Half Marathon Training for Mom

The whole reason (or one of them) I started this blog was to continue holding myself accountable for my own half marathon training, and share the tricks I’ve learned in order to make this possible as a mom. We’ve discussed my four strategies as well as how I came to be a running, working mom.

So, how is this half marathon training going in real life? Let’s check on the plan first.

I’m a list-maker, an excel geek, a planner. So, of course I developed a 16-week half marathon training planner for me and my neighbor. At the onset, this seemed like the ideal way for us to reach our intended number of runs and distances each week. Having run the plan by a physical therapist, we confirmed that this (in addition to an initial month of running up to 3 miles and/or long quick walks of up to 5 miles, 1-2 times per week) this is reasonable and healthy for recent moms in training.

In practice, we’ve been using it to stay on top of our long-distance mileage, though the details have gotten a little fuzzy along the way. We’ve also been better about running the distances prescribed when we do them together, rather than when we attempt them on our own.

You can see just about how good I am at following a scheduled running calendar with the “Record” tab. (Hint hint – not particularly good.) You’ll also notice all the long walks I take with the double stroller, considering that my cross-training. Sometimes I run a few blocks with it (particularly if A says he has to go potty…), but usually when I’m pushing the million+ pounds of stroller/kids/supplies, I’m walking.

double stroller in the bottom left corner, view of the Burnside Bridge and the Willamette River to the right.
Walking around the Portland bridges with the double stroller

You’ll also see how I’ve had trouble sticking to the long-run part of the calendar. These tend to be scheduled on weekends which means I need to employ my partnership strategy. And with all the travel and weather challenges of the summer, I have not been great about following through. Hoping to do 8 miles this weekend, but we’ll see!

Any tips to keep me motivated for those long runs? Scheduling suggestions? What keeps you going?

Partnership – Strategy #2

Now that you’ve set up your smart scheduling, the first of the four strategies toward work.run.mom, it’s time for the second strategy: partnership!

Two hands holding each other, in the shape of a heart

Have your kids figured out how to dress, feed, and supervise themselves yet? No? Then it’s probably not a good idea to leave them home alone.

Have you developed the motivation, will, and follow-through to run every time you want to, while also taking care of everything else that needs to get done around the house? No? Then you may need help.

Has your work allowed you take take unlimited time during the day to run, shower, take your kids to doctor appointments, attend mommy-and-me day, and be a human? No? Then let’s talk about partnership.

You may live near extended family who can help out when asked. You may have a nanny or neighbor who makes other moms jealous. Or you may be supermom and actually do it all yourself. If you’re supermom, I want your autograph…

But in all seriousness, our partners in parenting make the work.run.mom combo possible.

In my case, partnership consists of my wonderful husband and the high level of dedication, communication, emotional intelligence, and coordination we use to co-parent and co-thrive. So what does our partnership solution look like?

  1. Dedication – In true partnership, we share most of the financial, parental, and household duties. Though I took more parental leave when each kid was born, he put in nearly as many hours during the nights as I did during the day. We both commit to being home for the dinner and bedtime routine almost every night. And though our roles continue to evolve as the kids get older, we continue our dedication to parenting together. It doesn’t get as much attention as it used to, but we also are 100% dedicated to each other and the lifelong nature of our relationship. (This book helped us along the way: The 5 Love Languages)
  2. Communication – We agree to bring up issues as they come up and we discuss our status often. And by status, I mean how we’re feeling professional, physically, parentally. This also includes checking in with each other anytime an activity comes up that would require the other to take the kids for any amount of time, especially bedtimes. We call each other on the way home from work and check in during the day if anything changes.
  3. Emotional intelligence – We have learned each others’ triggers and stress relievers, and can identify each others’ moods quickly. I know that my husband needs to run 3-4 times per week and wiggle in some way daily to maintain his calm & collected attitude. He knows that I need to sleep 7 (but ideally 8+ hours) every night in order to keep my patience for the duration of the day. And we both can call in the immediate need to walk away when A’s tantrums get to be too much or B’s shrieking (really, who knew a kid could reach that decibel level?!) is getting to close to rupturing ear drums.
  4. Coordination – This takes the form of shared google calendars, where we insert when running will happen, what our workday looks like (including commute time), any social activities that are solo or family, and reminders that include shopping and/or to do lists each day. For running specifically, he stays home with the kids while I run, especially in the evenings while they’re asleep, according to my smart scheduling. And I do the same for him.

So, I dedicate this post to my partner and his contribution to making my work.run.mom life successful!

In what ways has partnership shown up in your life? What resources have helped you along the way?