I happen to be a father of two young kids. Each day is a constant struggle to get them out of bed, off to school, out to all their activities, get them cleaned up and back to bed just to do it all over again. Somewhere in there we feed them, love them, and make sure they put on a helmet once in a while. I am in awe of people like Michelle Niemeyer. She manages to get out and train even while juggling work, a husband and 4 daughters all under the age of 8. I just imagine everyday for her is just like those “Calgon, take me away” commercials. Somehow she found the time to answer these questions for me but honestly I can’t figure out how she could have done it.
You have a website, thismommaruns.com, dedicated to being an active mother and runner. How do you find the time with 4 young girls to get out and run?
This is probably the most asked question I get! I work full time, have 4 daughters under the age of 8 and I love to run long distances. The combination of these 3 items is a challenge for sure. The majority of my runs take place after 8:30/9:00 pm at night. In the summer months I’m out hitting the pavement, but in the winter months I stick to the treadmill. My time with family comes first and squeezing in running can sometimes be a challenge. I recently had to get a long run in on the treadmill which I started after 10:00pm…I finished after midnight. There is quite a sense of accomplishment in starting a run one day and finishing it the next day.
Your husband Mike is an active runner too. Do you train together? Does he compete as well?
One the most amazing parts of my life is my husband Mike and the fact that he runs and we get to share our love of running makes our relationship even stronger. I like to take credit for introducing him to running, he used to tease and tell me that ‘running was just something that other sports used as punishment’, now, he ‘gets’ it aaaand loves it! Unfortunately, we seldom get to train together, although if we’re doing long weekend runs we set up a refueling stop in front of the house and check on one another and offer encouragement. If we are running on the treadmill sometimes we will hang out to support one another especially if we are doing interval training on the treadmill. Yes, Mike does compete also and we have numerous races that we are doing together this year. Mike has most of the PR’s in the family, but there is friendly competition between us. I’m not saying I get any gratification out of passing him in a race (the few times it has happened) okay fine…maybe a little.
You log A LOT of treadmill miles. How on earth do you do it?
Yes!! The treadmill took A LOT of getting used to, in fact we had to invest in a new mill. The treadmill we had been using was a hand me down and just was not making the grade. We invested in a new model with some bells and whistles which makes running inside more tolerable. My longest treadmill run of the year (so far) is 20 miles!!! Yup, I ran 20 miles at a 10 minute pace a few weekends ago on a treadmill. Running is such a mental sport and running that long on a treadmill takes some serious mental strength. I also rely on music during those looooong runs. My new treadmill has some awesome video programs with audio…I can plug my X-1 headphones right into my treadmill!!! It’s also really fun if I am able to do a long run on the weekends when my daughters are in the room watching a movie or playing. They ask me questions and cheer for me, I love to show them how strong I can be!
You have a very big run coming up this year. What are you doing in preparation for your ULTRA?
Gulp! I still can’t believe that I am running a 50K ULTRA April 5th along the Chicago Lakefront Trail. My goal for this ULTRA is to finish it. I will be running it with a couple running friends I have which will make it an exciting day. I’m still trying to convince my husband to run it with me!! All you can eat red beans and rice at the finish line…who could pass that up? To prepare for this 31 mile race I have been ramping up the mileage!! My husband and I are even getting a babysitter so we can log some seriously long miles together this weekend!
What other races are you looking forward to this year? Traveling anywhere fun?
I typically compete in close to 20 races a year. My most anticipated races for 2014 are the ULTRA marathon on April 5th and then I am also participating in a Ragnar Relay as part of team Swirlgear. I will be running from Madison to Chicago with 12 amazing women – relay style. An ULTRA Marathon and a Ragnar Relay are both on my running bucket list! I’m very excited about both of these events which are sure to test my mental and physical limits. I will definitely be relying on my X-1 gear to get me through both of these insane events!!
What’s your ”gotta-have” gear list?
I’ve got to give props to my awesome 2014 sponsors; X-1 Audio, Swirlgear, FitMark Bags, and Gu Energy!! And I can’t forget to mention my favorite running shoes that I’m slightly obsessed with — my Newtons!