself it's doctor's orders. Because it kinda is.
I just wrote your prescription. Dr. Colleen at your service.
Save your favorite music or podcast or tv show or movie to only listen/watch while you're running.
Please only watch if you're on a treadmill. Duh. When I'm running outside, I listen to upbeat pop music that I don't otherwise get a chance to hear because in the car it's always the Rosary then Christian music and at home it's kid's music. If I hear a new song on my amazon music, I add it to my playlist and look forward to the next time I can run to it.
After every baby, when I have to get back into running shape, I start small. I pick a distance (like 2 miles) and try to do it no matter how long it takes, how much I walk, how much I run. At first it feels like you can't breath and all your bones are falling out of your body. But eventually your lungs won't mind, and it's your hips and legs that are sore. Then those get toned and you can start running longer distances. Once you've gone as far as you want, then speed should be your focus. I think. Like I said I'm only a babymotherrunner. I just ordered this book to dig deeper.
It's not just for hydration. Sometimes you need a splash over your face to cool down, sometimes you need to moisten a dry mouth, sometimes dirt gets in your eye, and sometimes you might fall into a ditch and need to subsist on water for a day until they find you. Kidding, hopefully, but just bring it in case. I like a handheld bottle that also holds my keys.
Find a partner and/or race to motivate you in training.
Phil and I can now run together on weekends, and I look forward to these dates. But before we had a teenager to babysit during runs, we took turns working out and would compete with each other. Oh you ran 4 miles, well I'm going to run 4.1. That kind of stuff, whatever gets you going. You and your partner don't actually need to run together, you just need someone to be accountable to. A lot of people need to sign up for a specific race to focus their training on.. You can go to this website to find races of all distances near you. Sometimes I just tell myself I'm going to train for a fast 5k or a half-marathon, follow the training schedule (like this one) and never actually run the race. It works for me because I don't need the race to motivate me to train, but I do need something to help focus my training or I'll run 4 slow miles every.single.time and not get any better.
Well now I've gotta run ;) You can find my treadmill tips and tricks here. And much better non-running related posts over at Kelly's.
Have a great running weekend everybody!