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The problem with crawling…

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My laptop survived.  My sanity, however, is on life support. Smile 


How’s your Monday back going?  Mine is going well – lots and lots to do, but the Husband is home today, which is nice.  It meant that I got to go the pool with DadHTP for a swim.  We haven’t gone swimming together in a long, long time.  I did 1,000 yards!

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Swimming is always so deceiving.  I’m a pretty solid swimmer, so even if it’s been weeks since I got into the pool, it always feels easy when I’m doing it.  But two hours later, my muscles are SCREAMING.  I can barely lift my arms – a big problem when you have a squirmy 17-pounder.


While swimming, I was thinking about something and really want your input, if possible!  One of my big life goals is to do a Half Ironman.  Now, I’ve got a decent about of sprint and Olympic triathlon experience, as well as half marathon running and metric century biking experience.  Put all my races together, and a Half Ironman sounds feasible (it’s a 1.2 mile swim, a 56-mile bike, and a half marathon).  But, obviously, doing one after another is a totally different animal.  But, like I said, it’s definitely one of my big life goals.  And I’ve been trying to figure out when to tackle this goal, exactly. 


Like a lot of active parents, I’ve got to coordinate my race goals with pregnancy + childbirth + newbornness.  If we have another kiddo, that’s at least a total of 15 months that I can’t run or bike (running + pregnancy don’t mix for me) or train at what I imagine to be a Half Ironman level (I’m baaaarely at the point with Henry’s sleep that I can even fathom training for a long distance running race).   And I know it will be even harder to find time to train if I have two kids. 


So if I don’t do it sooner rather than later, it might be pushed back for many, many years.


Here’s my question:  I’d love to hear from other parents who successfully trained for a long race like a marathon or Half Ironman.  How did you do it?  And WHEN did you do it?  How old were your kiddos?  Any feedback or advice on combining endurance events and children?



  • Callie @ The Wannabe Athlete November 26, 2012, 3:23 pm

    I have no advice to give, but I’m really excited to hear the feedback! I’m wondering how I’ll find time for half marathon training with two kids under two! 🙂

  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More November 26, 2012, 3:29 pm

    A half-Ironman definitely sounds like a major feat but also seems feasible for you! You can do it! 🙂

  • Dani @ TwoLoveBirds November 26, 2012, 3:37 pm

    I know absolutley nothing about ironmans, and even less about being a mom, lol, BUT…. this website is awesome and Meredith is funny and amazing! You should check it out:

  • Regina November 26, 2012, 3:50 pm

    My husband and I are training for a half marathon in March and maybe a marathon in June. My son is 3 months old. It’s much easier to train for a running race than a tri for us because we run with him. Strap him in his BOB and take off. He LOVES it. We’re blessed to have a kid who loves the outdoors as much as we do. He typically sleeps the entire time and if he wakes up he just looks around at everything then falls back asleep. When he’s older we’ll bike with him (just get the cart that attaches tot he back and strap him in). We swim too. I’ll take my son in the kiddie pool and play and splash around as my husband swims laps then we switch shifts. Obviously bricks would be quite difficult to do with a baby but you gotta do what ya gotta do.

  • Brooke November 26, 2012, 3:55 pm

    First, just wanna say I love your blog. I’m a mom of one soon-to-be 4 yr old boy and I’m currently smack in the middle of marathon training. Without the help of my husband, I don’t know how I would do it. I’m a stay-at-home mom and my son hardly ever naps anymore, so I’m doing the Runner’s World “Less Is More” plan. It’s just 3 days a week. I do 2 mid-week runs (after husband gets home from work) and my long run on Sunday afternoons. I do pilates twice a week on the mornings my son is at pre-school. I will admit it hasn’t been easy, and I’ve had at least 2 or 3 weeks already when I’ve only been able to get in two runs instead of 3. I don’t beat myself up about it though. I just try to keep a positive attitude and do what I can. So far so good! Good luck to you on your race goals!!

  • Heather November 26, 2012, 3:55 pm

    I have two kids both with special needs. One who is 8 almost 9 and the other is 3. I am beginning to train for a half marathon. I wanted to run one in November of this year and had to push it off until May of 2013 where I will be running the Pittsburgh Half Marathon, due to work and volunteer obligations with my boys. At this point I know what I want and my boys are old enough they do not need constant attention anymore. I also think its important they see me reach for goals. We will see how the next 6 months play out.

