Updated: May 12, 2018
Mums on the Run USA is excited to announce a monthly blog post dedicated to the all the amazing moms out there! Each month we will highlight one mother and her experience through pregnancy, postpartum, and journey getting back to running.
It is my delight and pleasure to introduce Kristin Kearney - a dear friend, runner, triathlete, and new mom as our first ever Mum of the Month!! Kristin is no stranger to the struggles that come with motherhood. She truly embodies hard work and determination, whether its training for an ironman or being a mom. She has shared her story for us from the beginning of becoming pregnant, though pregnancy and childbirth, to becoming a mom and parent to her beautiful little baby boy, Conor.
Hi, I’m Kristin!
I am an ironman triathlete and now a new mom. It’s funny, being an “ironman triathlete” used to define me, and now I feel like being a mom comes first before saying that I’m an athlete. My last race seems like it was a lifetime ago. I wouldn’t change it for the world, but wow life is different now and so are my goals and expectations.
Let’s back up a bit here…
In 2015 I was racing the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. It was my second Ironman in 7 weeks, after having just raced Ironman Mont-Tremblant in August and qualifying for the “big event.” I was training 15-20 hours a week while working a full-time job. Swimming, biking and running was my life. I felt like being a triathlete defined who I was and I was 100% ok with it. I thought about how one day I might want to have kids, but it was not a priority, racing was.
Fast forward to summer of 2016, I had a stellar racing season (my best one yet) and worked really hard to get on the podium at my fourth Ironman, Ironman Vineman. I achieved this goal and was the fittest I had ever been in my life. Not only fit for endurance, but also with my strength. I had finally dialed-in things like nutrition and race fueling and I was feeling on top of the world. A few months later in October I got married to my fellow triathlete hubby Brian and we decided it was time to start trying for a baby. I knew this would mean giving up training and racing for a while, but I was ok with it (or so I thought).
I found out I was pregnant in December 2016. I knew something was up when my swim paces were significantly slower and I was out of breath after the easiest of workouts. Sure enough, I was pregnant! Mentally, adjusting to not training as hard or as fast as I used to was difficult for this athlete. I wanted to still be an athlete AND be pregnant. That’s when a huge reality check smacked me in the face, I really had to adjust my expectations, and this was hard. I even signed up for some races, which I ultimately didn’t end up doing. I told myself, I was going to stay as fit as possible when pregnant and I was also going to work on my strength and stability in order to prevent any injury while pregnant or postpartum. I worked out nearly every day of my pregnancy, rarely taking a day off. Exercising is when I felt my best and it was when I didn’t really feel pregnant, despite the slower times.