Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Welcome Guest Blogger, Danielle Sterling: Marathoner and New Mom

Hey, everyone. I thought it would be fun to have a few of my favorite running friends to guest post on the blog since my posts have been concentrated mainly on Isaac and less on running here lately. It really motivates me when I listen to other runners who have gone the distance--no pun intended. First up is Danielle from Maine. She's a real, down-to-earth new mama who has put in the time to make her goals come true, and her running resume is incredible. Check out her story; then check out her blog! You can also find her on Twitter and Istagram at RTDanielle09.

hi! im danielle from ooh breathe, just breathe. im SO excited mallory asked me to guest blog for her (thanks!!). the
conversation went a bit like this...

mallory- I'd like to recognize another new inspiring mom who (obviously)
bounced back after baby. (then she gave me questions, one of which was diet

me- i know people will love my diet of doritos and iced coffee!

mallory- I think it's important for people to see how real we runners are.
We can't eat perfectly 100% of the time. People relate and connect to real

yup. you'll find im about as real as it gets (at least i hope that my blog
portrays who i am in real life!) i dont pretend to be someone im not. why
bother doing that? i also dont type with capital letters or a lot of
punctuation, and i love parentheses (i use them *a lot*), and that wont
change for this post. hopefully you enjoy my q&a session... head on over to
my blog if you want to find out more about me, my life, my running, and my
new baby boy!


**Tell me your running story*:

you might laugh when you hear this, but i used to hate running. yes, the
girl who has run almost 100 races and 50 mile weeks and 200 mile months and
8 marathons used to hate running. key word, obviously: *used*. during pre
season for high school soccer we had to run 2.5 miles in under 30 minutes.
it made me sick all summer thinking about it. in other words, i was lazy. i
also weighed about 145 in high school (and i loooooved swiss cake rolls and
pizza. oh wait, i still do...). i played soccer, basketball, and softball,
and went to college in upstate new york and played basketball there as
well. my hatred for running stuck around (and my love for all foods fried
and various other junk food joined the already unhealthy diet). we found
all the excuses in the world not to go to the gym and i especially wasnt
spending money on expensive running shoes and hitting the open roads.

but the summer before my senior year in college i decided to run a 10k in
the town i grew up in. i barely trained (clearly still didnt like running)
but i finished in 68:47. not too bad. then i went back to school and ran a
pumpkin run around halloween (a 5k) and i won first female! (i dont
remember but theres a good chance i was maybe the *only* woman running?
haha). i dont know what my time was but i kept running, and started to
actually enjoy it. in the spring i took a class called "jogging" (my other
class that spring was CPR. gotta love private school elective courses! what
a waste those last 6 weeks were...) and things really took off from there.
i learned about breathing and good running form. and i made myself a goal:
run a marathon by the time i was 30 (at the time i was 22 years old. 30 was
a long ways away).

the following summer i really trained for the same 10k i had run and took
10 minutes off my time. my first half marathon followed the year after. and
7 more half marathons after that. before i knew it, i was starting to train
for that full marathon (2009... almost 30 years old, man how time flies!).
marathon training is long and puts a lot of doubts in your mind. but i
remembered back to the overweight and lazy girl who never liked running and
knew i didnt want to be her again. in october of 2009 i crossed the finish
line of my first marathon, upright and smiling.

in my head i had originally thought i would be one and done for marathons.
they are *hard.* but from that moment i finished, i knew i would do another
one. over the next four years i ran 7 more. the last two of which i was
pregnant with henry. ive become a one star/bronze level marathon
maniac (two marathons in 16 days). ive done 4 reach the beach relays (200
miles in 24 hours). this weekend ill run my 17th half marathon, and it will
mark my 96th race overall. i think you can say i love running.

running gives me some great "me time". i used to have a tshirt that read
"running: its cheaper than therapy". i really do believe that. sure there
are days when my running isnt great, or i have bad runs, or i dont want to
run at all. but when im out there, i enjoy it (for the most part). and it
really helps clear my head.

so thats pretty much my running story. and its far from over, i hope!