  • Lindsay November 26, 2012, 3:56 pm

    As someone who doesn’t have kids yet, but knows they are in the not-so-distant future for my husband and I, I can relate to this struggle. I actually had a short list of distances I wanted to conquer before kids, because I knew how I responded to barriers in the past. I think my sleep-deprived self would choose sleep and rest over running any day – so I have NO idea how you muster up the energy to get out the door!

    I am going to tackle both the 70.3 and the 140.6 distances this year, if for nothing else, just to get them done! I want to know that mentally I can do it, and then improve on the times later in life. I hear you on the 15 months out from training – you really have to figure out how to blend the two when kids come into the picture. If anyone can do it – it’s you Caitlyn!

  • Nina November 26, 2012, 4:03 pm

    I read an article about when to do an Ironman yesterday .
    It says that there are two kind of people: The people that do it because it’s on their Bucket List, meaning they only want to do it once in their life and enjoy it, and the people that do it for the “Tattoo”. The last kind of people don’t necessary to it for a real tattoo, but they want to finish i n a good time. The Bucket List kind of people can do an Ironman sooner than the Tattoo kind of people, because they are not as likely to get a burn out.

    (you can read it here: )

    I think you can compare the decicion of doing an Ironman with the decicion to to an half ironman, even if it’s not the same.

    I’d say if you want to have more kids, you should either do it now or wait until your kids are in their teenage years. Good luck!

  • Lyn November 26, 2012, 4:08 pm

    One of my big life goals has been to run a marathon (have done 3 half marathons). I don’t know much about being a mom (no kids and no plans to have kids anytime soon), but I’m coming up on a turning point with my career starting summer of 2013, and I know life will get busier and more stressful after that, so I have the same “now or never” feeling. The Pittsburgh marathon is in May and I feel like maybe this is the time to do it, and life may just start getting crazier and crazier after that. But I just don’t know! I don’t know if I want to dedicate the time to the training (now or well, ever). So along the same lines as Caitlin, I’d love to hear how people come to the decision about doing something like a marathon or a half ironman and the timing of it all!

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats November 26, 2012, 4:08 pm

    Well I’m not a parent, or a half ironman, but it seems to me that now would be the best time to go for it, before you try for a second child. I don’t know how pumping will work into that, but it seems like the best times are now, before another child, or a year after your next (or last) baby.

  • Emily November 26, 2012, 4:10 pm

    Is 1,000 yards 20 laps (there and back) in a standard gym pool?

    • jamie November 27, 2012, 10:44 am

      Typically, yes. A competition pool is 25 yards (sometimes meters). Some gym pool are only 20 yards. Usually the sign with pool rules will tell you the length. If not, ask a gym employee or another swimmer who looks hardcore 😉

  • Claire November 26, 2012, 4:13 pm

    I’ve run three marathons since having my three young kids. The way I got my training in was to get up really early and do it before my husband left for work. Yes this means setting the alarm at 5 (and sometimes even earlier), and running in the dark. I also run in the rain. You can’t use excuses like early starts, dark or rain stop you. I’d be so tired, but would have an arvo snooze with the kids, then early to bed. This allowed me to average 65 – 85 km a week and hit a marathon pb of 3h42m in Oct this year in marathon #4 with plenty left in the tank. I’m chasing 3h3Xm now. Just get out there and do it.

    • Amy November 27, 2012, 9:53 am

      I trained for my first marathon after the birth of my second daughter, with this same mentality. I started training when she was around 3 months, and still colicky. (and I work full time!) I would get up at 4:30 to train. Yes, I was tired some days. But it is so worth it! I think if you are serious and committed then you can find the time. Also, I would recommend doing the half-ironman before you have a second child. Two kids is not just double the work…for some reason the time commitment increases at an exponential rate;) You can totally do this!

  • Allison November 26, 2012, 4:19 pm

    The younger the better – while they can join you for runs in the stroller is best for training runs. I do lots of training while my kids are asleep now that they sleep so much better. I would look for sweet spot where your kid is still happy in the stroller and sleeping a good chunk of the night. For you, I would think this would be coming up soon. I would also say do it before baby #2 if you planning on waiting awhile to get pregnant again. Getting back to regular life and exercise after #2 was so, SO much harder for me than after #1.

