From a young age, I have always loved running. Through the years, my running has evolved and changed. As I aged and added children to the mix of my running routine, the way I ran changed. For me, I have celebrated and enjoyed the multiple stages as a running mom.
While on running a few days ago, my run while chasing the monkeys, I realized the various stages I have gone through as a running mom. From starting off running with children to where we are now. It is amazing how quickly the time has flown… and how we have evolved and grown as a running family. I thought I would share with you today, the various stages of this running mom.
Stage One: Running while pregnant.
If you were a runner before getting pregnant, chances are you continued to run during the first stages of your pregnancy. I know that I tried to run for as long as I could with each of my pregnancies. I usually didn’t run beyond 4-5 months, and added walking to my routine instead of running.
Stage Two: Running with one child in the single jogger.
This stage is an adjustment stage for both you and child. Learning to run while pushing an object is no small task. Plus you add in the fact that half the time you are singing to, talking with, picking up dropped objects, or trying to beat the clock before the next meltdown happens.
Stage Three: Running with two children in the double jogger.
This is an interesting stage, as you have two children who love each other so much that they can’t keep their hands and feet off of each other during the duration of the run. It is not the most enjoyable run. Ever. Yet you find yourself recreating this exact scenario every day, hoping to achieve running happiness.
Stage Four: Running with two children in the double jogger while one rides a bike
During this stage, you are not only making sure the two in the jogger are happy, keeping their hands to themselves, as well as answering long winded philosophical questions… you are also chasing after the child on the bike. By the end of your run you are a sweaty mess who covered miles. Yet, longing for that solo run.
Stage Five: Running while one is in the double jogger while two ride bikes, fully expecting that two children (and a bike) will be in the double jogger by the mid-point of the run.
Showing the first sign of independence, your next child wants to follow suit to ride his bike with big brother. You allow this because you know that it is time for him to ride. Plus this will make the jogger a little bit lighter. Yet, you also know that the time (miles) will be short that he will actually be able to ride his bike. You push one child in the double jogger, fully prepared to be pushing two children and a bike on the return leg home. Yes, sometimes even your dog gets tired and needs a ride.
Stage Six: Running with one child in the single jogger while two ride bikes.
The two big boys have graduated to biking only status, and you have downgraded back to a single jogger. During this phase you are making sure your bikers stay safe and stay close. As well as answering questions, singing, picking up dropped items and more with the child in the jogger. Sometimes you are even dragging a tired old pup who thinks she needs to go for the run too.
Stage Seven: Running with an empty jogger while three children ride bikes, fully expecting one child and one bike to be in the jogger mid-run.
As the next child grows, he shows independence of wanting to ride his bike on the morning run route, too. You allow him to test his independence with the big brothers. Fully aware that it will be short lived. You are prepared by running and pushing an empty jogger at the start of the run, only to be pushing a tired child and his bike the remainder of the run.
Stage Eight: Running and not pushing anything, while chasing children on bikes.
The children grow and get stronger. This is the stage where you can run without a jogger. Yay! During this stage you are pretty much either telling your children to hurry up or slow down. Walkie talkies are a great thing to have, and are my sanity saver when running (or biking) with my children.
Stage Nine: Running solo. Finally.
Yes, this is a race photo. When your children are older they might be in school (or you have a supportive spouse) you can enjoy the coveted solo run. Oh how mighty these miles pounded on the pavement (or trail) are to a weary and tired mamas soul. I embrace and love the solo run.
Stage Ten: Running WITH your children.
This is the most fun stage (besides the well loved solo run). This is what all the previous stages have led up to. You hopefully have been teaching and instilling the love of fitness (and running) with your children from a young age. Now, they are interested in running and want to run with you. Perhaps they want to race you, run their own race, or go on a run with you.
This is the various stages that I have experienced as a running mom. I am still enjoying stage six and seven most days… and even this morning I will be going back to stage two while my older boys are in class. Running as a mom, is always an adventure. Running with kids or solo… running is fun!