Heart and Soles: Katie

Just a few short weeks ago, a fellow Mama completed her first full marathon – the Philadelphia Marathon.  Exhilarated and exhausted, this Mama trained hard and finished strong. She’s an inspiration to a lot of the gals in our running club. she’s always ready with an encouraging word.  The best thing about Katie is that you meet her smile and her passion first every time you see her.  She exudes joy in each moment, which is always a breath of fresh air.  I believe that joy and passion was a big part of her successful completion of her first marathon.  Even after breaking her foot around mile 20, this Mama did not give up and she crossed the finish line hand in hand with her brother to greet the rest of her family.  Introducing, Katie.

SM: So, Katie, you’re a working Mama of 2, what do you find most rewarding and challenging about motherhood – especially working motherhood?

Katie: The most challenging aspect about motherhood would have to be time! There’s never enough of it.  Plus, I work second shift full time, which means long nights and early mornings.  The most rewarding thing about motherhood in general would definitely be the love I feel from my kids – they are so lovey dovey and love to snuggle with me, and it makes everything worth it. The most rewarding thing about working motherhood is knowing that I am providing a good example for my children – especially for my daughter – of how to work hard and do what you are passionate about.

SM: What brings you balance in your life?

Katie: Exercise definitely brings a lot of balance to my life.  It’s something I can do that belongs to me, and I don’t have anyone needing anything from me. Church and my faith help me keep balance as well, reminding me about what truly is important and where to stay focused.

SM: You’re also an endurance athlete with many triathlons and long runs under your belt.  To date, what’s the longest event you’ve completed?

Katie: Well, I have only done one triathlon! So the one triathlon I did was an Olympic distance one, which was a 1 mile swim, a 25 mile bike, and a 10K run. That took around 3 ½ hours, but it didn’t feel that long! So the marathon would definitely be the longest event I’ve completed – and plan on completing EVER – to date! That took me a little over 5 hours to finish.

SM: What is your favorite type of event and why?

Katie: I grew up playing soccer, so that sport will always have my heart as my favorite.  However, in the races I’ve completed, my favorite would have to be the marathon.  I just found the entire experience to be so life-changing – from the training to the race itself.  The Philly Marathon was just an incredible experience, with the gigantic cheering crowds, thousands of runners, and of course the fact that you are running “26 point freaking 2” miles!

SM: Tell us about your marathon training – I remember once you said it was a lot like being pregnant.  What were the challenges and rewards? What did you learn about yourself in the process?

Katie: It did remind me of being pregnant! I was tired all the time (I took a lot of naps), my feet constantly ached, and I had cravings for carbs.  But I still loved it.  The challenges were finding the time – by the end, the long training runs took over 3 hours, which of course meant someone had to watch my kids for me.  There were rewards in the satisfaction of knowing that my body could do something so difficult, and in knowing that my mind could overcome the mental challenges as well.  There were always rewards in that I was burning a ton of calories!

SM: Yeesh. I don’t know that I could do it. Mad props to you, Mama.   Do you have a gross or hilarious “on the run” story to share (i.e. getting the trots, peeing on the bike – wink wink)?

Katie: You know me too well! I am disgusting.  So, during the triathlon, I had to pee during the bike course.  There were no portable bathrooms along the course, so my options were pretty much get off of the bike and pee in the woods…or pee on my bike.  Since I am already slow enough on the bike as it is, and I was already wet from the swim, I chose to pee while riding the bike.

Don’t judge me.

SM:  Ew, Katie. But I get it…I’ve peed in my wet suit when it was dry because I was nervous and it was going to get wet anyway.  A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. What makes you get out the door and run?

Katie:  I just love the endorphins I get from running.  I get a crazy kick of them after I go for a run, and I crave that feeling.  So, even when I really don’t want to, I know that I will feel better after a run – that motivates me to get off my butt.

SM: I love the endorphins too, it’s my drug of choice.  What do you find the most rewarding and the most challenging about being a runner?

Katie: The most rewarding is realizing how strong my body is and realizing what I am capable of.  I like watching myself improve through hard work – there’s something about the discipline of training that I enjoy thoroughly. The challenges are definitely the injuries.  I got stress fractures in my right heel twice from running, the most recently this past May.  Then, during the marathon, I broke my left foot (another stress fracture).  I’m not sure if I am prone to stress fractures more than others, or if there’s something I need to change, but it seems like I am injured about every 6 months.

SM:What are your goals for parenthood and for running or triathleting (I just made that word up)? Are they interrelated?

Katie: Well, my goals for parenting are to raise my children to be empathetic, thoughtful, strong, happy individuals with a solid foundation of faith in Christ. (SM interjection: LOVE this parenting goal) I’m not even sure of my goals in running/triathleting…other than that I want to keep doing it! I already know I want to run another full marathon (probably the Philly one again since I loved it so much) and I certainly want to do another triathlon.  I maybe maybe maybe want to possibly do a half Ironman. We will see…

SM: You could totally do a half Ironman, you’re a beast (I mean that in a good way)!  What’s a great piece of advice you’ve picked up along the way for both parenthood and running that you can share with others?

Katie: For parenthood, don’t forget to have some “me time.” It helps me be a better mom when I allow myself to get away for a little, even if it’s just to go grocery shopping!  For running, stretch and foam roll.  And always pee on your bike. 🙂 

Thank you, Marathon Mama, for always inspiring us to keep moving forward!

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About Soleful Mamas

Powered by sunshine and friendship, Soleful Mamas is half support group/half running club. Our tribe is committed to empowering women of all ages and abilities one mile at a time. We are committed to inspiring those around us to live stronger, healthier, and more confident lives through the power of running and adventure experiences. We'd love for you to join us! We want all Mamas to know that as you blaze your trail of awesomeness, we're with you every step of the way!

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