  • Lindsay November 26, 2012, 4:23 pm

    I trained for a marathon this fall and I have a now 19 month old. I have run a few marathons prior to this and this time around, training was definitely effected by lack of sleep and other baby-related things, but it is totally doable! For me the keys were to find a training plan that I felt comfortable with and I have an awesome, supportive husband who planned his Saturdays around my long runs. The runs during the week I would wake up at the crack of dawn, before my daughter was awake, but I am definitely a morning exerciser. I also gave myself a break on days when I just couldn’t physically handle it. I also brought my daughter along occasionally too. You can do it! We planned it so we would start trying for our second after the race, so that was a little extra motivation to push it. Good luck!

  • Tanya November 26, 2012, 4:25 pm

    I started training for my first marathon when my kids were 3, 6, and 7. (I broke my leg and didn’t get to actually run a marathon til some years later, but that’s another story.) I trained mostly when my older two were in school and I’d put my youngest in the jogging stroller and carry his lunch with us. He’d eat lunch and look around and sometimes fall asleep and I could get a decent run in. My long runs were on Sunday and it started our tradition of dad makes pancakes on Sunday while mom goes out on her long run (a tradition that has pretty much continued to this day, and my kids are 15, 18, and 19).

  • Dana November 26, 2012, 4:28 pm

    I haven’t ever done a half-Ironman, but a friend of mine has. Her husband is a triathlon coach and wrote an e-book “Competitive Triathlon in 10 Hours a Week.” She used to do lots of Ironman events then took about 5 years off, had two kids and came back and killed a full Ironman in Florida. Amazing. I know for her it was all about getting up early and trading kid-watching with her husband so they could both train. She always said that training for endurance events is a lifestyle for the entire family, so everyone’s got to be on board and flexible or it won’t work.
    Can’t wait to see what other people think and what you go with!

  • Kristen L November 26, 2012, 4:37 pm

    I would love to do a half ironman someday too! Looking forward to reading other people’s responses on this question.

  • Jess November 26, 2012, 4:37 pm

    I just did my first post-baby marathon last month in San Francisco, but I did two halves before that last spring. It’s is hard for me to fit in training especially since I work full-time, have a two hour commute, am nursing and travel for work. That being said, if it’s important, you fit it in.

    I used Runner’s World Less is More Marathon Plan. It was perfect. I ran three times a week and cross-trained when I could. Tuesday and Thursday nights after I put my baby to sleep, I went outside (when it was still light enough out) or to the gym to do my tempo or interval workout. On Saturday or Sundays, I got up early and went for my long runs. Usually my daughter would be sleeping so I’d pump, leave the bottle for my husband and go on my merry way.

    My husband is awesome and very supportive. As my runs got longer, he’d meet me with our daughter and do the final miles with me pushing the stroller. It was a sanity saver for my 22 miler.

    I ran my fastest marathon to date on the most difficult course I’ve done. One more half next weekend and distance racing season is over for me.

    • Liz November 26, 2012, 7:52 pm

      Way to go!!

    • Kelsie November 27, 2012, 4:12 am

      WOW! Now that is inspiration. Kudos to you!

      • Whitney November 27, 2012, 8:24 am

        I am currently using that same training plan. 3 quality runs and 2 cross training days. Good to know you had great results with it! 🙂 Congrats!

    • laura November 27, 2012, 9:22 am

      holy shit, i’m inspired by all you do! i am a firm believer that if it is important, you’ll find time for it! that is very, very true! i always say, a workout is 1-3 hours out of your day…. make it happen! MAJOR kudos to you, mama!

  • Stacey November 26, 2012, 4:54 pm

    My husband and I have done numerous half and fulls, but have yet to do any post kiddo. My boy is three, and last year seemed like a good time to try for my first tri after kid. Unfortunately I never made it due to an injury (actually kid related, threw my back out holding kid) Now I am attempting it again…signed up for Boise 70.3 in June. I tend to do my exercise early in the morning, when my kid is in school (he goes 2 half days a week), or at night after hubby has gotten home. It definitely is a challenge, but if I have free time I like to be exercising anyways. It is also my stress release.

    I don’t see another full in my future anytime soon because doing all day bike rides do NOT sound fun anymore:). I would rather be hanging out with the family.

  • Shannon November 26, 2012, 4:54 pm

    I have 3 kids and have run two half marathons and one full. My best advice is getting up super early and getting in the runs before the house is awake. My husband isn’t gone for work yet and I can move into the day knowing my run was finished. I did wait until my youngest was a little older and I wasn’t sleep deprived to seriously train though.

