Follow This Mother!

Karen blogs about giving up wearing heels for running shoes.
Mother Runner Karen, looking strong at mile 18 of a Chicago-area 20-miler.

Karen Willuweit, 36, is one seriously tough mother runner. This Batavia, Ill. mom of two—Lily, 7, and Jack, 4—ran her most recent marathon earlier this month in scorching hot temps. (Way to battle through the heat, Karen!) The tough weather prevented her from reaching her top time goal, but this BAMR is far from deterred. She’s looking ahead to TWO more 26.2 races yet this year.

Karen in her hometown and along one of her favorite running routes. "I love running in the early morning as the sun comes up and I definitely prefer cold weather. This was one of my favorite training runs in March of this year."

Best recent run: A couple of weeks ago I set out to do a very easy 4-mile run. As soon as I started I could tell my legs were ready to go. The entire run felt effortless and my pace was fast. I knew I should slow down, but I just went for it. I never looked down at my Garmin and was pleasantly surprised when I finished. I love runs like that!

Out with the Heels, in with the Running Shoes: My blog is Trading in My Heels because I have always worn high heels in my personal life as well as my professional. When I started to run a few years back, all of a sudden I had a lot more running shoes. Trading in my heels for running shoes symbolized a new chapter in my life. So far it has been the best one!

Marathon Mama: My most recent marathon, on May 19, was somewhat disappointing. Living in the Midwest you train through the winter for a spring marathon. I ran through snow, wind, ice, and rain. I wasn’t expecting a hot day. It definitely slowed me down quite a bit and I did not finish in the time I was hoping for. However, I learned that I was tougher than I thought. As a runner you know you will face difficult moments in a race. It’s how you handle them that define you. I gave it my best and I’m good with that.

Post-marathon rest and recovery with her family.
Post-marathon rest and recovery with her family.

Can’t Run Without: My phone. I feel safe with it.

Finding Time for Lacing Up: When I first started running, I would get up at 5 a.m. and run before everyone was up. Most days I am still running really early. However, my kids are older now and when they are both in school I will run then. My family is very supportive of my running which helps tremendously.

Up Next: I will be running the See Jane Run Half Marathon in Wichita in September as their Ambassador. I will also be running the Fox Valley Marathon in September and the Marine Corps Marathon in October.

Follow this Mother on Twitter and at her blog Trading in my Heels.

4 responses to “Follow This Mother!

  1. I flew, from Florida, to do that race. The weather was SUPPOSED to be awesome. So sorry your first marathon experience was that one, Karen. Even finishing, in that heat, took a ton of guts. I’m totally impressed that you stuck it out.
    Can’t wait to follow your blog. Here’s hoping your next one is 10x better!!

  2. That looks like the chicagoland race. I did the half but yes it was awful weather. Congrats though! Happy Illinois running. 🙂

  3. Karen, as an Illinois native/Iowa transplant, I SO feel your pain on training through all sorts of weather only to have the one condition you DIDN’T expect arrive on race day. In Des Moines, we were probably in the 80s in the afternoon of the Drake relays half, only to receive snow four days later. What an insult!

  4. Way to go for keeping a positive attitude about the recent hot marathon. I also live in the Midwest and could really identify with the comment about training all winter for a spring race. Good luck in your upcoming runs!

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