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Group Fitness: Making Time As A Fit Mom

My ‘One Fit Mommy’ interview this week is courtesy of Archana Ramachandran. Archana works for Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, and is a student at The University of Texas at Austin. She is also a passionate runner in her spare time.

As a mother, it’s a challenge to find time for yourself – each day is a battle to juggle play dates, homework, relationships, and work. While rewarding, it can be mentally and physically exhausting. To be the best mom you can, it’s important to spend time taking care of yourself as an individual too. The MOMS Club of Austin-Oak Hill in Austin, TX, cultivates this need by providing a network to moms to help one another maintain a balanced lifestyle.

This year, several members of the MOMS Club of Austin-Oak Hill are running as a team in the Silicon Labs Austin Marathon Relay on September 21. The five team members will each run a leg of the relay (10K, 11.1K, 11.1K, 5K, 5K). Hear from Kerry Joyce and Jenny McLatcher, two of the team members, about how they got involved with running the race and how they integrate an active lifestyle into their roles as mothers.

How did your Silicon Labs Austin Marathon Relay team come together?

Kerry: One day I saw a Porsche driving around Austin with a bunch of Silicon Labs Austin Marathon Relays decals on it and I thought, I could do a leg. So I emailed the MOMS club calling for other runners and exactly four women emailed me back. It worked out perfectly.

Had you ever run a marathon or relay before?

Kerry: I had done the Austin Motorola Marathon in 2002 and 2003. I’ve since had children, and this year I didn’t have time to train for a full-marathon.

Jenny: I ran the Austin Marathon in 2005. It was so difficult to carve out time to run distances with a child but my husband ran the race as well so we trained together. It was nice to have support and help then and it is now too. Although I like to run because it can be done at anytime or any day and anywhere and best of all it is free, I do like to cross train with swimming and biking as well.

What are you doing to train for your leg of the marathon?

Kerry: I’m using a “10 Weeks to 10K” training schedule I found online and running on a regular basis.

Jenny: I try to do a variety of activities on a regular basis, like spinning and swimming and running.

How have you made time to integrate working out into your lifestyle?

Kerry: Even before we had kids, my husband and I had an active lifestyle – we would go hiking, bike riding, recreational running. I’ve had to adapt since having children, but now that they are in school (Kerry has a two sons; Parker, 4; Wesley, 3), I run during the day and on the weekends before they wake up. My husband has Sunday morning duty when I go running.

Jenny: I bring kids along with me when I go to the gym, which they love (Jenny has two daughters; Maggie, 4; Mary; 1). Sometimes I also bring them along when I work out in the neighborhood – we go through walks in the neighborhood with our dog.

Besides staying active, it’s important to keep a healthy diet and set a good example for your kids. What are your eating habits like?

Kerry: It’s hard not to snack. I try to eat lots of protein and water and keep everything fresh. For my kids, I mix up their meals for variety. Snacks include fresh veggies, protein, and sneaking stuff they won’t normally eat (like spinach or beans) into smoothies. The taste of blueberry covers up those mystery ingredients.

Jenny: You have to set a good example for your kids by eating wise. When you go out to eat, your options aren’t necessarily healthy. My daughter will ask me “is this food going to help me sleep well?” because we’ve taught her that a healthy dinner will help her get a good night’s sleep. I make conscious decisions when planning meals for my family, and my husband has been making bread using whole grains.

How does the MOMS Club of Austin-Oak Hill help you as a mother and as an individual?

Kerry: It’s not always easy to meet new people in your neighborhood, but once I joined the club back in 2006, I recognize people everywhere I go. It’s nice to see familiar faces. And as moms, we’re all concerned about getting back into fighting conditions – it’s great to have a common goal and working towards something, together.

Jenny: The MOMS of Austin-Oak Hill are here to support each other and empower one other with tools. We are MOMS – Moms Offering Moms Support. You make connections with people who are in similar situations, and you can count on them to be there for you.

What are your educational values?

Jenny: I did not sign up because of who the race benefits but I do believe that Junior Achievement is a wonderful program. I was a middle school math teacher before I had children. I really appreciate any organization that helps children understand numbers, money, and how they are so important in their lives.

How has exercising and creating time for yourself benefited you?

Kerry: I set a goal with the Silicon Labs Austin Marathon Relay. I had four other women counting on me, and that’s what I needed to push to train and stay committed. The pace I keep isn’t important – the only goal is to finish.

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