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Where are my shoes? – Realities for Running Moms

Don't forget the baby!

Don’t forget the baby!

My usual pre-race routine has always been fairly straightforward:

  1. Pin on race number.
  2. Affix timing chip to shoe.
  3. On the night before, hang up the gear for the next morning.
  4. Charge the iPod.
  5. Ensure the larder is stocked for a proper breakfast – milk, muesli, bread, bananas.
  6. Set the alarm clock to a time approximately 1 to 2 hours before my ride/ planned departure time.
  7. Leave home, all hyped up for a great run!

Motherhood completely changes everything:

  1. Oh yeah, I’ve got to pin on the race number, right? Better get on with it. I’ve been spending way too much time choosing a suitable top that won’t have me looking like I’m a couple of months pregnant still.
  2. Affix timing chip to shoe… wait, where are my shoes?
  3. My gear is somewhere in these two piles of clothes… now which one was the top that I finally picked out?
  4. Where is the charging cable? Where is my iPod? No, wait, this is not the correct cable.
  5. Oh I’ll think of breakfast when it’s time for breakfast. I’m sure there’s something edible in the fridge.
  6. The Alarm
    (Nursing moms typically have their 24-hour daily existence compartmentalised into 4-hour segments when the baby asks for a feed. And hardly any sleep in between.)

    (a) Count the number of approximate 4-hour intervals between present time and planned wake-up time.
    (b) Set alarm accordingly at the interval which is convenient for waking up to feed and get ready for the run .
    (c) But of course, set a second alarm 5 minutes later to make sure you don’t miss the first.
    (d) Set a third alarm 5 minutes after that – this is in case you need to wake the husband.
    (e) Tell the husband that if he hears his alarm ring uninterrupted, he is to wake up and use all means necessary to wake you, lest the delicate balance of biological cycles are disrupted resulting in you ending up with a DNS, whereupon all hell will break loose.
    (f) Expect all hell to break loose.
  7. Getting Out
    (a) Ok, where are the freakin’ shoes? Ok, here. Right, let’s put on the timing chi… is that the baby crying?
    (b) Right, she wants me. Fine, fine……
    (c) ….. not fine. Now there’s pee all over my vest.
    (d) All right, calm down. What’s the second-best top in the pile that doesn’t make me look pregna… OH NEVERMIND, I’ll look fat anyway. This random one in an unforgiving colour will have to do. Whatever. Sheesh. Can’t a mom just go out and run?
    (e) I really need to go now! Shoes… ok. Ta!
  8. BONUS! 
    In the car, on the way to race:
    Hang on a minute. My timing chip…

Ed. (May 2016): Want more takes on running and motherhood? Here’s a drawing – ‘The Mother Runner’ which I did for Running Toons on Mother’s Day 2016!

About speedshuffle (75 Articles)
Wen Li is a runner, blogger, mother, educator and artist. She is the Co-Founder and Cartoonist of Malaysia's first comic strip on running, Running Toons ( and is a Compressport Ambassador. Her running story was featured in Marie Claire Malaysia's April 2016 issue alongside several other notable women running bloggers. She runs wherever the road takes her, come scorching sunshine, stifling humidity or relentless rain (and preferably to a Nasi Lemak breakfast!). Apart from pounding the asphalt, she also enjoys hiking and pilates, and is now attempting CrossFit!

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