Every runner has a story...
At Sexy Mother Runner we believe that sharing those stories is a great way to share the gift of running while helping to motivate others. Today's Featured Runner is Mary. In spite of a family, school, and all the busy schedules she made running a priority and it ended up being a family affair. How cool is that?!?!
|Mary with her kids after a half marathon in June.|
My name is Mary and I started running in 2007 after my son was born. I was always an athlete growing up. I loved playing sports with the neighborhood kids as well as organized sports in school. In college I played club soccer. The one thing is that I hated running and avoided it like the plague. I was the kid who walked the mile when we had to run it. After college I missed playing sports, I always wanted to join an adult league but never did.
My husband's New Years resolution one year was to run the Chicago Shamrock shuffle. His friends all said he couldn't do it. With a little to much alcohol in him that night he bet his friends he would run the Chicago Marathon that year too. My husband is an amazing athlete but never was he a runner.
I was 3 days away from giving birth to our second child when my husband ran the shamrock shuffle. I watched in awe all the people running and had the chills. I had caught the bug that day and made a goal to run a 5K in October for my college 10 year reunion. Yes I was going to try running!
I continued to watch my husband run a 10 mile run, half marathon and begin his training for his marathon. Once I got the clearance from my doctor to run I started my training. My husband was a great supporter in helping me get started. I began by running 5 minutes walking 5 minutes running. Eventually I worked up to running and no walking. We purchased a double jogging stroller and started running together. I watched my husband run his first marathon and it was the most amazing experience. I ran all over Chicago with my kids waiting for him. We watched him finish and it was amazing! Inspiring!
A week later I ran my first 5K. I was so proud of myself. I ran with my sister which was even a greater experience. I was hooked from that point on. I continued to run and challenged myself to longer races or shorter races at faster paces. My husband challenged himself and wanted to qualify for Boston. He trained for his big goal and I trained for mine. In November of 2008 I found out I was pregnant with #3. This was a big surprise. I continued to run until I was 20 weeks when my doctor said no more.
Once I had my third I was eager to get out running again. This time around I lost motivation. I was going to graduate school and working full time. It was hard to get my runs in. When I first got the go ahead to run I did. Shortly after, Chris ran his second Chicago Marathon and qualified for Boston. This was so exciting! I decided that I was going to run a marathon by the time I was 40. First I wanted to set a new goal of completing my first half marathon. This was huge because I said I would never run more than 10 miles. I never would run a marathon! I was satisfied.
I ran my first half marathon in October 2011. I had graduated in June of 2011 with my Masters and had the summer off to train. I finished in 2:12. When I finished I felt like I still had energy to run farther. At this point I knew I was ready to train and run for a marathon. This past winter I signed up for the Chicago marathon. I'm excited and nervous when I think about it. When I tell people I'm training for it they tell me they want to see me run it. They said they would even run with me for a little bit. I'm so excited!
I'm a teacher and I have my summers off. This summer has been filled with training runs. My children run with me. My youngest is almost three and I push her in a stroller. My two older ones ride their bikes. Nothing is more motivating than hearing your children push you and congratulate you in your runs. I hope to inspire them and see how important a healthy active lifestyle is.
It's also exciting to run and see people on my runs or have people tell me how they saw me. It definitely motivates me.
It's fun to be known as the mom who runs with her kids!
I can't wait to run my first marathon. I have a feeling that it won't be my last. Hopefully by the time I hit 40 in 2 1/2 years I will have a couple under my belt.
Have you been inspired by the Featured Runner Friday posts? Would you like to share your story with us?
If so, send us your story and pictures to our email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
We'd love to hear from you!