Believe It

November 18, 2015

Lets have a chat about motherhood and working out. Or lack of working out due to motherhood. If your the type of person who likes to train, which I do, and your a mother, which I am, then you know more often then not, these two worlds collide in the most spectacular fashion. When baby number 1 shows up you try to convince yourself nothing will change. You will still get to do all of the things you enjoyed before baby arrived. Then baby arrives, your world is turned upside-down and you are now at the mercy of the worlds smallest dictator. But in sheer desperation/determination to hold onto something, anything from your “pre-baby life”, sleep deprived and exhausted as you are, you stick him/her in the stroller and head off in search of trails that are mostly flat, cos pushing a stroller is resistance training enough right now. This works out well, fresh air for everyone, lovely power nap for baby and mom feels almost human again. Then 2 things happen, 1. baby gets bigger and refuses to stay in the stroller and 2. baby number 2 arrives. Now this is where the real fun starts and ends for mom.

I tired, I really did. I believed I could do it all, but the endless needs of a toddler and a baby proved that I just couldn’t. I was a mother all day and and more often than not, all night. On a good week I could find the opportunity and energy to do 1 run, but then 3 weeks would pass before the same opportunity arose again. Thats when you find yourself slipping into the rut of  ”why even bother?” And in that rut is where I’ve remained for the best part of a year. Completely immersed in the boys, always finding the time and energy to open them up to lots of exciting things, yet ignoring my own needs. I’d gotten so use to having zero leftover time or energy to run anymore that once the opportunities started to pop up, I didn’t even recognize them, or if I did, I was too tired to bother. Now the boys are older and everyone is sleeping through the night. Now my workouts have the potential to be more than chasing 2 energetic boys around. So now its time to get my workout sh*t together.

A recent e-mail chat with Irish steeplechase legend, fellow Olympian and European medalist Roisin McGettigan-Dumas, allowed me to offload and throw up some of my workout struggles. Roisin is now also a mother of 2, 2 cute as buttons little girls that are right around the same age as my 2 boys, so she gets it. She also happens to be the co-author of “Believe Training Journal“. She hooked this avoidance riddled mother up with a couple of these journals and honestly, its been the kick in the arse needed. The journal is for both the professional runner and those who just love to run. And there’s just something about the structure offered, the writing of a goal down on paper that somehow ignites the drive within. The empowering sense of being back in control of something. Tracking your accomplishments, even if its just to avoid eating chocolate for an entire day and owning the moments when it all went pear-shaped. The journal encourages you to share it all. These days my workout goals look a lot different, now I’m not so much chasing national records or Olympic qualifying standards, now I’m chasing opportunity and consistency. Its been 3 weeks since my journal arrived and for the past 3 weeks I’ve achieved my goal of 2 runs and 2 gym sessions per week. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve forced myself to find a way. Sometimes that way meant having to include one or both of the boys and sometimes it meant battling myself. But we are making it happen and slowly I’m starting to rediscover the joy working out use to give me.

My Tuesday workout this week was all about hills. And my training partner was Keane. He wanted to run the hill first and asked me to time him.

56 seconds to the top.

Victory jump.

Momma in action, there’s still an athlete in there somewhere.

Being chased by a wagon dragging little person.

Who became my rabbit when it started to hurt.

Keane got his very own training journal and was so excited to document his first workout.

Tired but happy and we both get to journal our accomplishments.

Keane draws a bunch of hills to represent his workout.

Teaching him how to “Believe”.

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