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Amanda Lamb: Running, training for life

Posted March 10, 2013

Editor's Note: Amanda Lamb is first up in our runner moms series, which we launched last week. Click here for past posts about it!

I’m a late bloomer when it comes to running. Sure, I ran when I was in my 20s here and there, but it wasn’t until the time crunch of parenthood entered my life that I realized running was my thing.

This didn’t happen overnight. I fought it, hard. But then I finally came to the realization that I didn’t have enough time to do anything else. I also realized that I could do it anywhere, anytime, even when I traveled.

I also discovered it was a social sport. I have a longtime running partner and a weekend running group. But the best part of running for me as a busy mother is SANITY. Nothing, I mean nothing, clears my head like a good long run.

I still consider myself a recreational runner, but I do have five half-marathons under my belt in addition to a number of shorter local races. Recently, I have had an injury which has temporarily sidelined me from my daily runs. I have filled the void with swimming and biking, but it’s not the same. 

I returned to the open road with my first long run a week ago. Uncharacteristically, I found myself alone with only my iPod for company on the eleven mile journey. But I wasn’t lonely, not at all. Instead, I discovered that I had rare space and time to think, something busy mothers rarely get. Over the years, I have worked out many of my biggest issues running. Amanda Lamb in race

In addition to the valuable thinking time, at the end of a long run, I feel a sense of accomplishment that is unmatched by most of my small daily victories.

And, probably, the most important part of running, of course, is the health benefits. I don’t just mean the physical aspect, but the mental strength that one gets from knowing you can do something physically challenging.

When I am having a bad day, I take a deep breath and think: I can run 13.1 miles. And without giving my age away, when I enter a race these days, the number of women in my age group is steadily dwindling. If I keep it up, I figure I may even place in the top tier one day.

I have even introduced my girls to running, entering them in 5K’s every once in a while for charity. This has been met with mixed results, as they don’t run on a regular basis, and find even three miles pretty challenging. But, I always encourage them to try, even if they have to walk.

Sometimes, my girls complain about me going for a run when they would rather have me at home. But I explain to them that if they want Mommy to be healthy and be around for as long as possible, they need to allow me time to exercise. Ultimately, I hope as they get older, this will be a hobby we will share.

I plan to do a half-marathon in a few days, but for the most part, when someone asks me what I am training for, the answer is simple, “for life.”

Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including three on motherhood and one for children. Find her here on Mondays.

7 Comments

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  • massage13 Mar 12, 2013

    UNC1985, I am running the half this weekend, I just did the Princess Half in February, so this was not on my plan at all. I will be slogging with a friend, looking for a 3:30 finish. Maybe we can meet at the beer garden later. I'll post bib number once I receive it

  • nativeNCgrl Mar 11, 2013

    way to go! I too am a mother that has really found my way to running after having a kid. I find it is often the only 'me' time I have, and I cherish every second. For anyone who is intimidated, start with the couch to 5k program (you can google it). It will gradually work you up from walking with short bursts of running, to running with small stretches of walking, to finally completely running. It doesn't matter what your pace is, just getting out there and doing it is a thrill, joy, and challenge.

  • 321oohaw Mar 11, 2013

    keep an eye out for Forest Gump, I heard he is still out there running.

  • Obamacare rises Mar 11, 2013

    Amanda is soo sexy!

  • UNC1985 Mar 11, 2013

    ditto re: another mother runner
    If you are running the Tobacco Road half this Sunday I will say hello as you pass me :)

  • Uhavenoclu Mar 11, 2013

    I travel a-lot and everywhere I go I see many people,mainly women and mothers running,some running with their dogs others just running on their own or with a few others.
    Exercise is good for stress or after a long day at work or if you are having problems for like you said it does clear your mind and relaxes you.Many people run or work out just so they can look better without looking at the other benefits,like a healthy body or stress reliever.

  • massage13 Mar 11, 2013

    Amanda, you need to check out another mother runner. A group of Mother Runners. They are an awesome group of women, of which I am one. Women, mother's who run, for life, sanity, peace of mind and just peace. Check them out. They are also on facebook.