The #WhatARunnerLooksLike Wednesday series features everyday women runners and their real thoughts on running, their accomplishments, struggles and bodies. We created this series as a way to help ordinary women runners tell their extraordinary stories. We have been inspired by the stories of other women runners and received much strength to know that we are not alone in our struggles. Some interviews are silly, some are long, some are short, and some are profound. We hope you enjoy, and if you’re interested in sharing your #WhatARunnerLooksLike story with us or know someone in your running circles that has an inspiring story to share, simply use this online form to submit your story.
This week’s #WhatARunnerLooksLike Wednesday feature is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and mom of 3 Deborah from @torrey_fisher_rdn.
Women’s Running Community (WRC): What Made You Take Up Running?
Deborah (D): I didn’t start seriously running until after having my kids. I’m a mom of three, two biological and one adopted. I continually struggle with not feeling “enough” as a mother, and in a way, running silences my doubts and fears. Every step, every mile—something within me is worked out, and I always come back to the house a better, more confident mother than when I left.
WRC: What Do You Love About Your Body?
D: I love my legs. I love their silent strength and resilience. I love that underneath their stretch marks and loose skin, there’s this powerful force that runs marathons and chases little ones all day long.
WRC: How Has Running Helped You Appreciate Your Body?
D: Running has helped me lose interest in the AESTHETICS of my body and come to love the STRENGTH and TALENT of my body. I don’t think anyone cares about stretch marks or cellulite when you’re finishing a marathon. I’ve come to care more about what my body is capable of and not how “skinny” or “fit” it looks.
WRC: How Has Running Helped You Physically, Mentally, Emotionally, and/or
Generally In Your Life?
D: Running has turned my health and weakness focus into positives instead of negatives: I want to eat more to fuel my body, not count calories to cut weight; I want to workout to get stronger and faster, not to be skinnier. Everything about running makes me feel capable and confident. It builds me up, it doesn’t tear me down.
WRC: What Do You Think About When You’re Running?
D: Everything 🙂 My kids, my husband, my fears, etc. I work out so much emotionally when I run. Every mile feels like it quenches a doubt or an insecurity or a worry. Once I “run it out”, it’s gone. I don’t carry it back in the house with me.
WRC: What Do You Love Most About Running?
D: I love that you can always progress. You never have to be stagnant with running. You can always have a bigger goal, another race. It grows as much as you do as a person.
WRC: What’s Your Favorite Part Of Being A Runner?
D: Race day 🙂 And inspiring people. I feel like there’s something deep inside us that is remarkably inspired by other runners. Their drive, determination, perseverance, love for their sport—I feel like it inspires every human being to see that. And I love when I get to be that for others. It’s such a privilege.
WRC: Do You Engage In Other Sports or Activities? If So, What And How Often?
D: I don’t, but I totally should. I do strength training, especially core work to try regaining some of my core strength back from my pregnancies. I don’t do it enough though!
WRC: How Do You Stay Motivated When You Don’t Want To Run?
D: I personally do well with a training plan that I have to physically check off. It drives me crazy when I skip a run and the scheduled run for that day stays unchecked on my training calendar. I also find a lot of motivation from my IG running community, and am often inspired by their runs for the day!
WRC: Most Memorable Race Or Running Accomplishment?
D: I ran my first full marathon 7 months after our last son was born. I signed up right after he was born. I didn’t want my postpartum season to be riddled with the mind-games that our society throws at you after having a baby, i.e. the pressure to NOT look like you just had a baby when you did in fact JUST have a baby. I wanted to take control of my postpartum season and make it something bigger, something more positive. I wanted to focus on accomplishing this huge goal of my first full marathon, not be consumed with fitting into my pre-pregnancy jeans. I cried as I crossed the finish line and saw my 7 month old smile at me when he found me. I cried as I grabbed my stomach to catch my breath and felt loose skin and for the first time didn’t care, because that body I was touching just completed one of the most challenging tasks in the world. It was the greatest moment of my running career.
WRC: What Is Your Best Tip Or Advice For A Newbie Runner?
D: Make a plan, stick with it, and screw comparisons with other runners. I feel like most new runners quit because they didn’t plan their runs, they lacked consistency, or they just felt so “far behind” more elite runners that they get discouraged and stop.
WRC: What’s Your Favorite Affirmation?
D: You are more than enough 💛