Mum on the run

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8 reasons why I’m a Mum on the run

1) because it’s me time.

I don’t have to think about changes or feeds or cooking or crying or tidying up or putting the washing in or putting the washing out or wondering where, where, WHERE all of this washing comes from or whether we have taken anything out of the freezer for tea or whether there is in fact anything in the freezer that we can take out for tea. I don’t have to think about what size batteries we need for the magical vibrating chair to give it back its magical bloody powers of baby calm, or which class we are meant to be going to today – and what time it’s at and where it is, or how much weight Rita has put on, or is she big enough or WHEN will she show any interest in rolling over / sitting up / crawling and so on. I don’t have to think about how much it’s going to cost to fix the car where I hit it / scraped it / dented it (all three) ON MY OWN DRIVE whilst navigating the kids on their scooters, or what exactly is wrong with the Hoover – it’s a Dyson its not meant to break – or what the hell chia seeds really are and what makes them so damn ‘super’. I don’t have to think about the ‘stuff’ in the garage which needs sorting since our house move (yes, the week before Christmas is a great time to move), or how long I will get away with ironing NONE of my clothes, or whether baby signing is actually a load of crap. I don’t have to think about life insurance, house insurance, car insurance, travel insurance – none of which are made easier by the promise of a free meerkat. I don’t have to think about why my hair seems to be falling out or why there is NEVER enough room in the black wheelie bin since they only collect it fortnightly or when I will ever find the time to get my highlights done ever again or why the buttons on a baby grow rarely match up. I don’t have to work out why sometimes a nappy overfills every which way from chest to toe and creates what I like to describe as ‘shankles’ (can you work it out?!) – or when is a reasonable time to have a glass of wine.

I can just run.

2) because it’s outside my front door.

I don’t need to pay membership, drive to a gym, sort out a kit bag, get stuck in traffic, wait for a treadmill to be free. I don’t need to set up a direct debit, wonder if I am getting value for money, complain about the cold showers or fit in with opening times. I can just open the door and go. Time is now, of the essence and running is flexible – be it 15 minutes or 2 hours you have spare (imagine that – two WHOLE hours), you can fit in a run. Your run is there – outside the door. Yours for the taking.

3) because I can.

It’s very important to me to make use of what I have. I originally got into running when I knew I had to have a fairly major operation on my brain and I wanted to be as fit and healthy as possible. I am not a natural runner, it does not come easily to me but I persisted with it and got better – to the point where I even enjoy it. I started out slowly with jogging and walking – I built up to a 5km, something I never thought I would do. And now? I can run half marathons – and further! I am stronger, fitter, faster (dare I say it – slimmer) because I run. I kept it up because my health is hugely important to me – especially since my op.  Quite simply, I run because I can. Whenever I think I can’t be bothered or don’t feel up to it, I remember this and I’m thankful, and I run. I make the most of today.

4) because it’s cost effective.

Mat pay is not that great and even if you can afford gym membership, there are only a few where you can take a child with you. All you need for running is some kit and a decent pair of trainers. For me, I like the time alone. I like to go at my pace, choose my own path, pick a direction and see how far I can get. I like the cliche of feeling the fresh air against my face and the freedom of being able to run wherever I want. Running costs you nothing – there are no excuses!

5) because of my mental health.

The best thing about running is the way it makes me feel. There is no denying the sense of achievement I get alongside a personal calm that comes from finishing a run. As I don’t naturally find running easy, every run is a little challenge, my own hill to climb. Once done, I feel wonderful. My self-esteem rises, my confidence to push on – to run further or faster – increases. It makes me happier. Running clears my mind and helps me to think in a way I don’t get when surrounded by the day to day clutter that is family life. Running gives me a great feeling of satisfaction, of pride, of strength. No matter how short the run, it’s a guaranteed feel good factor at the end. Running gives me focus and pleasure – I look forward to it after what is often a long (and sometimes lonely) day of being a Mum. As wonderful as having a baby is, the pressure, the stress, the worry, the occasional negativity, the anxiety and even the self-doubt that at some point we all go through are pushed away by running. I complete a run and feel ready to face anything – back to being ‘Supermum’.

Someone once told me I would never be able to run a 10km – a man for that matter. I set out to prove him wrong and I continue to do so every time I put my trainers on and push myself a little bit further. Keeping my body healthy is a huge step on the way to a healthy and happy mind.

6) because I can take Rita along for the ride. Although I usually run solo, now that Rita is a bit bigger and sturdier, I have a running buggy which we LOVE! This means that I can get out and exercise during the day and, if I time it right, Rita has a nap! It has really helped with my upper body strength and although I can’t run as fast or as far as when I run solo, it’s still really good fun and a great way to shoehorn in a little more exercise.

7) because I can set goals and challenges – I am currently working towards the Blackpool marathon in April. This is something that will require a great deal of commitment both from me, and my family so that I can fit in enough training. It means cutting back on wine (agh), sticking to a plan and eating right. Although it’s daunting, I am so far enjoying the challenge and know it will be worth it when I eventually cross that finish line!

I won a competition through Run Mummy Run (find them on FB they area fabulous community of 17,000 Mums on the run) to have a marathon training package from Running Adventures. I would highly recommend them to anyone who, like me doesn’t have a clue about what they should and shouldn’t be doing in the lead up to their first marathon. Matt who has done my plan has been brilliant and I feel so much more confident now I have someone who is there to advise, support and help. Find them at http://www.runninhadventures.co.uk

8) because I strive to beat Gareth in a 10km – this I realise is unlikely to ever happen. But, a girl has to have a dream!

Whatever your ability, size, shape, fitness level – there IS a run for you. Give it a go. Start slowly and I guarantee it will make you happier, healthier and wanting more!

I use runkeeper app to log all of my runs and sync this with netmumsrun as every time I run I earn points and points mean prizes!

For my top tips on exercising with a baby, read here – http://www.notjustritasmother.com/2015-09-26/top-7-tips-for-exercise-with-babies/

Follow me on FB – http://www.facebook.com/notjustritasmother

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram – notjustrsmother

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