Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Real Mom on the Run: Judy - Pageant Mom Gets Down and Dirty!

Back in March, my friend Judy asked for tips on training for a 5K mud run this spring.  

OK, see I can help you with a 5K, but a mud run?  News flash:  I can be a bit clumsy, so running on anything other than solid ground intimidates me!  Add in obstacles?  I'm out.  

But not my friend Judy.  Because she's got super powers... she's a pageant mom!!  And she was doing this Merrill Down and Dirty, Cinco de Mayo Mud Run in Miami, Florida, at Zoo Miami with her daughter who is a princess!  When I asked where she was, fitness wise, she said, 
"Let's just say starting... I am very inconsistent.  I know this is a big endeavor, but I am determined!"
News flash:  when you're working with a pageant mom on a big endeavor and she is determined, your work is really already done!

Judy has two children, Brandon (19) and Leilani (13)-- she's the princess.  When she's not running, she's RUNNING!  She has 3 part time jobs (yes, 3... that's not a typo) and 2 active teenagers.  Leilani is the reigning Miss Capital City’s Outstanding Teen and this spring participated in the Miss NC Outstanding Teen pageant. Since she doesn’t drive yet, Judy is her chauffeur, seamstress, interviewer, coach, cheerleader, trainer, and teacher!   

When I asked about her typical day, she responded, 
"Currently, my life is filled with rhinestones!  I wake up and make a shake, check on Leilani’s progress with online schooling, work, pageant wardrobe assessment, interview prep, remind Leilani to do vocal exercises, pick up Brandon from school, take Leilani to whatever her afternoon activity is for the day (she is my 7 days a week girl-at least one activity-7 days a week) pick up Leilani, head home. Usually get home between 8 and 10 PM every day. Then, I work online until about midnight-2 AM."   
So, actually, Judy's typical day is a big endeavor!  How does she find time to run??  
"On running days, I wake up earlier and run either on the trail or at White Deer. I like to jog for a bit and then stretch on the path. I don’t run really long distances yet, but, I am getting there. When Leilani runs with me, we love to sing the entire time. I am not a competitive runner so, we try to make it as fun as possible and see how far we can go." 
I LOVE that!!  I have to say, running with my kids can be a challenge, just coordinating our schedules and moods, then compromising on distance and pace.  But it is SO worth it!  

And because this is REAL life, and there are always tradeoffs, I like to ask, "What do you give up in order to be able to run?"  Judy's simple answer:
"Sleep.  But I can sleep when I’m dead. I gain so much more by running."

OK, so let me explain just how big this endeavor was:  5K run with 12 obstacles, including low and high walls, rock wall, 5ft inflatable log climb, tunnel crawl, push ups, 40lb sand bag, low crawl in water, 2 mudpits, cargo climbs, and large inflatables.  And did I mention, this would be Judy's FIRST race!  

Sounds kinda crazy right?  Not for Judy.  I asked her what worried her most before the race: 
"Before the race, I was most concerned about the slippery wall because I don’t have a lot of upper body strength, but I really had nothing to worry about. Mind over matter, one hand over the other and I was over the wall before I knew it."

Slippery Wall:  CONQUERED!

She told me that the most intimidating obstacle was actually the step up cargo climb. Why?  Well, a picture is worth a thousand words...

Can you even imagine????
I asked Judy what surprised her most about race day: 
"The amount of encouragement the racers gave one another.  Everyone wanted to see to everyone be successful.  If you were struggling on an obstacle, there was a stranger next to you cheering you on.  If you were slowing down, a stranger would encourage you to keep going: 'You got this!'"

Honestly, I think that's what surprises most people running their first race-- that sense of camaraderie among all the runners.  That powerful feeling that everyone is cheering you on! 

"This is certainly something I never saw myself doing. I always hated running. Now, as a mom, I am happy to have this time to myself. I decided this year, I needed to be a bit more selfish and do something that is just for me. On days that Leilani runs with me, I love this time bonding with her. We don’t have to think about what’s coming up next, we just run and sing."
And that is my favorite part about all of this.  The race looks really awesome, and somewhere there are photos of her pretty princess, all muddy, with her tiara on!  (I'll update with one soon!) And I am in AWE of Judy and Leilani for taking on such a tremendous challenge!  And what an awesome mom to take this on, and bring her daughter along for the journey!  But what gets me most excited is hearing her joy in the process.  Enjoying the run, singing, not worrying about time or her pace, just out there loving life.  THAT is what it's really all about, friends!  

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