Follow This Mother!

Andrea, happy and strong during a race.

2013 is going to be a big year for BAMR Andrea Hallberg—a first marathon in the spring and a relay, the Ragnar Northwest Passage with fellow Oiselle Team runners, in July. This mom of two—she has a 5-year-old boy and 2-year-old girl—also has her sights set on one day running Hood to Coast (her team didn’t make the lottery this year) and putting her competitive swimming background to use in a tri. “I just have to get over my fear of crashing a bike…” We have a feeling she’ll accomplish all of this—and then some.

Best recent run: I recently had an opportunity to meet with a group of local Seattle Twitter friends/bloggers for a run around Green Lake. It was my first spin around the place to run in Seattle and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. I needed to do 10 miles that day and they carried me through the last three, probably faster than my first seven without even realizing it! Love it when that happens.

Fueling up: I always eat a banana and some sort of carb (half a bagel with some peanut butter, a muffin or my favorite oatmeal raisin cookie) before a run; and post-run I like to have chocolate milk or, if there’s time, I blend my chocolate milk with a frozen banana.  After a long run I’m always craving eggs benedict and a Bloody Mary – I’ll indulge in that every once in a while when my family is up to going out for brunch after I get back from running!

Andrea (far left, back row) with fellow Oiselle athletes gathered for a group run.

Team Oiselle: I came across Oiselle through a runner friend and found gear that was cute (but not overly so), functional, and unique. Because I loved that it was a company founded on a great premise and philosophy (and loved the clothes, of course) I sent in an application for the team. As an everyday/very average runner, I can’t tell you how honored I was to be accepted into this group of amazing women with the same passion for running - whether it’s at 11 minute miles or nearly 5 minute miles.

“Running is my thing”: Becoming a stay-at-home mom is a huge life transition and it’s easy to lose yourself and your identity to just being a mom. It’s one of the non-mommy aspects of my life that helps define who I am: my therapy, my escape, my outlet for my goal setting/type-A personality, my social outlet, etc. The ladies at Oiselle put it perfectly: “…running is more than a sport. It is a life philosophy that has the power to strengthen us – not just as athletes, but as people, teammates, leaders and women.” Yep, that.

Saying no to mom guilt: I try my best to not feel guilty on the weekends going out for a long run or a race while my husband takes care of the kids. As mothers, I think it’s in our nature and it’s OK to feel that way to a degree, so long as it doesn’t take over your life or keep you from your goals. I do try to get up really early some weekends so that I’m not always MIA on Saturdays (my preferred long run/race day). I think having that empathy for my husband keeps us balanced. He’d do the same for me, and I think it’s good to set an example for our kids about equality in the household and the importance of exercise/taking care of yourself.

Andrea and her family at "a very cold and rainy 5K" after her first run in the Oiselle singlet.

Twitter love: When I started Twitter and blogging, my aim was to become more connected to the running community as well as keeping my family back in Chicago up to date on my shenanigans. I never imagined the genuine rapport that can emerge from social media. The community of runners on Twitter is full of advice, understanding, commiseration, humor, and support. I love scrolling my Twitter feed on Saturday and Sunday mornings to hear about everyone’s races or training runs, and to talk about my own. Virtual high fives and pats on the back abound. I feel lucky to have ‘met’ so many mentors and peers that keep me informed, motivated, and entertained!

Follow This Mother on Twitter and on her blog.


12 responses to “Follow This Mother!

  1. This is a fantastic article Andrea. I am certainly very proud of you and happy that you are being so successful at balancing being a mom and being you. Keep up the good work.

  2. I absolutely love what she talks about in the “Running is my thing” section and the mommy guilt thing. I simply couldn’t stop nodding my head in agreement. Rock On Andrea! Just added you to my reader.

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