Follow This Mother!

Catey--32 weeks pregnant with baby #9!--runs a race this past spring.

Catey Ball, 33, began running after giving birth to her seventh (yes, you read that right--seventh) child. She and her husband Aaron have since added two more little ones to their brood, and Catey, of State Eagle Mountain, Utah, often runs with kids in tow (thanks to a recently bought triple jogging stroller).

Best recent run: That’s a toss up between two recent runs. I had the pleasure of sharing a long run with Allison Taylor, who I met through the RLAM Facebook page. That was a blast. I picked a “mostly flat” place to run where we met up; it ended up with ridiculous rolling hills, a path that dead-ended into a field, lots of bugs ... it was a mess. But it was so much fun! The other run would be my inaugural run with my new running companion, “The Beast.” We upsized to a triple jogging stroller last week and, wow, heading out for that first five-miler with that baby left me feeling like a BAMR for sure!
Catey and her kids at the finish line of the Brown Dirt Trail Relay last year.

All in the family: Yep, we have nine -- five boys, four girls, ages 13 years to 3 months old. Zoo is kind of accurate some days! I went for my first run when #7 was about 6 months old -- if I was going to do a tri, I didn’t want to walk the run! After a couple of tris and a few months of running, I realized that I actually liked the running, and thus began my addiction. Just like any other mom, I squeeze it in whenever I can. My husband is amazing about making sure I get time to run, but he has been working on his RN for the past little while, so between school and work he hasn’t been around much. In the summer that means sneaking out as soon as there is a little light in the sky (I’m paranoid about running in the dark), or heading out after bedtime. My oldest kids are old enough to babysit the littles if I do end up needing to run in the afternoon once they are home from school, or some other time when hubby isn’t home. Sometimes I run with the older kids, or with kids on bikes. The dreadmill is there to save me when the winter is harsh or getting out isn’t an option, and now that "The Beast" has joined the family, I can get the kids off to school, load up the three youngest and head right out to run!  I would love to race more often, but since squeezing that in to the schedule and budget is tricky, I run as much as I can and race when I can make it work.

Must-have piece of running gear: Mizunos. I have yet to run in another shoe that I love like I love my Mizunos. And although it’s not really gear, I also need gum when I run. (Stride Spark Kinetic Mint to be specific. I’m a little particular.)
Power of the Half: The half-marathon distance is long enough to feel like a real effort, but short enough that training isn’t too consuming, and recovery doesn’t take too long.  I really loved the marathon I did last year though--I could easily see myself becoming a marathon junkie when my kids are a little older.
One of Catey's favorite pics from a tri (we can see why--wowza!)
It all started with a triathlon...: I started with a tri before I really got into running.  My husband is a swimmer and did a tri as part of a team. He loved it and spent the next few months trying to convince me that it would be so much fun. I’m not a swimmer, I didn’t even own a bike, and I was that obnoxious “I only run if being chased by a dog or a scary man” person. But being the competitive junkie that I am, I couldn’t just sit back and not rise to the challenge, especially when he bought me a bike. I picked a women's sprint event to start with before the tri I planned with him, and it really was so much fun!  I’m still not much of a swimmer, but having done a few tris and venturing into open water has been rewarding! And it’s a great bonus that my strongest leg is the run. So as long as I don’t drown on the first leg, and make it through the bike, I can finish strong! If you are thinking about a tri, I would definitely suggest trying an all- women event. There is such an awesome atmosphere, just like the girls-only running events. It all seems a little less scary and a bit more like a party!

Ultra up next?: Next year the only thing that is for sure on the schedule is the Wasatch Back Ragnar. I can’t wait for that! I would love to run the St. George Marathon again if I get in (lottery), and hopefully a couple of other marathons as well. I would really love to make that jump into ultra, so I have been scoping out a few events that are close to home.  A few of my kids are really starting to enjoy running as well and a couple of them have talked about doing 10k or a half-marathon (the oldest five have done 5ks with us), so I am looking forward to doing more running with them as well.

Follow this mother on Twitter and at her blog Random Thoughts from the Zoo.

16 responses to “Follow This Mother!

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  2. Hi,
    WE NEED to be friends. I have 10 children age 8 months up to 15 years old. I run. I have run 4 marathons. I am planning on my first ultra in Oct. I have run through 2 pregnancies as well. Gave birth and ran again one week later.

  3. that’s awesome! Now THAT’s AMR I’d love to run with (although she’s probably WAY faster than myself). Her last blog post about her brood hiking is adorable!

  4. Loved reading Catey’s story! I’m pregnant with #6 (and hoping for more!) and still running at 38 weeks. I found her blog to be super-inspiring! Thanks for passing it along.

  5. Catey is amazing. I wish I lived a little closer so I could run with her more than just once!!! Gracious, funny, inspiring, giving, awesome arms – and that’s just the beginning. Go, Catey!!!

  6. Seriously wow! But I have to say when I had my oldest around to help (since hubby was often out of the country back then) it was “easier” to get in those runs. Plus it did help him feel more connected with his younger siblings. But doing it with 9. That is inspiring. At least I won’t complain about having to push 1 30pounder. Then again if I had more to push, maybe my arms could look like that too. 😉

    Thanks for the inspiration Catey!

  7. I love reading the stories of moms who run. I have ‘only’ five kids, and started running after giving birth to my fourth. I can certainly understand why Catey started to run! It’s a great way to find yourself again.

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