  • Kimberly @ Healthy Strides November 26, 2012, 5:03 pm

    I ran my first marathon in October, when my son was 15 months. Before that, I had ran three races of 10 miles or longer and a handful of other races. I work full time and teach BODYPUMP. I almost feel like the busier life is, the more you work to fit things in. You fall into a pattern. With marathon training, I followed the Train Like a Mother plan, which includes 4-5 days of running. I would get up at 5 a.m. and do midweek long runs before anyone was up for the days. I would do steady state runs with the stroller or after the toddler went to bed. Same for half-marathon training. My husband was gracious to accommodate long runs but even still, I was up early on Sundays, running 1/3 to 1/2 of the distance before people were up, looped home to pick up the husband who had the behb in the stroller and finished on my own if necessary. Good luck!

  • Brittany November 26, 2012, 5:17 pm

    I can’t comment on the half ironman, but it’s stressing me out that you stayed back and took pictures while the baby crawled across your laptop. You are much braver than I am! 🙂

  • Jennifer Cook November 26, 2012, 5:31 pm

    I did my first half-ironman in June, and I have a 9 year old son and found out I was pregnant 2 weeks before my race! Anyway, I started training in January, by April, I was completely burnt out. I trained 12-15 hours a week, and I still didn’t feel like my training was completely sufficient. Plus, that 12-15 hours was what was just spent on the training part, that doesn’t count driving to and from gyms, bike paths, pools, showering, fueling, stretching and all the other things that take up time. So I would say I spent closer to 20+ hours a weeks training for my half-ironman. I work part time, and am very involved in my sons school. I felt completely stretched thin with all my commitments, and felt like I spent very little time with my family. I was also tired and/or sore a lot. Luckily, my husband was very supportive, put his own race goals on the back burner so I could focus on mine, and really picked up the slack at home for me (doing laundry, helping with homework, cooking, grocery shopping, anything I didn’t have time or was too tired to do.) I couldn’t have done it without his commitment to helping me. On top of that, my son is obviously at an age where he is pretty self-sufficient, I can’t imagine doing it with a child that’s still as young as yours.

    With all of that said, it was totally worth it, I accomplished something in my life I never thought I would, and I would absolutely do it again. And I plan to. Good luck in your decision! Just make sure you take the time to think through everything (I wish I had thought about it more before I signed up! I didn’t realize what a time commitment it would be!)

  • Carol November 26, 2012, 6:27 pm

    I have read your blog for many years – you have always done the most amazing things ! You accomplish whatever you set your mind to …..GO FOR IT GIRL ….sooner than later . It is a huge time commitment and I think easier to do when Henry is this age rather than older.

    We’re all behind you no matter whaat you decide !

    BTW- Henry is the sweetest little boy – adorable !

  • Lucy November 26, 2012, 6:42 pm

    I know this isn’t the answer you’re looking for.. but my mum finally did her first full since having any kids when my youngest sister turned 8. My oldest sibling was 22 at the time so it had been quite a while since she had done one but you’re right, she just had too much to do with all of us children to train. She said that she could not have done it when the kids were any younger, although she had four running around and you have just one so it may be a bit easier.

  • Julie @ Swim…Bike…Running on Empty November 26, 2012, 7:05 pm

    I was really excited to read the comments on this post! I am training for my first 70.3 in July 2013. It has been on my bucket list for quite some time but due to health issues and work, has been pushed back/cancelled and now I am determined to make it happen, primarily since it was one thing I told myself I would do before having a child. My husband and I are getting to the time that we’d like to start a family, so it’s definitely a struggle. Do you put off starting a family for a dream like this? Do you have the child and then hope to make the dream a reality? I am anxious to read other folks’ thoughts, especially as I know I’ll want to go for a full Ironman in 2014 and then this will really be an issue!

  • Liza November 26, 2012, 7:29 pm

    So I really love your blog and read it everyday…I hope you don’t take this as an attack at all! Why would you allow Henry to crawl across your computer and take photos of it? I realize he had no idea he was doing something wrong, but you should have picked him up and moved him or your laptop. That’s just irresponsible to allow him to do that just for a photo for your blog.

