About 5 years ago, not long after giving birth to my first child, I joined a breastfeeding support group that played a huge role in surviving my first months –and years– of being a mom. There was a small group of us that ended up forming a playgroup. As our kids got older and welcomed new siblings, we’ve stuck together, celebrating our ups together and encouraging one another during our downs. This past month, the youngest member of the group turned 2 and for the first time in 5 years, none of us are in need of a nursing cover.
Last fall, one of the moms challenged the group to do the Hershey 10K together. I couldn’t commit right away because I knew that my husband and I wanted to go for baby number 3 so I had to play it by ear. Then, the miscarriage happened (you can read about it here). I decided to sign up for the race even though I planned to get pregnant again right away and figured that if I was in my first trimester and training, I would just do the best I could with the energy I had. It turns out that I didn’t get pregnant, but having something to train for and work towards was a good distraction for me…something to be excited about amidst the monthly disappointments that came my way.
Here’s the thing: a 10K (6.2 miles) might not be that big of a deal to some of you runners out there who have done marathons, but for me–someone who’s never wanted or needed to run more than 5 miles–it was an accomplishment. Not only was it a personal accomplishment after going through a miscarriage and turning 30* in the same year, but it was a unique thing for this group of moms to do together…something that seemed so un-achievable 5 years ago (because seriously, trying to run while having an infant was not happening for me–and please enlighten yourself and read about why here).
After I crossed the finish line my daughter said to me, “Mommy, you were fast!” I am so thankful that she was naive enough to speak that statement with such conviction, but all that mattered in that moment was that she just saw her mom accomplish something that was hard…emotionally and physically. What was once my nursing cover has now become my supermom cape. Running the mom race is hard, but it is worth all the sweat, tears, and sacrifice.
*I am actually 31 now, but being 30 was significant because when I turned 30 in 2015, I wanted to challenge myself in a new way. I achieved that goal before the race by running my fastest 3 miles (on my own time) and also by running the farthest I had ever run (6 miles during training). Thankfully, it happened while I was still 30 so I didn’t let myself down 🙂