*What is your diet plan*:

hmmmm good question. honestly, i dont have one. do i eat overly healthy?
for the most part. but i dont really have a plan i stick to. and i do love
junk food still, especially in the form of ice cream and potato chips.
running has been great all these years, enabling me to eat whatever i want
(especially during marathon training) and not really gain any weight. but
im getting older (waaaah waaaaah). and i know i need to eat healthy for
myself and now as a role model for henry. i love potato chips more than
life itself, but im convinced the salt is good replacement from the
running! (right? just agree with me, k thanks). im not gluten free. i dont
eat beets. im not on the paleo diet and im not vegan. i eat what i want,
with the knowledge of whats good for me and whats not (and i still often
will eat whats not good for me. you only live once!). you'll usually find
me eating a bowl of ice cream watching the biggest loser, and making fruit
and kale smoothies after long runs. i find i have a good balance/mix with
the food in my life. i like the way my clothes fit and the feeling that i
am strong. i dont step on a scale and worry about numbers.

*What motivates you*?

before having henry i was motivated to crush all my race time goals.
looking back i find it arbitrary. sure its nice to get fast and see lower
times on my watch. but what motivates me now is knowing how good i feel,
both physically and mentally, when i run/exercise. and i love seeing how my
positive energy rubs off on my little growing guy.

*How life has changed with baby*?

absolutely *everything* in my life has changed with baby.
e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. theres no more "just get out of bed and go". its a lot
of planning and prep, putting someone else first instead of me. ill be the
first to admit i think i was probably pretty selfish before henry was born
(not in a bad way, but you know what i mean). your whole outlook on life
changes after having a baby, and despite not having as much "me time"
anymore, i absolutely wouldnt change it for the world.

*How you fit in your workouts*?

i work 3 days a week and have 4 days off, which is a great schedule for me.
that being said, i either have to get up at 4am and get my run done before
work or before my husband leaves on my days off, run with the stroller, or
run when my husband gets home from work. if the runs dont get done, i brush
it off or figure out another time to get them in. i also have a great
running BFF who lives 1.6 miles away and she and i enjoy our 4am runs more
than most people ever should.

yay headlamps... safety first!

*What have been some of the challenges you have faced*?

a few years ago i had some knee/IT band issues that sidelined me quite a
bit from running, but other than physical challenges, most of what i face
now are just time management issues and getting runs in when i can. like
ive said already (and will say again, twice), i make it work for me... and
that often means running when henry is still sleeping or bringing him with
me. i hate missing out on things he is doing when he is awake, especially
at this age when he is learning new things so rapidly every day!

*Any tips and tricks*?

like magic tricks? tips for candy crush? i love to say i have all the
answers for making time to fit running in with your life... but thats just
what the trick is... you have to figure it out with *your life*. not mine.
i make it work for me, you need to make it work for you and your family.

*Give us some advice for beginners and new running mommies*:

either for new running mommies, or mommies who are new runners... take your
time and dont get frustrated. i was a runner before having henry, and i
feel that it helped tremendously with my pregnancy, delivery, recovery, and
overall mental health over the entire thing. getting back into running
after having a baby isnt easy and it took time, i didnt quite "bounce back"
as i thought i would, and that frustrated me. but ive lost all the weight
(and then some), and im getting stronger and faster. same thing goes for
new runners... ease into it. i didnt start running marathons from the very
beginning. ive heard great things about the couch to 5k programs. beginner
training plans for any race distance are a great way to start, and gives
you a goal to work toward. but again its all about finding the time to fit
it into *your* life and schedule.

*Do you have anything else you want to add*?

i think what mallory wrote to me when we first talked about this post was
spot on... its important for people to see how real we runners are. people
relate and connect to real people. i have so many blogs that i love reading
for that exact reason- i connect with people who are going through similar
life stages as i am. we share stories that are real. i attempt making my
own baby food and use cloth diapers (sometimes) but im not a super mom with
all of lifes questions figured out. im not a super fast runner who wins
races, but i run for me (and for cupcakes, obviously). i shop at target
(way too much), dont wear make up aside from mascara which is probably 3
years old, and dont own a pair of jeans over $40. i swear more than i
probably should. i sometimes dont shower til noon, if i shower at all. i
drink way too much coffee and desire to one day be on the reality show "big
brother". i am a wife, a sister, a daughter, and a mother. this is who i

oh... and im a runner. and i love it!


thanks again, mallory, for asking me to guest post!