    • Caitlin November 26, 2012, 8:11 pm

      I don’t think it’s an attack but can you explain to me why this would be dangerous for him? I’m seriously asking… I’m a new mom and I don’t always realize that certain things shouldn’t be done. I mean – how could he hurt himself? I can see himself hurting the computer but not himself! He’s like a tank.

      • Jen November 27, 2012, 6:13 am

        LOL – I think she meant it could hurt your computer?? (I could be wrong – but that’s the first thing that came to my mind! Computers are expensive – not to be played with haha!) 🙂

        Are you thinking of having another little one soon?? I thought you wanted to wait a while. I say just start training and let the chips fall where they may 🙂

        Also, you drink soy milk right? Do you ever worry, consider GMO’s? 🙁

      • Liza November 27, 2012, 8:41 am

        Yes I meant hurt the computer. It just truck me as irresponsible to let him crawl all over such an expensive piece of electronics.

  • Mary November 26, 2012, 8:15 pm

    Girl, you should go for it now before you guys think about having a second kiddo! I don’t have kids, but did my first half last fall and have since done another 3… including World Champs in Las Vegas. It’s amazing and has changed my life… so freakin fun. As long as Kristien is on board and willing to pick up some slack (long weekend rides, for example), you will be fine. I have a bunch of friends who are older moms and do half/full distance no problemo – it basically all boils down to having a supportive spouse, which you totally do 🙂

  • Natalie @ Free Range Human November 26, 2012, 8:36 pm

    I’m not a parent, but I would think your right about doing it sooner rather than later. I can’t imagine being able to put that much energy into something with two kids!

  • Jen November 26, 2012, 8:39 pm

    I say to go for it now! Echoing everyone else to say that as long as you have a supportive spouse, you’re golden. Though selfishly, I also am eagerly skimming your comments to see if anyone says that this still can be achieved with two young kids. I’m currently pregnant with my second child, and hoping to complete my first (sprint) triathlon just four months after he / she is born. To top things off, at that point, I’ll have two kids under the age of two. Sigh – a girl can dream!

  • Axel November 26, 2012, 8:56 pm

    Caitlin, I’ve been reading about your sleep struggles (I wanted to warn you off dream feeding – it led to one of our worst nights ever! But I didn’t want to be negative). We have a 3 and 1 year old and we’ve had good nights and a lot of bad nights. The only theory I can really put any weight on is the idea that at new developmental milestones, the sleep gets worse (due to overactive brain activity, stress, what-not).

    I recently wrestled with the half-iron decision too (see here: … but I think until I have a handle on how much sleep I can get on a given night, I need to hold-off. Best of luck in your decisions and sleep schedule!

  • Kristina November 26, 2012, 9:15 pm

    I know that a lot of people are saying “go for it!”, but I don’t understand why it has to be now and not later. I know tons of people who are competing (and I mean the word compete, not just finishing) in triathlons in their late 30’s and 40’s. I completed my first 70.3 last summer, and it was a fantastic experience, but largely because I had scheduled my training and the race at a time when I knew that I could focus on it. While some people are happy just to finish and have bragging rights, I really wanted it to be an excellent experience and I wanted to be happy with my time, not just satisfied to have merely finished.
    Finally, I have a great partner and we are sans kiddos, but even then, I sometimes felt like a selfish schmuck for the time and money that I spent on training. While you can do it for cheap, I didn’t really want to, and I’m not sure that you really can do it on a total shoestring without risking injury or other issues.

    • Hotpotatokate November 27, 2012, 1:57 am

      I’m another in the ‘wait’ category. To me, the next few years are maintenance years for my endurance sporting as well as my career. I am running because I want to be fit and healthy and a good role model for my son and future babies. But I don’t need to set personal bests or go long to achieve that, so I’m focussing my energy on the things that are more important to me. Definitely not saying anyone who has different priorities is bad or wrong, but to me i have my whole life to do triathlon, and inly a few years with my babies. i also should add that my baby sort of made this decision for me by disliking the jogging stroller, having nighttime separation anxiety, not napping, and insisting on co sleeping for any naps and nighttime! If I’d had a more textbook baby, I might have felt differently.

      (For the record, I’ve done 5 half IMs with a pb of 5:48, 2 marathons with a pb of 3:58, countless half marathons with a pb of 1:42, and dozens of other races. I did all of these while working for a corporate law firm, so I am no stranger to just getting it done)

      • anne November 27, 2012, 12:18 pm

        I would agree with those in the ‘wait’ category. You’ll have a lot of years ahead to focus on training. I would focus on baby + family while staying active and healthy for now.

