Call me empathetic or a sucker, but I have a soft spot for mother runners with twins. So when I found Gia Alvarez, a 30-year-old momma of boy-girl twins (like me!) on Twitter, I knew we had to profile her. This New York City blogger is running her hometown marathon this Sunday: It’ll be her second NYC Marathon but her first 26.2-mile endeavor since giving birth to her twinsies.
Best recent run: I have been incorporating more speed training in my routine. Once aweek, I do a 6-mile run that’s a 1.5 mile-warm up, 1 mile at “dream marathon pace,” a half-mile recovery, then repeat that 1-mile, .5-mile two more times. I really love to run fast. I’m completely positive that I cannot run at my dream marathon pace speed for 26.2 miles, but the 1-mile increments of feeling like I can fly are so fun!
Best running accessory—an RB: Hands down, my Running Buddy (RB). RB and I have been running together 2 or 3 days a week for four years, and she still makes me belly laugh during every single run. We laugh together, cry together, vent together, and do it all while training. I have often said that a truly great running buddy is harder to find than a truly great friend. An RB needs to support you, motivate you, commiserate with you, captivate you with their stories … and do it all while pounding the pavement!! Not an easy feat.
A decade ago: Ten years ago I was going through a rocky patch of life--bad relationship, tough job, mean roommate. I needed a distraction, so I went for a run, in my Converse. I loved it so much that when I got home I called a friend and professed my love of running to her. She laughed, saying, “you hate sports, you don’t like to sweat, this won’t last.” I immediately re-prioritized. I invested in good running shoes--and I ditched bad friends. I’m happy to say 10 years later I still love running, and I’ve never again kept discouraging company. [Editor’s note: Right on, sista!]
Times two: Twinning and training are not always compatible. Mustering up the motivation to go out for a run is harder now with the twins in my life. I’m easily distracted with chores or play time or squeezing in a nap; running can sometimes feel like the last thing I want to do. I battle this by scheduling my runs. If my run is part of the daily schedule, I somehow feel like I’m letting Team Alvarez down if I don’t go. Because, you know, 11-month-old twins are very tough about adhering to a schedule!
But now I’m a mom: Marathon training has a whole new feel to it since the twins. I found that at first I expected to be basically the same runner as I was before babies (Illogical, I know.) Once I learned that oh, EVERYTHING felt different, I began to embrace it. Our mommy bodies are pretty spectacular in that we can house humans, bring them into the world, sustain on very small amounts of sleep, become round-the-clock buffets for tiny mouths, and still be strong enough to train for a marathon. I find that as a mother runner I am smarter, more efficient, more methodical, less injured, and perhaps a little slower…but I am also way more appreciative of every stride I take.
Goal on November 6: Cross the finish line with RB and my husband on either side of me. Scoop my twins up in my arms and give my body a HUGE amount of thanks for letting me run a marathon one year after having them. Oh, and if I finish under 4 hours … that would be amazing.