Entering into my thirties feels like a big deal.
In my 20's, I lived in my first apartment, graduated undergrad, moved from my home state of Washington to Texas, met my now husband, completed my dietetic internship, graduated grad school, passed my registered dietitian (RD) exam, worked as a pediatric RD, got married, bought a house, changed jobs, had a baby, started staying home, moved homes, started this at-home entrepreneurship adventure, had another baby, and found myself here: as a wife, mom, registered dietitian, and #momtrepeneur trying to figure out how to wear a few hats and yet win at them all.
As I began to look towards my thirties, I quickly knew a goal I wanted to achieve that somehow encompassed a bit of everything:
I don't know where the idea originated. I only know that as soon as it came to me, I decided to give it life and share it with my husband. It was then that I knew I wanted to see where the journey will take me.
A journey of fitness, family, and faith, as I already so fervently pursue food.
What is #30RacesInMy30s
#30RacesInMy30s is a goal I have to run thirty races throughout the decade of my thirties. These may include family fun runs, 5K, 10K, half marathons, and marathons. The goal isn't as much the distance nor the pace, but rather the experience, the engagement with others, and the opportunity to encourage those around me in the process. I don't have each of them picked out yet, but the model of what I am wanting to do is starting to fall into place.
My Whys for Running #30RacesInMy30s
With daughters who are currently one and three years old, it is hugely motivating to me to raise them to be healthy, strong, confident, courageous, and secure young women. It baffles me though every time I try to think about the little ladies they will become over the next 10 years. I think to all the ways they will change and begin to develop their own habits for fitness, self-talk, establishing their sense of self-worth, and lifestyles between now and the time I turn 40. My aim in doing #30RacesInMy30s is to role model for them what an active, healthy lifestyle I ACTUALLY ENJOY looks like. I want to instill in them the desire to pursue an active, healthy lifestyle for themselves in life - whatever that looks like. I hope that in my commitment to race an average of three races per year, they will have the opportunity to watch and/or run with me while enjoying the experience of being active with family and friends.
Furthermore, the aim to run #30RacesInMy30s is to promote family adventures, unplugged experiences, and life-shaping memories. As a small business owner, my husband has never taken a full week off of work. For our family, it is more common that we take a three- or maybe four-day weekend to go and enjoy somewhere away from home. My aim in running #30RacesInMy30s is that this will spur us to plan family vacations around the dates and places of these races and/or fun runs. All while allowing us to go, explore, run, experience, and appreciate any family time we get together - even if it is packed into an extended weekend.
Many people don't know this about me, but before I moved to Houston, I was not what you would call a runner. I would go for a run with a sorority sister on a rare occasion in college, but that was the extent of it. It wasn't until I worked at the Houston marathon in 2010 that I experienced my first eye-opening experience to the world of running. Seeing people of all different shapes, sizes, and fitness levels run marathons inspired me that maybe I could run one too. When I learned about the opportunity to, "Run for a Reason," I instantly knew that was the only mission I needed to start moving - literally. That next summer, I signed up for the Houston marathon as part of Team Living Water. For the next five months, I worked my way up from being able to run three miles to 26.2. Then in January 2011, I completed my first marathon. In February 2011, I qualified for Boston. I then went on to run three more marathons prior to having our daughter in January of 2014. Each time, running for a reason.
The opportunity to raise thousands of dollars for worthy charities compelled every race I ran. More importantly, it helped me persevere through all of the training each required. There was discomfort, pain, and tiredness in the planning and preparation. Running for a reason that was so much bigger than myself however made each mile pass by with more perspective. It gave me the courage and conviction I needed to just. keep. going. Now as I enter into my thirties and plan to run #30RacesInMy30s, I am prayerfully considering how I may continue to use my physical abilities in a way that could be a blessing to others.
As a marathon runner before kids, I have longed to return to my days of running. Between exclusively pumping with each of our girls to staying home with them full-time, I haven't felt the time was right yet for me to invest in another season of marathon training. While I would like to run at least one more marathon in my life, I am not yet fixating on that being my main goal with #30RacesInMy30s. More so, my goal is to inspire ongoing fitness for myself, with my family, among friends, and in others.
For myself, I want my thirties to be a decade on ongoing health. While I know I will be getting older, I appreciate how this commitment will keep me accountable to staying active as part of a healthy lifestyle. While I may never run in the Boston marathon, I look forward to challenging myself to find other metrics for "success" with my own personal fitness. For my family, I love the agelessness of running. Already at three, my oldest daughter shows a big interest in running. I love that whether we have the girls in the stroller or they are able to participate alongside me (and my husband), we will be able to find fun races to run together as a family and/or mom-daughter duo. As I have already seen in preparing for this first race with two fellow mom friends, this is also a great way to be active while also getting some "adult time." While most of my training occurs on my own, there is something so infectious about being able to create running communities with others. Where my friend's faced limiting beliefs in their training, I have been so honored to act as both accountability and encouragement. As again moms, it is just so important for us to be active, believe we can do hard things, push ourselves to new levels of fitness, and find out how to have fun in the process. I love how I see this already happening with my first race.
Where am I going next?
Race number one is this weekend! To kick off my thirties right, the first of my #30RacesInMy30s will be this Sunday, 4/23 - one day after my 30th birthday. I am lucky enough to have two dear friends who agreed to do this with me! As a self-proclaimed "non-runner" and "non-exerciser" up until 14 weeks ago, I have to publicly say how proud I am of these two who willingly agreed to run this first race to me. It speaks volumes to the friends they are to entertain this idea let alone stick it out to run alongside me for the actual race!
Even before we run this weekend, the process til now has reminded me about why I wanted to do this to begin with.
- For family. Here we are now getting to go to Galveston for a long weekend at the beach with both of my daughter's "best friends" and their families. These other four girls are the friends my daughters will grow up down the street from and build friendships with for years to come. It is a privilege to run with their moms (my friends) and for us to show our girls as a whole how we choose to push ourselves, stay healthy, and support one another.
- For faith: Getting up to run is one of my favorite times to come before the Lord. While praying in the early AM for an at home "quiet time" often makes me fall back asleep, there is something so unrushed and energizing about being in conversation with God while I run. To hear how God has used the training for this race in my friend's lives is also a joy to witness. This truly reaches beyond running.
- For fitness: Besides pushing me to stick with a training plan for the past 14 weeks, almost nothing gets me more excited than to see others also achieve new levels of fitness they had otherwise always assumed they would never or could never do. It creates a community of healthy, active moms that I am grateful to daily do life around!
Which recommendations do you have?
As stoked as I am to share this little piece of my life with you, I would also love any input you have! I am starting to map out different ideas for races I want to include on my #30RacesInMy30s list. I would LOVE to hear if you have any favorites for 5K, 10K, half, or full marathons. It could be family-friendly and/or adult-only. And if it just so happens to be in your part of the country (or somewhere you want to travel to), consider coming to run that race with me!
Be it a specific race or a recommended place, PLEASE comment below or on any of my #30RacesInMy30s social media posts! I would love to add your suggestions to the race itinerary unfolding for over the next decade.