    • Jessica December 10, 2012, 3:20 pm

      I fall on the side of waiting too. I have a 13-month-old and am having a “surprise” baby in May, so I will have 2 under 2. It wasn’t my plan – I had actually just started running again when my son was about 9 months and then, boom, positive preggo test! I was pretty bummed at first (just b/c I had been wanting to get back but working full-time with a growing baby while breastfeeding is a LOT of work) but I realized that this is probably going to the be the last baby and, like someone else said, they are only babies once and I have my whole lifetime left to train the way I want to. I’ll be 37 when I deliver my second and I’ve only run one 1/2 marathon (3 months before I got pregnant with my first) but it’s already on my agenda to start training again when this new one is about 8 months.

      Having said all of that, there is no harm in trying! You have such a positive attitude about things not always working out the way you think they should, anything you do will be a learning experience. 🙂

  • Alex @ Raw Recovery November 26, 2012, 9:54 pm

    Haha oh those pictures make me smile. Henry doesn’t even look like the same baby anymore! He looks so grown up and I think he has your smile.

  • Erica November 26, 2012, 10:13 pm

    I just finished my first post-baby half marathon when my son was 7.5 months old. I work full time and my husband runs too, so we really had to coordinate our schedules. All of my runs were at 6:00 in the morning, meaning I got up and 5:30 to pump and eat breakfast, then run. I had no choice. My husband and I ran on opposite days. I’m not going to be doing a full until next year when I’m weaned because my 25 mile weeks were tough on my milk supply, but I think I could still do it.
    We worked really hard to make sure our kiddo sleeps til 7:00 am so that I’d be back in time to shower and nurse him when he woke up, but there were certainly days he woke up early (or as I was walking out the door) and we had to readjust but for the most part it worked out.

    Henry is adorable, he looks like such a little boy, not a baby!

  • Kate November 26, 2012, 10:18 pm

    What I’ve read so far has been very helpful to me, but I thought I’d leave my two cents for you anyway! I ran two fulls before kids, three halves, and numerous other races. Before kids, I always ran early in the morning, in the dark, so I was used to that. By the time #1 came along (he’s 4 now), to get back into shape I knew I would need to do the same early morning routine. I ran a half after him and was extremely proud of my time.

    Since having #2 (and since my husband had a career change), it has been incredibly difficult to find the time between his schedule and when the boys get up to get in my runs (they are *very* early risers). I’m lucky if I get in 3 runs a week right now — and I’m not training for anything, just keeping up a baseline of fitness as I am 4 mos along with #3.

    I would definitely take your goals and decide if you just want to check it off the list or if you have a time goal in mind…I saw another commenter mentioned the “bucket list” vs. “tattoo” mindset. I am a teacher and in the summers I could imagine training with the “tattoo” in mind, but the rest of the year it would be just “bucket list” for me! I currently am not planning to try to tackle any major distances until #3 is at least 6 mos. old. My goal to qualify for Boston is being put off until I’m in the next age bracket, haha 🙂 GOOD LUCK with whatever you decide!

  • Katheryn November 27, 2012, 1:29 am

    I just had baby #3, six months ago. I’ve have also completed 5 full marathons and 9 half marathons. I trained and ran half marathons when my babies were little, but marathon training cannot happen until my babies are at least one. I breastfed all of them until they were almost two, and wanted to make sure I kept my milk supply up. Plus, I couldn’t be away from my babies for 3+ hours. Anyway, my first marathon I had a 4 and 1 year old. Second and third marathons they were 5 and 2. Fourth marathon they were 6 and 3, and the fifth marathon they were 7 and 4. I’m running a half marathon in three months and the kiddies will be 8, 5, and 9 months. I hope to run my sixth marathon when my baby is 21 months.

  • Becca @ Blueberry Smiles November 27, 2012, 1:43 am

    I say do it! My boyfriend just finished his second ironman last week and there’s nothing better than crossing the finish line and reaching a goal. But I know you talk often about wanting to fit in time for yor ya novel and more quality family time, so just make sure you weigh in the fatigue from endurance training and just the pure number of hours you’ll spend training every week before you make your decision….if I’ve learned anything from ironman/half ironman training, it’s that it is VERY all-consuming for many people.

