Ever wonder how to balance taking care of kids while chasing big running goals?
Just ask Morgan Boland. This mother runner shows you how it's done.
In our interview with Morgan (mom of three), you'll get...
Moms have one of the hardest jobs out there: raising tiny humans to become grown adults capable of actually functioning in the modern world.
They’re responsible for:
Considering how I barely feel like a human at all some days, I can only begin to wrap my head around the challenge of braving the erratic rollercoaster of life and bringing along a mini-me along for the ride.
But somehow, mothers do.
They earn their superhuman powers by just making it through each day still holding onto their sanity.
Frankly, that’s more than enough of an ask for this breed of saint on earth.
They manage to juggle:
Most runners working towards a big race, new distance, or a faster pace easily understand the discipline and organization it takes to fit in all the training that’s required.
And there’s only more where that comes from for mother runners who have to balance their own schedules with the seemingly endless needs of their dependents.
I don’t mean to make a dad’s job seem easy in comparison.
Fathers definitely put in their fair share of parenting effort. And it can be just as hard to get out the door for a run as a dad as it is for a mom.
Especially in light of how traditional family structures have changed as more women make their way back into the workforce more often instead of automatically taking on the role of primary caretaker.
However, the pregnancy process puts added strain on the female body that men don’t experience as part of parenthood.
For women who do adopt the role of “stay at home mom”, children are more naturally attached to them as the primary caregiver.
They’re used to their mother being the one to fulfill their everyday needs.
It’s tough for them to release that bond, even temporarily, while mom heads out for a run.
All this to say, mother runners face some big obstacles that even their partners might not fully understand.
Though it’s not all a struggle by any means. There are certain perks that come with running through motherhood.
For better or for worse, running as a mother means buckling up for an adventure. But don’t just take our word for it...
Morgan Boland of @milesthroughmotherhood, runner and mother to three young bucks, is here to walk us through the challenges and advantages of being a mother runner.
And, in honor of Mother’s Day next week, she drops some helpful hints for favors and gifts that make life as a mother runner a little bit easier (even if it’s just a little something to put an extra smile on her face).
Morgan: I’m mainly focusing on recovering strength. You do lose a lot of strength while pregnant, so it’s important to focus on rebuilding it in postpartum.
I’m also in half-marathon training. Half-marathons are great for me in postpartum because they’re still a commitment, but leave time for family.
My biggest goal is to do the Marine Corps marathon as maybe my first marathon, because my husband is a Marine.
Morgan: Time management is more of a struggle than the physical piece.
I’m a pretty organized person, so I work with my husband at the beginning of the week to schedule it all out so we’re on the same page.
Timing can be tough, we have to figure it out so that I’m not taking time away from my family while still getting the time that I need.
Getting out the door brings a lot of guilt, when you’re on your way out and the kids are begging you to stay… but I know that the time away gives me more energy and patience to spend better time with them when I get back.
It’s important for me to have the space, even when it’s hard. You do have to learn how to balance their needs with your own.
Also, it’s hard to balance stress from running with stress from life. Stress is stress… and parenthood is stressful. I want to train hard, but sometimes I just can’t and just need to go with what the day brings.
Morgan: My kids are my biggest cheerleaders. Every time they see a Brooks commercial on TV, they say, “look mom, it’s you!” which always makes me laugh. They love to see me run.
And running has honestly changed my life. As a mom, you don’t take a lot of time for yourself. But running:
I’m a better person and mother because of running.
I get to show my kids that going after big goals is important, and that’s something I want to show them.
I want to prove to them that I’m not taking time away, but I’m spending time on myself to be better for them.
Morgan: The effect that running has on me as a person and a mom keeps me going.
Honestly, people who have known me since before I started running would say there’s a night and day difference.
It can be such a special outlet for mothers.
Not only are you doing something that gives you endorphins and makes you stronger and healthier. But it gives you confidence to do things that you didn’t think you could do.
You can make time for yourself and come back as the best version of you.
1. Communicate with your partner. It takes two to figure out your schedule. Talk it out, write it down, put it somewhere visible…
2. Plan ahead. It makes a huge difference to set your clothes out the night before, even plan your workouts the night before.
This takes the guesswork out, and keeps me engaged in my running. That way there aren’t any obstacles in the way from the moment I wake up. I can just dive right into my plan.
3. Remember that you’re not being selfish. You’re making yourself a better version of you. They’re going to thank you for that one day.
Morgan: I’m a very serious person in many aspects of my life.
When I started running, I wanted it to be the fun part of my life. Running is one of the times where I let myself wear the fun colors, the goofy shirts, the headbands, you know.
So running gear and products that make me smile and take even one thing off of my mind make a huge difference in my attitude.
Here are some things that I love for that reason:
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