June 1 2015
Mary Barnett ran four races in one week following a mortar blast at her camp in Iraq.
After watching my father cross the finish line of his first marathon at age 50, I was inspired to give distance running a try.
At first, running more than 5 miles felt impossible, but I was determined to not give up, repeating, “Just put your shoes on and go!” until my feet fell into rhythm. Like my dad had for me, I wanted to set a healthy example for my two young daughters. It’s important for me to raise strong, healthy and determined girls who know anything is possible if you believe in yourself.
It wasn’t easy, but with the support of my friends and my husband, I was able to increase my mileage steadily. Being a mom comes with a packed schedule, but I treated my training like any other appointment. By scheduling my workout time (either early in the morning before my family woke up or around the track during my girls’ soccer practice), I found myself able to ensure it happened.
I’ve now finished four half marathons and one full—and this year I set a goal to complete 12 races by December. No matter the distance, I’m chasing the accomplished, strong feeling each finish line brings.
My children have followed in my footsteps—literally! After becoming the world’s greatest sideline cheerleaders, both of my girls were bitten by the racing bug and have competed in multiple triathlons, 5Ks and fun runs. My youngest even qualified for the IronKids National Triathlon Series at the age of 6!
MY BEST ADVICE: SCHEDULE TIME FOR YOURSELF.
As a mom and a wife, my world revolves around my family. It’s easy to fall into the trap of putting everyone else’s happiness above my own, but it’s important to resist that temptation. I don’t feel guilty about allotting time for myself, because being healthy allows me to be a better mom.