  • Megan November 27, 2012, 5:21 am

    Gosh. I’m still trying to train for my first half marathon let alone a full. My goal has been to run the Marine Corps Marathon. I just had my baby 10 weeks ago and I find it almost impossible to run/exercise. I used to exercise daily at a minimum of an hour a day. Now.. I’m get one to two workouts a week. I’m miserable. I miss it. I just went back to work about 3 1/2 weeks ago. I have to get up at 5am every day to get ready for work/pump/prepare bottles. I leave by no later than 6:15 to make it to work by 7:30. I get off work at 4:30. It takes me 10 minutes to walk to my car and I get home around 6 pm-6:30pm. My 40 mile commute is HORRIBLE. By the time I get home, all I want to do is spend some time with my son before we have to put him to bed. We put him down between 7:30-8:30. It takes a while for him to fall asleep.. chances are he’ll want to eat one more time before he sleeps (9-10:30pm this will take place) lol… During this time I’m trying so hard to get ready for work the next day. It’s a vicious cycle 🙁

    • Jess November 27, 2012, 9:43 am

      Megan it will get easier! You’ll fall into a routine. You sound just like I did when my daughter was 10 weeks old…40 mile commute each way too! Give yourself some more time. I found things really turned around about the 4.5 month mark.

  • Jill November 27, 2012, 7:19 am

    Speaking as someone married to a triathlete, I recall when my husband decided it was time to do a half-Ironman. He’d done one spring, and one Olympic distance, and figured he should just try the half-Ironman, because to him, that was obviously what was next. He just…did it. He didn’t have a particular training plan (he doesn’t really train, races are sort of his training, and workouts with his high school students three times a week) and wasn’t worried about an awesome finishing time. He’s a really strong swimmer and biker, so the run was the hardest part. I took my mother in law and our (at the time) four year old kiddo, and we cheered him on through the different legs of the race. I think your training plan will have to depend on your finishing goal, won’t it? His goal was simply to finish. You’ll do great whatever you decide, and Henry will be cheering for you!

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed November 27, 2012, 9:08 am

    Just read this post reviewing the book “You are an Ironman” and thought of you!

  • C November 27, 2012, 9:40 am

    I just had my third baby 3 weeks ago and for the first time I feel no rush to train. I know how precious my time is with her before she starts walking and talking and I am trying to cherish every minute, rather than rush into “back to normal, training mode!”
    That being said, after child #1 was born I ran two half marathons and PR’ed twice by the time she was 6 months old.
    After child #2, I also ran a half marathon within 6 months. I waited until she turned 1 and I stopped nursing to train for a full marathon (I definitely think high training milage can mess with milk supply). I worked full time and did all of my weekday training runs at 4:00 AM. I did my long runs on Saturday morning, leaving the house by 6 am. While technically most of my running did occur before the house was awake, sometimes I wonder if my training fatigue, along with working and two kids contributed to losing out time with my kids.
    With my third child I had to have my first c section – due to placenta issues. The recovery is proving to be a lot more challenging and slow (likely because I couldn’t help but overdue it the first two weeks with my older kids). BY this time with my other two I was up and running. Now, I am waiting out the full 6 weeks, as I realize I have my whole life in front of me to run and now is a time to heal and enjoy my baby.
    One thing to consider is — you have your whole life to train, but if you want another child, there’s a certain time frame that is typically better…(ie. less risks with the health of baby and baby mama before certain age).
    Good luck with your decision!

  • Angie November 27, 2012, 10:38 am

    Well I have 4 kids – from 12 years old to 17 months old – and I used to want to do a Half Ironman. Now I have accepted the reality of my life with kids, a job, and a husband who likes to exercise also, and Half Ironman training does not fit into that equation. I have “faked” my way through an Olympic Distance tri and a half marathon with sub-par training (hubby with broken collarbone=not being able to leave him alone with baby very long) and while neither race was pretty, I didn’t do any lasting damage. I know that it is not possible to train halfway for a Half Ironman, so I’m going to content myself with shorter races for the time being. Maybe when the youngest is 10 (and I’m 50!)…

    So my advice to you is to do it before you have another baby. Each family member you add to the equation adds complexity. My hubby has a traditional 40 hour per week office job while I work from home. When a kid is sick or there is a day off school, I have to miss my training.

