Rick: With Mother’s Day falling within the month of May, what better time to have one of our community’s busiest Moms write about her insight into what it is like to balance being a homemaker, with motherhood and a career while training and competing at an international distance running level. Here is Krista DuChene’s perspective;
Krista: When my 4 year old son asked me what I wanted for Mother's Day, the answer was easy. Other than a hand-made card from my three kids (orchestrated by my husband), I requested the very thing I am already blessed to have every other weekend of the year - a morning run followed by a hot breakfast with my family. I am a morning person. I love the energy I feel when I get out of bed, and get great satisfaction in my many morning accomplishments. Many people ask me, "How do you do it...being a busy mom and elite marathoner?" Likely the two simple answers are: passion and organization.
Let me start with passion. Ever since I was a kid, I was always passionate about physical activity. I just loved moving my body in my early years, and playing competitive sports later on. I've always had high energy. My mom always said I was the most active of all six kids in our family! As a youngster, I played and enjoyed all sports - soccer, basketball, hockey, track and field, and simply being outdoors on the farm. It wasn't until early high school that I started to get more serious about, and focus more on hockey and running. I loved and was fairly talented at both, which was convenient because I had a summer and winter sport. I remember wearing my hockey jackets to track meets and my track jackets to hockey tournaments, just to let others know I had another passion! I always enjoyed the team aspect of hockey and the individual focus of running. It was a good balance. I've often thought I would like to try long-track speed skating, the closest combination to running and hockey that I can think of! There came a point in my athletic career that I had to choose between my two passions. I chose hockey at the University of Guelph. I thoroughly enjoyed my four successful years, which included a first and fourth place finish at the provincial and national championships. After retiring from hockey, I returned to running. It was easy to fit into my schedule as a new Registered Dietitian and I enjoyed it. I had run several 10 km and 10 mile road races as a teen but had no plans, other than to run to stay fit. Then one day I ran 18 km and thought "Hey, I could try to run a marathon some day. That might be neat". Well, eight marathons later, including a National Championship, and a time of 2:32:06 to make me the 10th fastest Canadian Woman in history, I'm sure glad I returned to my other passion. If it doesn't work out to run the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, for sure I will be making an attempt for the 2016 Olympics. Yes, I'll be 39 years of age but I certainly believe I will still have the passion. The passion to get me out of bed at 5:30 am for a 40 km run, to hop into an ice bath to recover from a hard workout, to run harder and faster because my kids want me to win the big trophy! You know what I mean! I believe it will still be there!
Obviously with three kids and three hours of daily training, organization is key along with communication and support from my husband. I am constantly looking at my calendar. I have to write everything down and plan as much ahead of time as I can. It works well for me to know that my mornings are for training, afternoons are for rest and housework, and evenings are for family. I typically do the same type of work out as well as get my groceries on the same day of the week. Then I know what to expect. As for cleaning and laundry, those are ongoing tasks that unfortunately I am not that passionate about! Surprisingly, they seem to take much more energy than anything! If I am not organized, things can fall apart. It helps to know the direction Team DuChene is taking so I try to stay on top of things to make things run smoothly!
Since my Around the Bay 30 km race win and 7th place finish at the Rotterdam Marathon this spring, I've had many face book requests, notes of encouragement, and visits with friendly comments on my running blog. The one thing that is said more than anything else is that I am an inspiration. This is such a compliment and I thank each and every one of you for it. As you know, I believe my faith in God is the reason for my success in running. Passion and organization allows me to succeed as marathon mom and I look forward to many more years at this "job".
Rick: Thank you for your insight Krista. You truly are an inspiration.
Speaking of inspiration, I’d like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere gratitude to my wife Josie, my family, friends and members of our community for their outpouring of support and words of encouragement during my recovery from my recent surgery. It certainly has helped me tremendously during my healing process.
The third event of the Brantford Tournament of Races, Road and Trail Series - Brantford's 2nd Annual Great Canadian Trail Run is only five weeks away. This event will take place the morning of Canada Day on Sunday July 1st at the Lions Park/Steve Brown Sports Complex. It will feature picturesque trail runs including a 5K and 10K along with a 5K walk and a 1K fun run before enjoying the opening ceremonies of the Brantford Canada Day Celebration! You can visit www.likerunning.ca for more information or registration. If you are interested in volunteering to help out at the race or the Series, you can also contact the organizers on this site. In the meantime, I will see you next month. Smooth and Safe Running.
(Former international class marathon runner Rick Mannen of Brantford offers running tips in a monthly column)