I like to take walks. My daughters are 2 and 5, and when the oldest is in preschool for the mornings, I often break out the stroller and my headphones and walk with the little one around the neighborhood (sometimes we even get fancy and hit the Lakewalk!). She’s always on the go now, so I’m not sure how much longer she’s going to let me clip her in and make her sit. Already she begs to make a stop at one of the area playgrounds, and while I’m happy to see her be active, it seriously cuts into my own time to put in some brisk steps.
Of course, we’re also nearing the end of the school year and I’ll soon have both my kiddos with me for the entire day (GULP!); my sweet little morning walk schedule will have to change. It begs the question: How am I going to continue to get the active “me” time I need?
I feel like I’m finally surfacing from the haze of parenting infants and babies; my girls are now fairly independent and I’m running out of excuses to not channel that extra energy back into myself. What’s more, I want to feel good–both physically and mentally–because moms need all the fortitude they can get in order to be their best and healthiest selves.
When I heard the news that a local mom, Candy, was starting a Moms on the Run program here in Duluth, I was intrigued. Candy is effervescent and passionate; she exudes an enthusiasm for Moms on the Run that’s completely addictive. Of course, she’s got the chops and experience to see the area program move from humble beginnings and establish it as a major player in the Duluth fitness community.
Part of a large running group when she lived in Tennessee, Candy searched for a similar opportunity when her family decided to move to Duluth. She found Moms on the Run, which was started in Forest Lake, MN back in 2008, and has since grown to include groups in over 40 cities across 6 states. Duluth wasn’t on the list of current cities, but Candy loved the mission so much that she scooped up the franchise before she even touched down in Duluth.
With a focus on self-care, comradeship, and fitness that fits all abilities, Moms on the Run offers an 18-week running season training specifically designed to get participators geared up for 5k races. The sessions include weekly courses on both interval and endurance training. Because they know that moms need flexibility when it comes to their schedules, the training courses are offered three times a week. Go to one, push for two, or commit to all three. There is no wrong way to participate.
The current season has just begun, so I encourage you to check it out and sign up ASAP. You’ll work with fellow moms and women–as well as a certified coach–to get you up, moving, and feeling accomplished. You. A 5k. Who would have thought, right?
In conjunction with the spring/summer running sessions, Moms on the Run offers off-season training (because we all know how fleeting the spring and summer is here in Duluth!).
Of course, the real heart of Moms on the Run doesn’t lie in the fitness training. Those things give you strength, confidence, and the knowledge that you and your health is worth investing in, but it’s the relationships you build with your fellow runners that keep you coming back week after week. You and the other local moms may attend trainings individually, driving in from your separate homes and lives, but once you take those first steps together, you become a true team.
When I corresponded with Candy, we got to talking about some of her safety tips for running in public, and she said this: “Don’t be an easy target. Look at everyone you pass by and say hello so they know that you see them and can ID them if need be. And if they mean you no harm? Your smile may be the bright spot of their day!”
And while the advice is awesome, what I love most about it is that it takes a potentially nerve-wrecking topic–how to stay safe while you run–and turns it into a way to spread warmth and inclusion to fellow community members. That’s exactly what Moms on the Run seeks to do: banish the jitters that come with trying something new and different, and welcome you with open arms.