Since I have decided to run my first marathon this year in December, the St. Jude Memphis Marathon, I knew that I was going to have to up my training. I have run four St Jude ½ marathons with my Mom and my best friend since 5th grade, this race has become very special to us and has started a family tradition. At the race in 2010, my now husband asked my parents for my hand in marriage and showed them the ring. In 2012, I was unknowingly 6 weeks pregnant and ran my fastest half time to date.
In 2013, we took our little one for her first road trip, but the race was canceled due to the ice storm, but we braved it together. This year my best friend and I are running our first full marathon, my Mom is running the half, one of my brothers is running his first half and my other brother is running the 5k. I have to thank to our support team, my Dad, husband and sister-in law, because without them, we wouldn’t be able to do this. Needless to say, Memphis and St. Jude have a special place in all of our hearts, not only for our own families reasons but for the biggest reasons… the children fighting for their lives and knowing that our participation in this race is contributing to their fight.
With this being my first full marathon, I want to be prepared. I don’t want to just suffer through 26.2 miles; I want to crush 26.2 miles! I want to finish the race in 4 hours. I have set my goal and now I have to do whatever I can in order to meet it. Have I ever finished a ½ marathon in 2 hours? No, but I am bound and determined that I am going to run 26.2 miles in 4 hours. Crazy, right? But it’s amazing what your body will do when you get your brain on board! I mean, I delivered a 9 pound baby!
In order to reach my goal, I have to commit to a real training plan and stick to it. This means running somewhere from 5-10 miles during the week and at least 6-20 on the weekends. This means I have to do sprint work, fartleks and wake up before the sun and my child on Saturday’s during football season to get a 20 mile run in before it gets too hot or too crowded out at LSU. This means I have to prepare meals and squeeze in long runs and line up babysitters. How am I going to do this?
This is where I had to make the decision to do the work to reach my goal or let the dreaded Mommy Guilt get the best of me.
Let’s go back about 1 year and 10 months ago, before having a baby became a reality. I never thought twice about walking out of the door to go for a run or coming home later than usual because I was out running the lakes. I KNEW I wasn’t going to be the mom that gave up ‘my time’ just because I had a baby. I had images in my head of a jogging stroller that I would push around for miles. Well, how wrong was I? In walks….Mommy Guilt.
You know that nagging feeling in your heart that you can’t shake. It makes you feel like you are the worst Mom in the world because you choose to take care of yourself and do something for you. It makes you feel like you are choosing yourself over your child and family. It makes you feel selfish. It down right sucks! “Take care of you”, they say, but why is it so hard? I hate walking out the door when I know that I could be spending time with my little one and my husband. But I know that this run is helping me take care of myself because if I don’t take care of me, who is going to take care of them. I know that this 5 mile run on a Wednesday night is helping me get better so that I can run 26.2 miles in 4 hours.
Erasing Mommy Guilt
These are my reasons for letting go of the Mommy Guilt. I do it because I want my little one to know that Mommy committed to something and followed through, even when it was hard. I want her to know that by being a St. Jude Hero I am helping others. I want her to know that there is nothing wrong with taking care of your body and pushing yourself when things get tough. I hope to teach her that she can do anything she puts her mind to. I take this time because it makes me a better person, a better Mom and a better wife. It helps me de-stress and let the day go. It helps me to prepare for what tomorrow brings. Hopefully, one day my daughter will share my love of running and it will be something we can do together, but most of all I want her and my family to be proud of me. I am looking forward to crossing the finish line with my best friend and see my whole family waiting there for us with huge smiles, even if it is 4 and a half hours later! These are my reasons for not letting Mommy Guilt get the best of me. What are yours?
**As a St. Jude Hero, I have also committed to raising money as part of my training. You can make a donation St. Jude HERE to my personal fundraising page or at the link listed below. Thank you in advance! http://heroes.stjude.org/charleemae