My Mini Pity Party: Mental Fatigue of a Running Mom

I know that we should never compare our sucesses to someone else’s, but, you know what, sometimes that’s very hard. I’ve been struggling with running lately. Physically, I’m actually doing okay, but mentally I’m not very confident. I’m watching people I’ve gone to school with and competed against qualifying for Boston (again!) and yet here I am plugging away, still very much in the middle of the pack. I feel like I should be faster, stronger, and accomplishing a lot more. But I also know that to get to where I want to be I have to put in a lot more effort, a lot more commitment. And, well, I guess I’m kinda bummed with myself for not being able to commit to something I care so much about.

I know they say that if you care about something you’ll make the time for it. But, what if you just can’t? I’ve read lots of articles about running and motherhood, but I feel like so many of them don’t apply to me. I don’t have a toddler I can take along in the jogging stroller; I have three! I can’t relish the quiet of the wee morning hours, pounding pavement as the sun comes up while the rest of my family sleeps; my husband is away on business during the week & I’m the only parent at home. I make do with the kids’ school schedules and getting in quality workouts in a short amount of time and really utilizing the weekends for my long runs, but I know I’m not taping out all of my potential.

I’ll come out and admit it; I’m jealous of other athletes. I’m jealous that they can afford personal coaches. I’m jealous that they have time for gym memberships. I’m jealous that they aren’t splitting running/kids/housecleaning/working. I’m certainly jealous of their health. I know I have a lot to work through; I have limited time, I’ve birthed four babies (the last one causing a stroke!), I’m pumping breastmilk every two hours. But man, that’s a lot of lame excuses!

Today I had a track workout; 1000 meter repeats. But the kids were all off from school for a school-wide administration/teacher meeting. This meant the kids had to come with me. (Thankfully it was a track workout and not a long run! Otherwise I’d not have been able to get any running in since they are too young to leave home alone.) But the high school ended up having a half day and the track team was on the track just as I finished my warm up. The kids were getting antsy and we were really in the way, so I cut my workout short. I stopped after only four repeats — half of what I wanted to accomplish. I left the track bummed. How am I going to get better if I can’t get all the work in? This is why I’m not fast. So-and-so isn’t toting around three small kids to track workouts — she can get any workout in any time she wants! And that’s why everyone is faster than me.

Okay. Enough of the Pity Party. I know I am my own person and will reach MY goals in my own way and on my own time. And I know I’ll get to Boston some day. I know I have to be realistic about my goals. Yes, I am three months post partum from a very traumatic birth, however, I am healthy and injury free. Will I BQ in my next marathon? Probably not. It’s okay though because I will get there. Should I beat myself up over things outside of my control? Should I really care where someone else is in life and how it affects their running goals? No, I really shouldn’t. I need to woman up, get over it & hit that track even harder. And that 1000m track workout? While incomplete, it was still a quality workout; strong, consistant, and on pace. I did a good job. When I compare myself to other runners what do I really see? I see a woman who is putting in a lot of work. I see a strong woman overcoming a lot of things. I see a woman with a bigger cheering section.

MA & Kids


One thought on “My Mini Pity Party: Mental Fatigue of a Running Mom

  1. I feel like I just read my own post! Thanks for sharing! I also am having difficulty with comparing myself to other (“far better”) runners after just having baby #3. Not a fun place to be. Keep trying! Your not alone in your frustration!


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