The Running Mom

I have jogged pretty consistently since high school. Initially, I did it to condition and improve for volleyball, and at the time I thought running was miserable. After high school sports were done for me, I kept at it to look a certain way, which continued through college. I didn't mind running, and I felt good after working up a sweat, but my reasons for getting out and hitting the pavement were pretty superficial. Early 20s, am I right?

Fast forward to now. Going for a run means something so much more to me these days. Sure, it helped me lost the almost 60 pounds I gained while pregnant with Molly and Maddie, and I am thankful to be at a healthy weight again, but that's not what keeps me going.

First, I have experienced what it's like to not be able to get out and move. I had bad morning (noon and night) sickness in my first trimester with the girls, and when we found out I was carrying twins, my doctor recommended cutting out running. At about 24 weeks I was put on bedrest, so at that points any form of activity was put on hold. I sat on our couch all day e v e r y d a y. It was rough, friends. During that time I often thought about how hard it would be to live my whole life with such difficulty and lack of movement. I gained such an appreciation for having a body that could move, and I vowed that as soon as I could after the babes arrived, I would get back to being active.

That newfound appreciation for physical movement gave way to a lot of emotional and mental movement that came along with becoming a parent of twins. Mommin' can be tough, and it's constant, and you have to be the best version of yourself to be the best mom you can be. Running helps me do that. I tend to be a little high strung and impatient, sometimes quick to snip, and often hard on myself. That's not a good combination for a happy mama! Running helps me keep those emotions and thoughts at bay.

On days when I am upset with myself for not keeping the house picked up, or anxious about whether the girls are developing on track as they should, or just replaying a conversation I had or comment I made that I regret or wish I could go back and do over, I work through it on my run. Many times, I like to pray during my run too. It's often the only time I can actually think in complete, coherent thoughts.

I tend to organize my feelings, thoughts, plans, and day dream during those 10-minute miles (9:45 on a good day). I just feel like me and have the opportunity to be grateful for my family, my health, and the wonderful chaos we live each day.

I hope all of you have something that frees your mind that way. Whether it's running like me, or yoga, or sewing, or writing, playing music, etc. -- whatever it is, keep doing it. We all need to share the things in our lives that make us feel great, strong, and capable. I feel strongest on the days that I push 50 pounds of toddler in a stroller for 4 miles. I LOVE looking down and seeing my best little buddies snacking on their animal crackers and kicking their feet in the breeze.

Now that I have shared (probably too much) about my motivation and gratitude for running, I'd like to share a few of the essentials that help me get out each week.

This section contains some affiliate links. I feel like it's important to note that all opinions and first-hand experiences are my own. These are things I've bought and use all the time!

I am pretty basic in the gear I use. I love these tank tops for warm days. I don't feel too exposed and they're super light and comfortable. I just got a couple of fun Nike tops that I like too.
My favorite bottoms are Lululemon running skirts and Nike tempo shorts (so many great colors!). No irritating, painful chafing with either, and they're great for errands too.

I have run in Asics shoes for as long as I can remember. These are my current ones, and I've been really happy with them because they are lightweight and have great cushioning.

My big ticket items are my running stroller and FitBit. I wear my FitBit Surge most of the time because I like to track steps and my heart rate, and this one has a GPS in it for distance.

The most crucial piece of the running puzzle is our Bob Duallie stroller. My mom bought gave me this at my baby shower, and it has been priceless. Once the little get the approval from your pediatrician, load them up and take off. The girls do really well in this stroller. I think they are comfortable, have freedom to kick their legs, can see where we're going, and have plenty of air flow. I also love the large canopies to keep them shaded, and there are storage options for snacks, drinks, and the occasional stuffed animal.

We often take this stroller on day trips because it's so easy to push and maneuver. I can't recommend this bad boy enough if you're a walker or runner. It's an investment, but they are high quality strollers that hold their value (good for eventual resale). Here is the singleton version of what I have.

As always, send any questions or comments my way. I'd be happy to share more details about anything I have talked about. Have a fabulous weekend -- cheers!

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