How to avoid killing your family while training for a marathon | The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans LLC


Have you ever dreamed of running a marathon? Well, Kirsten just recently made that dream come true for herself when she crossed the line after 26.2 miles in the Disney Marathon on January 9th, 2011. Now Kirsten shares with us, the oh-so-important lesson, how to avoid killing your family when training for a marathon! She has a great perspective as a mother of 3 girls!

Hey, Sisters (and brothers)! Some of you may know me. I’m one of the 3 crazy sisters who ran the DisneyWorld marathon on January 9th. Yes, I ran 26.2. I’m

Kirsten with her Disney Medal

still in awe of that fact myself. But I’m not here to talk about the race. (You can find that over on my blog). I’m here to talk about the 6 months of training before January 9th.

Specifically, how does a busy mom of 3 who works part-time train for a marathon simultaneously with her husband and not kill anyone. Because let me tell you, there were a couple times of high stress that I wasn’t sure we’d all survive.

I started training back in July 2010. Yes, it was early. Most training plans are 12-16 weeks long. But after experiencing the fabulous coaching of Joe English (yes, the same one who is going to be coaching Team Shrinking Jeans for the San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon), I knew I wanted his help in achieving my goals of hitting an under 2-hour half marathon in the Nike Women’s Half Marathon this past October. When I finally got my training plan from him, I was beyond excited…until I realized my weeks of high mileage were between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Yikes!

I’m not gonna lie. Life revolved, like it never has before, around our training runs. Mix in the busy schedule of my 3 girls, working part-time, and my need to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night, and yes, I might have gone a little crazy.

So how did I make it through 5 months of training with everyone under the roof in one piece? Scheduling. There was no hemming and hawing about whether or not I was going to do my run that day. We ran a tight ship. Every minute essentially planned out. We had a routine that was adhered to. My runs during the week were my responsibility to provide coverage for the kids or I did them on the treadmill. My husband would do the majority of his mid-week runs during his lunch break. I got Saturday morning as my long run day and he got Sunday.

The kids were bounced around more than usual. My parents helped out a lot. There was less down time together as a family. The mommy guilt did kick in when the girls looked at me with those pathetic big eyes as I headed out the door for a 3-4 hour run. Training did not bring my husband and I closer. Ha! We didn’t train together as our paces are so different. So add in an extra 6-8 hours a week in which we were not together was taxing. We already felt like two ships passing in the night before training.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. For 25 weeks. I’m not going to lie. It was hard. There were times with tears of joy and tears of fear and tears of literal pain. It seems surreal that something I’ve been working towards for 25 weeks has now happened. It’s like I gestated this marathon and instead of a baby I have a medal. That seems a bit of an odd comparison, but let me get an “Amen” from the mothers out there!

Pregnancy and motherhood are a marathon. There are many times where you can’t fathom how you are going to get through the next hour or even the next minute. But you do. Training for a marathon is the same thing. It’s a labor of love. A love of running. A love of pushing yourself harder than you thought possible. A love of yourself.

Do you want to achieve great things this year? Revisit the goals you’ve made for yourself this year. (You did make them, right? Because it was one of the January Weekly Projects with The Sisterhod!) They can be healthy ones like exercise or a better diet. Or those goals can be looking for a new job or going back to school. Whatever your goals are you need a map. A map helps you get to where you want to be. And sometimes that map needs to have a little reminder on it as why you are chosing this path. Enjoy the miles, baby! It’s all about the journey.

Kirsten, thank you SO very much for sharing your thoughts and advice with the Sisterhood. You know we have a special place in our hookers hearts for your skinny ass!

(Team Shrinking Jeans probably wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for you! That’s something I should thank you for!)

Are you interested in running but don’t know where to start? Check out our Start Running Now Series!

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