Follow This Mother!

Setting great example for her five kids: Gina before (at ~225) and now at 167 pounds

Gina Mooney is a member of the Run Like a Mother: The Book Facebook tribe—she recently posted a photo of herself wearing a Run Like a Mother Bondi Band. Despite only taking up running about 15 months ago, Gina won her age group and was second woman overall in a recent 5K near her home in Seminary, Mississippi. Even so, find out why her blog is called Slow Is the New Fast.

Best recent run: A 7.7- mile one because I felt great!!  I didn't set my Nikeplus for a certain time or distance (something I normally do), and it was liberating. I also used visualization on my way over to the paved trail where I run, imagining it being a great run—and it was. The flowers were blooming; as I zoomed along the trail, it was the most amazing feeling to smell the flowers and not be gasping for air. I felt so strong at the end that if I could have, I would have gone much, much farther (had to get home to kiddos, though).

Gina sporting her hard-won hardware.

Slow is the new fast:Compared to many runners, I’m slow, but I remind myself I’ve only been running since February 2010. I have “speed envy” when I see other runners breezing effortlessly past me in races or even when I read posts about fast run times. But in the last few months, something has finally clicked, and I’ve been consistently putting up some really impressive numbers...for me. I PR’d three weeks in a row at three different 5K races. (32:04, 31:08, 29:47). While these race times would make most fast runners hang up their running shoes for good, it was a miracle for me! I’m owning my newfound “speed,” so Slow is the New Fast seemed an appropriate name for my blog.

Dropping pounds—and depression: I became depressed after the birth of my fourth child, who is now five years old. My doctor put me on antidepressants, but they didn’t make me feel much better. Because I still felt bad, I began to gain weight and because I gained weight, I felt even worse! Before I knew it, I was on more than one blood pressure medication plus the antidepressants. I was miserable. When I got pregnant with youngest daughter (now 1 year old), I actually began losing weight while I was pregnant. It wasn’t intentional--I think it was because I was off the meds. After I having her, the weight started coming off because I was nursing and started walking. I started running when she was six months old, and I’ve now lost roughly 57 pounds. It hurts me to look back and see how unhealthy I’d become because I’d always been the “tall, skinny” girl when I was younger. I’ve decided now I don’t have to be skinny. I just want to be the strong and healthy mom! I hope my blog will help other moms realize they can accomplish this, too.

Gina and her beloved booster/husband, Jason.

One for each finger: Juggling five children is not easy, but it can be done!! The hardest thing is they are all at different stages of development [age range 1.5-19 years]. I have to switch from “changing diapers and watching ‘Sesame Street’” mode to “Why haven’t you cleaned your room and be home by 10” mode. I have one child who has just learned to walk, one who is learning to read, one who is struggling in the stage of leaving childhood and being a teenager, one who’s nearly ready to graduate high school, and one that’s right on the cusp of adulthood. Having such an age gap can make things easier at times, too. My older kids are very sweet to the little ones and help me out tremendously. My oldest daughter has been key to me being able to run during the day. I would have never gotten in all of my miles for my half marathon training if it hadn’t been for her helping me out on certain days. Me-time comes few and far between. There have been many days that I haven’t had a chance to go run until dinner was cooked or after the little ones had gone to bed, which never seems to be early on nights that I’m pacing the floor waiting to go! My husband, who is also a runner, is a great encourager/coach and doesn’t let me skip out on a run when he knows I’ve got to work one in. I would definitely say it takes a team effort at our home for “Mama” to run.

13.1 down...: The only hard thing about training for a half marathon was not the three lost toenails but the long hours invested in getting ready for it. I always have a little voice inside my head reminding me of the time I'd been gone from the family. As much as I love running long distances, though, I want a do-over for my first half-marathon [in January]. There were no mile markers, so I had to go by my Nikeplus, which congratulated me for completing my half marathon miles before the finish line. *Sigh.* I finished 20 minutes later than my projected goal time, a huge letdown. I nearly threw up on my way back to the hotel, and I wonder if it was just utter disappointment. Next up, though: a half marathon this November, and a marathon in either January or March.

Can’t run without: My iPod with Nikeplus sensor and chewing gum. I have a love-hate relationship with my Nikeplus. I complain about it constantly, yet I have actually been nearly to my running trail, realized I’d forgotten it, drove back home to get it, then went back. So, yeah, it’s pretty much definitely on my list of “must haves” when I run. I chew gum just to have something to taste and to give me something to take my mind off of things if I start struggling. (It takes a special talent to juggle gum and Sport Beans in your mouth on a long run!)

Heat v. hills: Last May, one of my worst runs was at a race that had hills and heat--and I had a stress fracture in my shin (I thought it was only shin splints). That run left a really bad taste in my mouth for hills. I’ve been working hard to conquer my fears by doing at least one day of hill work every week. Heat, on the other hand, is still a huge problem. I believe it’s heat and humidity working together that causes the biggest trouble for me. When I hit “The Wall,” I hit it hard. Immediately, a battle starts, and it gets really ugly sometimes. I’m always excited when “She” shows up--the feisty girl inside of me who stands up to the wimpy girl who always wants to quit. They have heated arguments but in the end, “She” always wins, and I kick that wall down and run over it! When it comes down to it, I’m way too stubborn to quit.

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9 responses to “Follow This Mother!

  1. Gina you look amazing and with 5 kids!! I have twins on the way and have been so sick that I haven’t been able to run…but I think your right about slow being the new fast because this is the motto I am going to take to get back into shape while pregnant and after they are born.

    1. Thank you, Anne! I know it must be really hard to do anything while you’re having morning sickness. I hope it’ll pass soon! When it does, you’ll probably have a little more energy. I know when I had morning sickness, I didn’t want to do anything but sleep. 🙁 Congrats on your pregnancy!!! Slow is better than nothing at all! 🙂

  2. Hey Gina and Randy: we upgraded our blogging platform on Thursday, which is probably why the comments disappeared. Sorry about that. You’re still a great inspiration, Gina!

  3. Oh our running lives are very similar…although you have more kids than I! But I’ve only been running since Jan/Feb 2010 and I’ve lost 50 pounds. Awesome job, all of this is really an amazing feat!

    1. Hi, Randi!
      I wrote you the other day but it seems like all of the comments have disappeared, lol. Not sure what happened? Sounds like you are doing a great job with your running! Keep it up!! 🙂

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