Follow This Mother!
Katie Edwards of South Glastonbury, CT is one seriously speedy BAMR—she PR’d AND snagged first place female overall with a finish time of 2:57:57 at this month’s Harrisburg, Pa. marathon. Katie, a stay-at-home mom to Alexandra, 6, Anna, 5, and Luke, 2, has her eyes on spring and fall marathons (she’s not sure which ones just yet) and along with improving her speed in shorter distances, she imagines one day testing her endurance running ultras with her husband, who is a veteran of 50- and 100-mile races.
Best recent run: Believe it or not, and I hate to admit this, but it would probably be my 10-mile run last week, on the treadmill, that started at 4:45 a.m.! Crazy, but that was my first double-digit run after the Harrisburg Marathon—I had no plan, and it was awesome. It gave me enough endorphins to last the week!
Sub-3 hour marathon finish (!): The biggest thing it meant for me is that it showed me that I can set big, seemingly unachievable or difficult goals, and achieve them! Running became tangible, in a sense. It really showed me that the sky is the limit and it made me feel like I have the running world at my fingertips, like I’ve only just begun. It was kind of surreal to hit that goal time, especially after the chaos of New York City Marathon not happening. It was a goal that for so long was a number floating out there so far away. It became mine. That was amazing.
Good races…and not-so-good races: My two most recent marathons before Harrisburg were a 3:21 and a 3:42, and in my mind, neither of those should have happened. They were brutally ugly races for me, physically and mentally. Six months prior, I had run a 3:11, four weeks after a 3:17 marathon. I got ambitious and it was too much, too soon. But those races made me the runner I am right now. They taught me to listen to my body over any plan or over what I feel like I should be doing because I see other runners training a certain way or running higher mileage.
Getting faster: A BIG thing that I think helped me gain speed was taking it slow on the easy/recovery days and working harder and faster than I ever did on the workout days. The easy days allowed me to have some of my fastest workouts I had ever done. The other thing would be patience and trusting the plan. At the beginning of training for this past marathon, I could not see how I was going to run a PR marathon, let alone sub 3. But I followed through, worked hard and trusted the plan.
Hot (pink) socks: I generally wear compression socks for races. Unless it’s very warm out, then I leave them. For one thing, I just love how they look and how they make me feel, which is fast. I am one of those people who truly believes if you feel good in what you are wearing, you will work out better, harder, stronger, happier. Maybe that’s what justifies my lululemon habit. More importantly, I think they help with circulation while running and recovery after. Especially in 26.2 miles, those muscles and the blood flow can use all the help they can get!
Faithful running: I’ve often said that running keeps me whole. It brings all those things that make me move and exist and makes it work for me—my physical being, my mental state, and my spiritual being. I am a faith-filled person and running gives me that time to pray, be quiet with myself, think. Running is mine. It gives me wings to see how far I can take myself, it lets me challenge myself to the max, in running and life. It makes me a better mother, for sure. It keeps me grounded, patient and sane!