Sunday, April 29, 2012

Keeping It Real

This blog post is about keeping it real. Being honest. Encouraging others.
Yes, I am a 2:32 marathoner but I'm also a mom who doesn't always succeed at keeping all the balls in the air! 
The last few weeks have been incredibly busy; I went to Europe to run the Rotterdam Marathon, we moved (and we lived between 2 houses because the kitchen wasn't yet finished), and then my husband was away for a week of work. Very, very tiring! There were times that I wanted to just collapse but had to keep trucking...laundry, changing diapers, cleaning, cooking, groceries, packing, refereeing....repeat. It's exhausting when you are on your own. I'll admit that there were times I was hollering at the kids then moments later in tears then "normal" (whatever that means!) again! I had the kids pray for me a few times...that I could get through the mad chaos! I think it's ok for your kids to see you struggle but keep working toward something, to get the job done. I find that when I talk about "Team DuChene", everyone helps out and life seems so much better at home.  There were nights I was in my pyjamas by 8pm and that was ok w/ me. In fact, one night I was in bed at 8:30pm and slept right through. Needed!

So, after running a marathon, you often struggle a bit with identifying yourself and your normal routine. You are not training the same, eating the same, sleeping the same...and don't necessarily know what is next. I have a lot of great options so I'm just trusting that God will show me the plan! Obviously if we succeed with the appeal, London 2012 is a big go. But, if that isn't the plan there's: the Ottawa race weekend in May, World 1/2 marathon champs in Bulgaria in October, World marathon champs in 2013, baby #4 (yes, I said it...come on, you know I get faster with each baby and we didn't move to a bigger house for nothing !)...with the ultimate goal being Rio 2016! Quite exciting. 

As you can see, I posted a bunch of pictures of me running in the past year. I wanted to show all you great moms out there that yes, you can get your body back after having a baby. Last year around this time, I ran my first race since having Leah (she was 2 months old and I was likely 15 lbs heavier?!). I struggled through a 5km race, much slower than marathon pace! It takes will-power, motivation and all those things but I must say that having a goal in mind is the easiest way to get you to where you want to be. From February to April I was very disciplined with what I ate and how I trained. I had a goal and always reminded myself of it, any time I was tempted to have a little sweet treat or put off the little things (like ice baths and stretching). Like I told a friend who wanted to qualify for Boston, "You can do this" . He did. And I did (initially my plan was to take off 5 min this season then another 5 min before Rio 2016).

Today coach Rick and I gave age-category winners their medals at the Brantford Rotary Classic 5 km and 10 km race. What an honour, to be in the heart of such a big community event. I couldn't get over the number of people who came up to me to meet me, take pictures, and tell me they are my fans. I must say that the most common thing people say is that I inspire them. Wow. Thank you.
Since Rotterdam, I've had several Facebook friend requests. Just recently I got this message, which made me a bit teary,
"You are a true inspiration to us all. As a mother of three young children and my own small athletic ambitions, I look to you and realize the only thing that stops me is myself. Will be cheering you on in London this summer!!!"
I hope you've enjoyed this post about keeping it real.