Follow This Mother!

Christa running her most recent event, the George Washington Parkway Classic 10-mile race.

Christa Paustenbaugh, 39, is on the go—not just as a mother runner but as the globe-traveling wife of Terry, a U.S. Marine Lieutenant Colonel. This summer her family of four moved to Okinawa, Japan, where Christa snaps photos, scrapbooks and, of course, runs. She's currently training with friends for a Nov. 3 half-marathon.

Best recent run: I had a great run about three weeks ago that left me with that this-is- why-I-do-this feeling once again. I went on a run with two friends after yet another typhoon had moved through our island. The air was a bit cooler, there was a nice breeze on us—and even a bit of mist to cool us off. It was a great 6.5 miles to get us out of our houses after being cooped up for a couple of days.

Christa with friends Amy (center) and Paige (right) after the Washington D.C. Hot Chocolate 15K. "Running with friends is hugely important to me. They are my motivation, my therapy, my best friends."

Capturing the route: Both running and photography are like therapy to me. They clear my mind and it’s definitely my “me” time where I get to explore and slow down for a bit. Especially now that we are in a new country, I love to run off the beaten track and explore what Okinawa has to offer—and this has included some great photography spots. Now that it is cooling off, I have big plans of me and my camera out for the day. Lucky for me, I always have my iPhone with me while running to take photos of interesting spots on the way.

26.2 again?: I ran one marathon ... and have not even entertained the idea of running another! That’s not to say that if a group of friends presented it I wouldn’t do it, but it’s not on the list of to-dos in the near future. I’m hoping it’s kind of like childbirth where one day I will forget the pain and it will seem like a good idea again.

Running essentials: I always run with my iPhone and water. It took me about two to three months to adjust to the intense heat and humidity that Okinawa has to offer and now I never leave my house without water in hand. My iPhone is also my running right-hand woman too, in order to keep track of my routes and times, and keep the tunes flowing when I happen to be solo for a run. Recently, running with extra yen in my pocket has been necessary, too, when I run out of water and happen upon one of the many hundreds of vending machines on island.

Scrapbooking mama: Scrapbooking can definitely get categorized with photography and running in that it is definitely another therapeutic outlet for me. We are a family on the move—literally!—and  there are so many stories, people and places that I don’t want us to forget. So scrapbooking about them is a great way to remember. I have done several scrapbook pages about running for both my husband and I because it’s such a huge part of our lives. I want us to remember this when we may not be running in 45 years!

Christa's family in Okinawa.

Milestone birthday around the corner: My half-marathon PR is just under two hours and I’d love to finish in that time frame again this year with my friends. I’d love to do a race off island while we’re here if we can get it to work out—and go explore too. I turn 40 in six months and my goal is to sustain where I am and even set some new PRs in a new decade.

Follow This Mother on Twitter and at her blog.

6 responses to “Follow This Mother!

  1. Thank you so much for sharing. I LOVE reading all of them. I bet you will run another one. I had all those thoughts in my head at the last few weeks of training for my 1st full on 10/13/12. I’m telling you I already have the itch to run another one. Keep up the great work!

    ( Mom of 5 )

  2. Japan seems like a hot spot these days. I have a friend whose husband is in the military over there and another friend who is there teaching English for a year. Awesome.

  3. I love the comparison of 26.2 to childbirth. Because that is what I said when I finished! I have 2 kids, but I don’t know if I have 2 marathons in me…

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