Juggling mamahood and running can be hard. But being a runner mom is also incredibly rewarding and comes with a slew of life lessons.
In honor of Mother’s Day, we’ve compiled our favorite quotes and lessons from moms who run. We interviewed our assistant product manager, Jenna Waldschmidt, and one of our amazing brand ambassadors, Jessica Tondre, to learn how running and motherhood often work hand-in-hand to serve up some amazing life lessons. We also looked to the elites who tackle amazing feats – like breastfeeding while running an ultra marathon (yes, you read that right) – for further inspiration.
Runner Mom Lesson 1: Be Patient with Yourself
“Running gives me the clarity I need to recognize that I am never going to do everything right as a parent – and that’s OK,” shares Waldschmidt. As an avid runner (she’s training for a 50K ultra) and mother to 11-month-old Mila, Waldschmidt recognizes what running has taught her. “Getting back into shape after baby has taught me to be patient with my body and with my daughter as we navigate our way to getting her to sleep through the night. Some days it seems like she is the only baby who hasn’t mastered this yet!”
Runner Mom Lesson 2: Me Time Should Be a Non-Negotiable
“If anything, parenting has changed the way I look at running,” shares Jessica Tondre, triathlete, runner and mother of two. “When I was childless, running was natural, indulgent and never had to be something I had to have permission to do. Post-children, running was/is scheduled, guilt-ridden and arranged to fit within the parameters of mom obligations. In the early part of motherhood, this change made me angry and anxious. I wanted my old relationship with running back. But I soon realized that although my relationship with running was different, it didn’t have to be negative. Rather than feel guilty, I began to recognize running as my me time. Thanks to this shift in thinking, my children get the mom time they deserve with a stress-free, happy mother.”
Runner Mom Lesson 3: Limits Aren’t a Thing
Remember when women weren’t allowed to run marathons for fear of their lady-bits falling out of them? Fast forward to 2019 and women are not only crushing marathons; they’re winning ultramarathons while pumping breastmilk for their children. British ultramarathoner Jasmin Paris smoked the competition during the Montane Spine Race along England’s Pennine Way in 83 hours, 12 minutes, and 23 seconds. She did this while avoiding every breastfeeding mother’s worst nightmare, mastitis, by pumping regularly. Running as a mother is a wonderful reminder that your body can be both a baby-making miracle machine and your own personal source of strong, feminine power.
Runner Mom Lesson 4: Remember How Adaptable You Are
Olympian and mother, Alysia Montaño, recognizes that she had all the tools she needed to tackle challenging workouts because motherhood taught her how to adapt. As she so eloquently put it, “Let the two worlds collide into this beautiful masterpiece that makes you the mother-runner to be reckoned with that you are!”
Runner Mom Lesson 5: Appreciate Every Moment
I’m proud to say that I see pure joy in my 8-month-old daughter’s eyes when I’m pushing her in our running stroller. I appreciate the act of running so much more after having Kirra. She laughs when the wind rushes by her face and playfully yells at me when I pause for longer than she’d like. The knowledge that I’m laying the groundwork for her to find joy in physical activity is so rewarding.
Are you a mom who runs? Comment below and tell us what running means to you as a mother.
Author bio: Sam Kerstetter enjoys stroller running and spending time in nature with her husband and daughter. Her other passions include social media (she’s the social media manager at Road Runner Sports) and content marketing. Follow her on Twitter at @SamKerstetter.