About Me

My photo
mother. marathoner. blogger. reader.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Profiles of Inspirational Women: Shelley

My friend Shelley is cool. Way cooler then me. She is a great writer, well read, intelligent, and kind. She runs like a billion miles a month, often pushing her two adorable boys in a stroller. She taught body pump practically until she delivered her second son. Yeah, she needs an umbrella because I sweat her so much.

She has graciously agreed to answer a few questions; sharing with us how she balances motherhood and living an active lifestyle.

Read. Get inspired. Get moving!  

My Story: I started running in 9th grade when my history teacher, who was also the track coach encouraged me to give hurdles a shot. I was a pretty serious ballet dancer, which he knew, and he thought my flexibility would be a good fit for the hurdles. I gave it a shot, and ran for two years until I broke my foot on a hurdle at a regional track meet. I didn't pick running up again until my freshman year in college where I was a walk on to the track team. I ran for two years in college, saw improvement in my times but after a semester in London and a series of injuries, called track quits during my junior year. I continued to run for fun, won a couple of 5k's and then the marathon bug bit hard my senior year of college. I ran with my best friend and we spent hours training together. One marathon turned into two, then a 50k, then a Boston qualifier and Boston itself. I took about six months off after I got married due to injury. After recovering from a nasty case of plantar fasciitis, my husband and I trained for a marathon together. That marathon was in 2006 and since then I've done a couple longer races including an attempt at 50 miles, a 50k and a really fun 12 hour race.

What Running Means to Me: I didn't really start distance running until my senior year of college. A handful of 5k's preceded my marathon days but as a former sprinter, running really long distances was intimidating. After college, running became a way for me to really connect with my best friend. We were living about an hour apart but would pick a race every 6 months to a year to run together. We met as often as we could for training runs. When I moved even further away we decided to try out a 50 miler. We called each other during long runs and enjoyed the day of the race together. It was a great way to stay connected. I ran with her after she had her kids, she ran with me after my first child was born. For me running is a way to stay connected to her as well as a way to keep my sanity. I am a better person when I run. It helps me keep a clear head, talk through life situations with a running partner or through praying. I love the time outside, the peacefulness of the sound of my shoes hitting the pavement and the quiet of the early morning.

Making it a Priority with Two Little Guys: I ran until about 30 weeks while pregnant with my first, although never more than 3 or 4 miles at a time. I ran until 40 weeks 3 days while pregnant with #2 and kept up 25-30 miles a week until near the end. Now that they are both a huge part of my life, running is a bit more of a challenge. I have two options: wake up when it is dark and run while my entire house is quiet or push both in the double stroller. I try to take option #1 as much as possible but with a little guy who doesn't always (or ever) sleep through the night, I sometimes hit the snooze and sleep in. It means pushing a lot of kid weight but, my two year old LOVES heading out for a run--especially if it means we will stop at the playground or Starbucks. My husband also likes to exercise, so he is encouraging and knows it is necessary for me to run!

Obstacles: My biggest obstacle right now is a lack of sleep. The lack of sleep leads to tired legs which leads to a bit of discouragement when I remember the runner I used to be. On those sleepy days, I leave my watch behind and focus on the fact that I am doing something that helps me be a healthier, happier person. Another obstacle is injury. Right now I am working through my first injury in eight years. A combination of running with a stroller and running on tired legs has contributed to the injury but each day I run is a blessing and I am trying to be responsible as I ice, stretch and rest when needed.

Advice: Get your spouse on board! Having a husband who understands that I like to run is a huge blessing. If he didn't encourage me to get out the door on some days, I don't know if I would. Exercise with your kids if you have to but do it as much as you can without them. I like getting up early to run because it gives me a little break as a stay at home mom. (If you do get up early have everything ready the night before, right down to having your shoes untied--it makes it a little easier). It allows me to have a few minutes before I am wiping faces, nursing a baby and changing diapers. Find a running partner or group that can hold you accountable and brag about your running on Facebook, a blog, or twitter. When I was pregnant I shamelessly posted almost every workout on Facebook through daily mile. Having people comment and encourage me online was a huge boost.

Goals: At the moment, my goals are mostly mileage related. This year I want to run 1250 miles, next year 1500. I would love to run a 1:40 half marathon but that might be a couple of years off as we look to add another member to our family in the next two years. I like to try to run between 30-35 miles per week as a number to shoot for and by the end of the year would like to be at 40. Eventually I want to work on my speed again, but right now my main goal is to simply run and enjoy myself. I am doing a 15 mile race this fall with my dear friend but don't have any real time goals. I love running for the sake of running, getting faster, doing long races, and sharing the activity with others are icing on the cake.

No comments:

Post a Comment