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Mother Runner

Updated: Apr 25

Here is my story of my on and off again connection to running. My favorite stretches and my strength training day workouts are down below.


Once upon a time, there was a lost princess and her adventure dog. Yup, that was me many moons ago! (And, one of my soulmates.) I was taking yoga classes to manage stress and had a hyperactive chocolate Labradoodle puppy in my small studio apartment. I would attend yoga classes as a newbie and come home and playfully run with "little baby Clover"after long days at a corporate retail banking job.


Playful runs became around the block, to the neighborhood, then longer. I didn't even realize the distances I gradually accomplished. It wasn't until a guy mentioned the milage I was doing and I just kind of shrugged but, an accidental seed was planted. I became a runner.*


I started running around Lake Union for fun. I signed up for 5Ks and then my first 1/2 marathon. I was having fun! It was a fun activity to do with friends. And, I seemed to be decent at it. I mean, in yoga classes I was consistently once of the least flexible in the room, and had a fear of falling out of inversions and balance poses. I loved the chair yoga classes but the seniors in the room were all giving the younger, fit, yogini in the room some side eye. But man, did it feel great on my runner body!


After four years of running, this princess and her soulful dog moved to LA to be with her true love. LA was not a friendly place for Clover's paws nor was the heat on either of us so running faded and Pilates quickly took over. (By the way, Pilates totally alleviated all knee pain I had from glorious running.) Then, fast forward, I grieved the loss of my doggie soulmate and two beautiful angels were born. I was obsessed with postpartum healing and recovery and running was not on my to do list.


14-15months after my second angel was born I was feeling a calling to start pushing my fitness. I was strong. Recovered. I was not going to have any more biological babies. Let's get moving, I told myself. A fellow preschool mom casually asked if I would do a fun run or a 5K with her. Without hesitation I was like, "Yes!" The first time I went for a run again was euphoric! I couldn't believe how well my body handled it. My soul lit up. Pre-kiddo, pre-husband me was showing up again. And, she was strong and confident! New feelings me. Even my doggie soulmate spirit was present. I kept lacing up my running shoes and thronged along.


During the summer months I would run 1.5-2miles with toddler in the stroller, and kindergartner running along with me, or playing in the playground as I did laps. It was even more fun was when my husband and I would gather the girls and have family weekend runs.

I have two fun runs on my calendar to do with my family, a PTA sponsored one, and a Turkey Trot!


Here are some tips that keep me injury free:

  • Hamstring stretches (like below, or on the reformer)

  • Use yoga strap or theraband for breath feedback. Place around the widest part of the ribs and breath laterally, towards the sides. Now, take that awareness while you are running! Just that core.

  • Try breathing through your nose as you run. It's more effective and efficient for the body.

  • If you are over 40 it's a different ball game that when you were a spring chicken. No running everyday. And, stretch before and/or after is a must!

  • Be mindful of your pelvic floor.

  • New shoes!!! They matter. Can cause knee, hip, back, and/or feet pain and issues.

  • Use a ball to roll out the feet.

Below is a classic:

Hamstring Video


Strength Workouts Include:

  • Gluts! Squats (all the squats: side, chair, balance, goddess, etc) and lunges

  • Knee bends

  • Feet health

  • Hip stabilizing

  • Posture (aka core work)

Now go have fun! Run happy!

Be well. Be kind.


Resources:

"Another Mother Runner" books

Katy Bowman's books, Blog posts, and website has so much good information on bone rhythms, feet stuff, alignment, etc.

"Breath" by James Nestor


Spring 2024 Update: Winter weather, flu and cold season, and family commitments put running on the back burner for me but as the season turned to the Spring it's back to game on! *When I lace up the running shoes I have an echo of a past friend that said "You are now a runner". And, as I notice I have seasons with running but a steady current of enjoyment I quietly nod, and say to myself, "yes, I am a runner".

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