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Follow This Mother!

Viz a Viz: Sarah Visbeek (aka Sarah Viz) and her man and boys
The name and tagline for the website of mother-of-three and half-marathoner Sarah Visbeek says it all: “In the Trenches of Mommyhood: I had a mind once. Now I have children.”


Best recent run: With the weather we’ve had this winter in frigid New England, running isn’t a year-round sport for me. But my running partner and I met last week at 5 a.m. for our first run of the season in 28-degree weather, and it felt great. We did a quick 3 miles at 10-minute mile pace. It’s funny how your body just “remembers” how to run!

Shell shock: After the birth of my third son--a short 12.5 months after the birth of my second son (three words: open bar wedding)--I felt completely overwhelmed. It was like there was literally a dark cloud hanging over my head. I just assumed this was just what motherhood was “supposed” to feel like with three babies ages 4 and under. But after five months of misery, I finally sought outside help. My wonderful OB started me on an antidepressant for postpartum depression. And now, 5+ years later, I still take Celexa every day and have come to terms with the fact it’s something I need.

Kick start: I was a track runner in high school and a soccer player in high school and college, but I had long since traded fitness for motherhood. Big mistake. In 2007, a friend talked me into doing a Danskin Women’s Triathlon. I started running in preparation for it, then realized I missed the cutoff for sign-ups. But running had become a habit. I completed the Boston Half Marathon with my sister in the fall of 2007.

No need for "Reveille": I am totally a morning person. As soon as my feet hit the floor (usually around 5 a.m.), I am ready to exercise. I have learned that if I don’t do it right away, I won’t do it at all. And this works for me because my children and husband are still snoozing away, so there’s no “Mom Guilt” involved with taking time for myself.

Trench coat? Being the only female (and thus being the only person who sits down to pee) in my testosterone-fueled Trenches, the one must-have item in my arsenal is Clorox wipes for each bathroom. Just trust me on this one!

Trench mouth is the least of this mom's concerns...

Three-year hiatus: Shortly after I ran my very first half-marathon (when I was working part-time close to home), I returned to full-time employment in Boston. This entailed 3 hours of commuting a day on the train. Needless to say, there wasn’t much “me time” left because I was absolutely racked with Working Mother Guilt. Running definitely took a back seat. Thankfully, in 2009, I switched jobs to a workplace closer to home and much more family-friendly, so I was able to resume running without the guilt. Last fall, I completed my second half-marathon. My goal is to complete at least one half-marathon a year from now on. My LIFE GOAL is to run a full marathon, preferably Boston, of course!

Sister support: I don’t enjoy running alone. I love the companionship, camaraderie, and friendly competition a running partner provides. My sister Katie and I started running together when we lived 10 minutes apart from each other. She has since moved to Connecticut, but my neighbor Kristy has become a great friend and early morning running partner. We call it our “therapy sessions”!

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Sarah (88) in the Middle with Kristy (318) and Katie (842)

5 responses to “Follow This Mother!

  1. I really like being apart of a group of such amazing women. Reading these “follow this mother” and all the other postings too – show me repeatedly that I am not (1) crazy (2) alone in feeling that I might be crazy (3) alone in the struggle of juggling mommy-dom with everything else life throws at you! I remember times when I would feel so alone in my emotional state – so much so that I didn’t want to talk about it and risk letting the cat out of the bag that maybe everyday was GREAT for me and my new found mommy-dom. As always – very inspiring and I really appreciate someone who says – hey, I am medicated and that’s OK! ;o) Much love from one Sarah to another!

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