After dedicating a week of FB posts and tweets to success of the fitness and running variety – I’m all about celebrating – here’s the finale. This is the first of new interviews with runner mommas that inspire me and offer perspective for us gals trying to pack running into an already packed life. I didn’t have to look far to find the first momma to chat with.
Tanya Bunson, who has been to every single Run Momma Run group run since we started, is one of those women who has a smile for everyone and she hands them out like candy. I feel good just standing next to her, but the other day I noticed she was smiling through our entire run as we chatted away the miles. My legs were pooped that day, but how could I not feel good after that?
Tanya, 39, is a SAHM of two young boys (4 and 6). She also plays a mean fiddle in the all-women’s bluegrass band, Opal Creek. My kids and I saw a recent performance, bought her first CD and have been dancing in the living room daily ever since.
Tanya says that exercise isn’t something that she loves to do, but she loves how she feels afterwards. She usually walks or bikes the kids to school, works out at the gym and runs a couple times a week. She started Weight Watches a few months ago and has lost 20 pounds!
I asked her some questions about her recent health and weight loss success and how running has played a part.
RMR: Why get fit now?
TANYA: I have a very full and satisfying life, but I have not been happy with my weight and my energy levels. I love my kids, but I have found parenting to be extremely difficult. I don’t want to be remembered as the grumpy mom. I want them to see me happy and healthy with a zest for life.
RMR: What are your fitness and running goals?
TANYA: My overall goal is to feel healthier and be more energetic. I don’t have specific running goals, but I would like to enjoy the experience more. A few years ago I ran the Eugene ½ marathon. I’m finding that running with a group is genuinely fun and at the same time it pushes me in ways that I would have never pushed myself. I’ve been running at a faster pace than I had ever done before without even really noticing.
RMR: What are three things that have been key to your success?
TANYA: Vision – I came up with a clear vision of what my life would feel like if I were thinner and healthier. Reminding myself of that image inspires to keep going even when I have a “bad” day.
Accountability – I’ve tried to lose weight before with little success and it’s clear to me that I need to involve other people in the process.
Fun – My attitude is light and fun. I’ve always been able to exercise and increase the amount I exercise, but losing weight has been my Mt. Everest. This time around, I’m trying to enjoy the process – laughing at my stumbles, creating tasty meals that are low in points, but are interesting. Joining the Run Momma Run group definitely falls into the fun category.
RMR: You’re a musician. Do you run with music? How do those passions conflict or compliment each other?
TANYA: I don’t like wearing earphones so I choose not to listen to music when I’m running or working out at the gym. The main conflict is making time to do both – play music and exercise.
RMR: Runners, especially those just starting or returning, find they have a love/hate relationship with it. What do you hate about running?
TANYA: I don’t have a runner’s body, so I often feel clunky.
RMR: What do you love about running?
TANYA: I love that I can slip on a pair of shoes and go. It’s free and it’s outside. I can exercise my dog.
RMR: The best time you had on a run was…
TANYA: Completing the half marathon. I loved being part of a huge mass of runners and getting cheered along the way.
RMR: How do you stay motivated?
TANYA: Right now, it’s all about losing weight and feeling stronger. Exercising definitely contributes to both.
RMR: What advice do you have for new runner mommas?
TANYA: Enjoy the experience and find people whose company you enjoy to run alongside of.
RMR: What is something you’re doing you never thought you would do?
TANYA: I’m running alongside amazing women who run marathons (note the plural) and ultramarathons. I don’t consider myself in the same league and it’s nice to be able to join them on short runs and not feel completely intimidated. I would have never imagined doing that!
I love Tanya’s keys to success, especially the FUN part. How do you keep the fun in fitness?