Sweat Pink Blog Swap: How to Be a Mom on the Run

My Sweat Pink Sister, Jill of Fitness, Health and Happiness, arranged a Sweat Pink Blog Swap where a handful of Sweat Pink Ambassadors would write guest posts for each other.  Jessica of Keeping Mommy Sane and I were paired up the Sweat Pink Blog Swap.

Much like me, Jessica is a mom on the run trying to raise a family between training for races.  In this great big blogosphere, it’s comforting to know another mother runner is going through many of the same experiences as me. However, I’ll let Jessica explain how she fits running into her very busy working mom world.  Thank you, Jessica!

Hello! My name is Jessica and I blog over at Keeping Mommy Sane. I am so excited to be paired with Denise for our Sweat Pink Ambassador blog swap because it turns out we have a lot in common: we’re both busy moms who try to carve out time for exercise each day. Yet Denise still manages to find time to train for, and complete, several marathons. She is a rock star! I honestly don’t know how she does it.

So here’s my a little about me: I work full-time, I have a 6-year-old son and a 1-year-old daughter, a husband who travels frequently for work, and a 30 minute work commute here in the Boston area. Needless to say, my days are carefully choreographed from sunrise to sundown, with daycare drop-offs and work meetings and karate lessons and picking up from after-school programs. So if I want to exercise, I have to be strategic.

For me, this means getting up at 4:45am (when it’s usually still pitch dark outside) and heading to the gym, which – thankfully – is literally a 3 minute drive from my house. I’m not going to lie: it is extremely hard some mornings to drag myself out of my warm and cozy bed (especially in the dead of winter), pull on my gym clothes and head out the door. I’d say about 95% of the time I have to convince myself why I need go and why I can’t crawl back into bed. After 3 years of this schedule, that part hasn’t gotten any easier.

But I do it, because here’s the reality: after work, all I want to do is spend time with my kids. I only get a few precious hours with them at night and I want to enjoy each and every minute. If I head to the gym, that basically means I won’t really see much of them that day. And that’s not even getting into all the prep work that has to be done at night: making lunches, checking backpacks, packing snacks, signing permission slips. Plus, it is a really nice feeling knowing you got your workout out of the way before your day has even begun.

So that’s why I force myself to join my fellow “5am-ers,” as we call ourselves, for spin class and Body Pump and bootcamp. There definitely is camaraderie there; maybe it’s because we know we’re all in the same boat. We’re all busy women trying to take care of ourselves and our loved ones as best we can.

Of course, there are some downsides to working out so early. I often require a cup of coffee around 2pm to get through the rest of the day, I’m dead tired by 8:30pm and I still haven’t quite figured out to have a good run so early in the morning, especially since I find it hard to stomach any food at 4:45am. But the trade-offs are definitely worth it.

Thankfully, the weekends usually afford a little more flexibility, and that’s when I try to work in my long runs and races. After having my daughter last June, I’ve really begun to focus on running – mostly 5Ks and 10Ks. However, I’m getting ready to sign up for my first half marathon in March (an item on my “before I turn 40” bucket list). When I was first mulling this over, I kept asking myself the same question:  How the heck am I going to fit half marathon training into my crazy schedule?

But then I realized it’s really no different than getting up every morning at 4:45am. I do that because staying fit and healthy is important to me. So if running the half means a lot to me (and it does), then I will just have to find a way to do it, whether than means running on my lunch break or finally figuring out how to have a good early morning run. It’s not going to be easy, and I know I’ll probably hit some of life’s obstacles and roadblocks along the way, and that’s okay. But the idea of showing my kids – and myself — what commitment and hard work can do is a powerful motivator.  I don’t want them to see me quit or give up just because “it’s hard” or “I don’t have the time.” And I hope that will be the push I need to get over the finish line and finally call myself a “half marathoner.”


  1. Jessica says:

    Denise, this was so much fun! Thanks for letting me share my “mom on the run” experience with your readers. And it was so nice to get to get to know a fellow SPA sister 🙂

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