  • Jen November 27, 2012, 12:07 pm

    What’s your 70.3 goal? If it is: “to finish”, I say go for it. You can totally do it. You are training for a half marathon right now which will get your body strong again. You like the pool, so just keep swimming. You’ve done enough biking to know what you need to do to finish the 55 miles ( is that right?) I’ve watched friends train for different endurance races and for different goals and I think your biggest issue will be mental – spending time away from your family. My son will be 1 on 12/12. I ran two half marathons and 2 fulls this year. I trained hard and continued to nurse until 9 months. So we pumped before the races and I worried about engorgement (didn’t happen). I had a TON of GI issues and hydration issues, however my 2 marathons were in May and July so a lot of summer training, high temps. It’s hard to say. When we stopped nursing at 9 months, I got my old boobs ( small) back and also pretty much had my running body back by then. I ran a half marathon when he was about 10 months (Oct.)and kicked butt and PR’d ( 1:44:55) and had ZERO GI issues ( thank gawd). Moral of my story, my races weren’t the best and I had a lot more on my mind ( rushing around after the race to nurse and take care of my son – even with my partner being amazing and wonderful and supportive). No doubt you can do it, but it’s just a matter of deciding if it is worth it. I love running and wanted to make it happen this year. It gives me confidence and that really helped with my new role as a mom. Also, being in shape really helps me keep up with him! I’m going to run one more full marathon in March and then start trying for #2. 🙂

  • nancy November 27, 2012, 2:11 pm

    Wow this has been interesting reading! I am so impressed with the number of super moms out there who are making it work with little children and a heavy training schedule. I could not have done that. Training for something as demanding as a half-ironman would be, as you know, time consuming and very demanding physically. Right now, in this season of your life, it would seem that the priority would be to keep your body healthy, fit & reasonably well rested while you fully recovery from Henry (that takes at least a year no matter what anyone says) and prepare for a sibling. The most important work your body will ever do is conceiving, bearing and feeding your children. They only get one chance for a healthy start in life. The half-ironman will always be there and you will be totally capable of doing it a little later in life. Can you think of these few short years of childbearing & baby caring as a time to focus on smaller goals/shorter races? Can you relax a little bit, enjoy the baby years and know that your time to pull out the stops and put everything into racing again will come after? You are so very level headed and I know you will make the decision that is right for you and your family. I would just like to help you see that there is really no pressure to do it all right now. Heal, rest and enjoy these few short years where your body is accomplishing its biggest goals, having healthy babies and being a fit and happy mom.

  • Ali G November 27, 2012, 5:11 pm

    I say go for it!!
    I’ve done 6 half irons and just had a baby so I’m dying to get back into it!
    I highly recommend Beach to Battleship (October in North Carolina) I did the full last year and they also have a half distance. It was the best race I’ve ever done!
    If you can swim 1,000 yards and you’ve already run marathons/half marathons you can so do it!

  • Sandra November 27, 2012, 9:00 pm

    I am a mother of three beautiful children and I’m about to do my third half ironman. Like you it has always been a goal of mine, well, I actually want to do a full iron someday. Training is demanding but doable. I do have to get up early for runs (and by early i mean 3:30-4am) and coordinate with my husband our schedules everyday to make sure things in our family run smoothly (all three of the kids practice some kind of sport).
    I think if you put your mind into it it can be done! And if I were you I would do it earlier rather than later, life gets busier as the kids grow older. 😉
    Hope it helps a little

  • Britt November 27, 2012, 9:11 pm

    I am a newbie parent too but so far I’ve found that it is ok to ask for help. My little guy is 3 months old and I ran a half when he was 11 weeks (after an unplannedc-section) I was fortunate to run and do crossfit most of my pregnancy and bounce back, but getting back to logging mileage was not easy. I worked out a schedule with my hubby and called in backup (our parents )when needed. We all know I’m a better me when I am working out. 🙂

    I’m going to run Boston in April, just shy of 8 months post partum. I work full time and we run a small business so time is precious. But by being organized and trying to stay flexible helps. I’m out pounding the pavement by 5:30 am twice during the week and crossfitting at 6am twice a week. Before leaving I’m walking the dog and prepping a bottle. When I get home I clean up and get ready for work, usually enjoying 30-45 minutes with my little guy before daycare. Most nights we are all together, depending on our business work and events. Sundays are for long runs, the earlier I get it done the sooner we can hang as a family.

    Basically I find where there is a will there is a way!

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