Today’s purposeful running feature is Natalie from Lil Runner. I came across her blog when I was pregnant and trying to find other pregnant runners. I’m always inspired by her workouts, vegetarian experimenting and toddler tips, she is one busy mama! Natalie has run through three pregnancies, and just his week she and her family welcomed their third child, a beautiful little girl!
I played sports in high school and college where running was the punishment. I HATED running and timed miles. Soon after graduating college and ending the playing of competitive sports all of my life, I started running. I needed a goal for my workouts and reason to stay in shape and I decided to sign up for a marathon. My first race was the Broad Street run in May 2004 – a 10 miler. I was hooked! From there, I completed my training for the Steamtown Marathon and when I crossed the finish line I knew it wasn’t going to be my last. I have ran through wedding planning, deaths, moves, job changes, job stress, and pregnancy. I’ve found it to be the one static force in my life – something that I need, as a sort of therapy!
When I got pregnant with my son (#1), I didn’t even think twice about whether I would continue running. I really didn’t view pregnancy as a limitation and just listened to my body. Running is a part of my everyday life and I just kept it up. I also had applied to run the Boston Marathon with Dana Farber Cancer Institute and this kept me going throughout the entire pregnancy. I was able to run until I went into labor. My last run was 5.5 miles about 36 hours before he was born. It kept me in shape and I felt like I didn’t lose that piece of myself! I needed it and it helped me to have a fit pregnancy. A week after he was born, I started training for the Boston Marathon and ran it when he was 10 weeks old. It was awesome!
The second time around – when pregnant with my daughter, I ran but had to do cross training once I hit 34 weeks because it was too uncomfortable. I ended up enjoying the break from running and doing some lifting and swimming often. I did my first race – half marathon – 2 months after she was born.
Baby #3 … so far still running (36 weeks+) strong. More comparable to #1. It gets uncomfortable at the end here with the pressure and size of the baby!! (Natalie was able to run right up to her daughter’s birth, with some walk/run intervals).
Running has encouraged me to stay fit and shown me what my body can do. It has provided me with endorphins that I can’t get anywhere else – the runner’s high! It has enabled me to push harder and further. Now with 2 small children, it has provided been “my time” to get out of the house on Saturday mornings and early weekday mornings and run. It has enabled me to meet people and get to know friends on another level. Running with groups, running in races, running to catch up with a friend, running by myself – I am so glad that I took up this hobby! Running makes me feel fit, want to be faster and stronger, and keeps me in shape to chase after my kids. Running is MY time and my therapy!