Sarah and Eamon: BRFs since 2008!

For AMR Creative Coach Sarah Wassner Flynn, becoming a mom and becoming a marathoner have both been extremely transformative experiences. 

The other day, I dropped my off 14-year-old son, Eamon, at his first day of high school cross-country practice.

Gulp.

Though a relatively ordinary event as far as major life milestones go, the minute he hopped out of the car to meet up with his new teammates and coach, I became awash with emotions. How did we get here so quickly? Wasn’t it just a few days ago when I was pushing him in our trusty BOB jogging stroller along the Hudson River waterfront, him clutching his Thomas the Tank Engine train in one pudgy hand and a sippy cup in the other? “Faster, Mommy, faster!” he’d squeal in his high-pitched toddler voice. I’d pick up the pace, laughing at his commands through truncated breaths. Sometimes, if I timed our run right, Eamon would fall asleep in the stroller, and I’d pop in my headphones to listen to a new podcast a friend told me about—something called Another Mother Runner hosted by these supportive, funny, and wise women named Dimity and Sarah. (Fun fact: AMR was the very first podcast I ever listened to!)

In many ways, my son’s blink-and-you-miss-it trajectory through childhood is not unlike my recent training block for the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon. Becoming a mom and becoming a marathoner have both been extremely transformative periods in my life. I’ve been forced out of my comfort zone, challenged, and pleasantly surprised. And they’ve both gone by in a relative snap.

“Becoming a mom and becoming a marathoner have both been extremely transformative periods in my life. I’ve been forced out of my comfort zone, challenged, and pleasantly surprised. And they’ve both gone by in a relative snap.”

Of course, time doesn’t always feel like it’s moving at triple speed (the days being long and the years short and all that). I think back to Eamon’s earliest days of infancy, when the new mom woes of sleep deprivation and breastfeeding struggles coupled with his frequent crying jags made each hour feel like an eon. As I’d pace our apartment with a screaming, wriggling infant in my arms, or endlessly bounce on a yoga ball to calm him down, I’d become enveloped in doubts about my abilities as a parent. Similarly, when I first started training for Twin Cities a couple months back, some of my runs—even the shorter ones—felt unremitting. I’d tick off ten sweaty, sluggish miles in the summer heat and question why I signed up for this and how I’d ever get through 26.2.

As Eamon transitioned from a fussy newborn to a chubby baby with a sweet smile framed by delectable dimples to an inquisitive and precocious toddler, we truly hit our stride. There were the core-memory days (his first steps at 10 months old, his first time at the beach; his first everything), the days he so nicely shared with others on the playground, the days he recited his ABCs or did something otherwise remarkable that left me brimming with confidence that I was doing this mom thing right, after all (to the point that I decided I wanted 100 more babies, or at least three more). 

Just the two of us: Eamon and I after one of our many early runs together.

Recently, while training, I’ve experienced equally memorable moments: Nailing a seemingly impossible workout, finishing some of my longest runs ever, and allowing myself to truly believe that I am, in fact, cut out for this marathon thing. And though I haven’t quite decided that I want to do 100 marathons, I do see myself running at least a few more. 

Sweaty–but smiling big–after a recent 15-mile run.

While I still have some six weeks to go before I hit the starting line in Minneapolis and so much can happen between now and then, I have a hunch the next month-and-a-half will fly by. If the past 14 years have taught me anything, time has a way of doing that. So, as excited as I am to put my training to the test and see what I can do in the Twin Cities on October 2, I’m also trying to stay present, savor every step, learn as I go—and enjoy the process.  

I just better not blink.  

Sigh, they grow up so fast! Pretty soon, he’ll be taller than me.

Summary