Moms that Run , Runners that Mom: Stacey

We are highlighting #motherrunner journeys over the next 2 weeks. In sharing these beautiful and challenging stories, we are reminded to move forward with compassion. Everyone’s experience with motherhood (and LIFE) is different… compassion for all mothers, mothers to be, mothers who have lost babies, and those trying to conceive. There is far more than meets the eye when it comes to judging another person. We hope reading the stories over the next two weeks moves your heart, inspires you to keep lacing up, motivates you to make time for yourself so you can be the best for others, and help another mother out whenever possible. We are stronger and better together.
Thank you for sharing your journey with us! Let’s get chat…
Hi! I’m Stacey! I’m married to this guy Jeremy, and we have 3 fantastic kids, Kailyn (girl) -13, Aidyn (boy) -8, and Liam (boy) -3. We have been married for about 5 years, I had my two older kids when I met him and he had 3 dogs! Ha! Together, we have 3 kids and 4 dogs, quite the busy house, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
She.is.beautiful: When did you start running and what inspired your entry to this movement?
 Stacey: I started running a little over 2 years ago. I had just stopped nursing my son and put on about 10-15 pounds because I of course continued to eat like I was nursing. I was unhappy with how I felt and how I looked. I would sit in the shower and cry because of how unhappy I was with myself. I actually got started with my weight loss through one of beach body’s programs, and on the days it didn’t have cardio, I found myself wanting to add it in, so I started running.
 
SIB: If you ran before having kids, how has your relationship with running changed since becoming a mother?
Stacey: I did not run before having kids, I had my daughter when I was 16, so my relationship with running has always been as a mom. Now with 3 kids, 4 dogs and a husband running is my time, I know a lot of moms/people say that, but its more than just alone time, it is my time to prove to myself I can do more than just cook, clean, and the normal day to day activities.
 
SIB: What has been or is your biggest challenge with running since having children?
I would say our schedules. During the week I am up around 3:45-4AM depending on the run for that day, I have to be at work by 6AM.
My husband and I work opposite shifts and he goes in at 4PM and gets off at 1AM in bed around 2-3, and then usually he’s up by 7AM to get the kids ready for school and dropped off, since I am already at work, that way I can pick up Aidyn from school and go home so he can go to work! On the weekends, my husband keeps the kids while I long run on Saturdays, and on Sundays I usually run with my 3 year old in the stroller and my 8 year old on his bike so my husband can “sleep in” one day!  

SIB: How has having child/children changed your relationship with your body?
Stacey: HA! Lets just say things are not in the same place they used to be and I definitely have to make sure my bladder is empty before running, whew!
I struggled to learn to love the stretch marks and stretched skin on my stomach, and some days still do struggle with it. I am trying to convince myself to run in a crop top in my next marathon, mainly because I want to teach myself to REALLY love my body and ALL that it has done and does for me.  

SIB: What do you admire most about other moms?
Stacey: I think I always look at other moms and think man they really have it all together, and then I talk to them, and they are REAL, they tell me they don’t have it all together. They too forget to sign a school paper, or struggle to fit it all in some days, and I really admire the honesty. I think in society today we are all so focused on looking perfect for everyone else, when all we really want are other Moms that understand our struggle. So for me, I admire the honesty.
 
SIB: How have your children inspired you (in running or in life)?
Stacey: I want my kids to believe that they can achieve anything they want with dedication and determination, and I want to be the one to show them that, they inspire me to keep going, to keep working hard for my dreams, so I can show them to work for theirs. I want them to know, no dream is to big, EVER! Last year, I set out to run my first marathon, I told everyone I was going to qualify for Boston, and they kind of laughed, they said it is your first marathon, just run it, try to qualify on your next one. I wasn’t okay with that answer, so I ran that marathon and I got a qualifying time for Boston, however, I missed the actual cut off to get IN by 40 seconds, so I had to try again. I was crushed and I shared all of this with my kids, so for the next year I focused on getting faster, and stronger, my kids watched some of my races, and listened to the good days and the bad. This year, I ran the same marathon, and qualified for Boston with almost a 15 minute buffer! 
 
SIB: What is something you are proud of in your running and something you are proud of as a mom?
Stacey: I would say teaching my kids to live a healthy lifestyle, not just with exercise but with nutrition. When I started running, I had a very poor diet and so did my kids. Since then we have changed our diet to a clean 80/20 plan. I still let them be kids and they get their share of ice cream or chips, I mean don’t get me wrong, I get my share of ice cream too! I wanted them to have the tools, and the knowledge to keep eating clean and filling their little bodies with good foods even after they are grown and on their own!
As a runner, I would say I am ecstatic about my qualifying time for Boston. It is just one of those dreams, you dream about through every training run or every long ride in the car, ya know, it just seemed so far away and so unrealistic for me.  

SIB: What is the best advice you have for other runner moms or runner moms-to-be?
NEVER GIVE UP, I know you read that everywhere, you see it everywhere and you are probably tired of it. Its one of the most common phrases used, but it’s so powerful. Whether it takes you 6 months, a year, or years to reach your goal, to get where you want to be keep working for it. Keep going, you will never get there if you quit. Take the bad days/runs and learn from them. BE FLEXIBLE, life happens, and there is no mile more important than your family. You may have to push your run back to later that day, or move it up to earlier in the morning, or you may have to save it for the next day, and that is OKAY. Don’t let your workout take control over your happiness.
 
Fill in the sentence “I mom so hard I_________________!
 
Stacey: I mom so hard I HAVE TO RUN!
Follow Stacey’s #motherrunner journey on Instagram @leowiferunnermom
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