Happy Friday! I’ve got a special treat for you today – an interview with one of my favorite ultrarunners + supermamas, Meridith.
You might know her around the interwebs as @RunningWithCadence (a fun play on a running term AND her adorable daughter’s name)! I’ve been following Meridith’s running journey for two years now and her strength and dedication to training is nothing short of amazing. She balances motherhood, marriage, career, and getting in lots of miles (and of course, Maggie miles!) each week with grace and a big smile. Let’s read more about her and find out how she does it!
Welcome, Meridith! Thanks so much for sharing your story with us today.
Hi! Thanks so much for reaching out to get to know me a little better! I love this running community and the friends who I’ve met through running.
I’ve been married for 8 years to a pretty incredible person. Jon makes me a better person, and he supports my passions way better than I could have ever dreamed. He’s also a pretty amazing daddy to our 2.5 year old. We have another baby girl due in September, so we’ll be a sea of pink (including Maggie the golden retriever) with my husband as our trusty leader.
I’m super close to my family, and I get to work with my dad in our family’s business. My sister has four kiddos, so it’s always a party when we get together. ☺ God has been a central part of my life, and I’m thankful that I was raised to know Him as a loving Father through all stages of my life. I’ve found that worshiping God through my legs and appreciating the gift of running has been a big part of growing my relationship with Him.
What’s a typical day like in your shoes?
I’m a working momma, but I recently changed my schedule to be MWF in the office. This has been the best change for our family, and I’m so thankful for my Tuesdays and Thursdays with Cadence, our daughter. It’s also a huge blessing to be able to stay plugged in at my family’s business while I work with my dad and amazing co-workers.
Whether it’s a work day or a Cadence day, I like to wake up and finish my run first thing. I run a lot of weekdays on the treadmill, but I also love running with the stroller or solo runs outside. Whatever gets the job done! Cadence is a great little workout buddy, so most of the time, I can manage to get in whatever I want with the help of Cadence and my husband. I do weights three times a week, so most of the time, I’ll use our home gym on Tuesdays or Thursdays while Cadence plays. Outside of training, we try to fit in as much playground time, library time, and snuggle time as we can!
My commute in the evenings on MWF can be 30-60 minutes, so at night, we pretty much just have time to walk the dog, eat dinner, and enjoy Cadence before bed.
How long have you been running, and what made you get started?
I have been into fitness for as long as I can remember, but I really started running in 2013 when I signed up for my first marathon. It took me several years to figure out training (instead of just going out for a run at random distances on random days—ha!). I really got the bug in 2014 when I attempted a BQ (got it on my 4th marathon) and also learned about trail running. Then we got pregnant with Cadence in January of 2015, and I REALLY learned to appreciate running by running through pregnancy. I came back postpartum as a faster runner, and I started to apply smarter training methods to be a better and healthier runner.
What are your proudest running moments?
I ran my first (and only) 100 mile race one year after having Cadence. It was a great race (2nd female), but most of all, I was surrounded by my family and friends crewing me and supporting me in this goal. It was a really special time for me, and I felt so loved through the process. I was still breastfeeding Cadence, so I had to pump throughout the race. Our bodies are incredible things! I also saw my husband’s support as he helped make it possible to train for a goal like this. There are lots of ways to be romantic, but one of the most romantic things my husband can do for me is to support me in my passions like he does.
Do you have a favorite race distance, and why?
Right now, I’ve got to say the road marathon. I love trails, but in this stage of life, roads are easier to train with family life. I’ve run some really fun and fast marathons lately, and I want to see how fast I can get. The time commitment for the marathon is a good fit for my life right now.
Are there any goals that you’re currently chasing?
Baby due in September! ☺ Right now I am just trying to enjoy fitness and keep us all healthy. I’d love to run through this pregnancy, but I know that every week is a blessing. I hope to run a fast(er) marathon postpartum and another 100 mile race.
Do you have a favorite mantra or quote that inspires you?
For every goal race, I like to pick a verse to focus on during training and especially for a race. My verse for my 100 mile race was:
Isaiah 40:26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.
It was so special to be running under the starry sky and thinking about how God named one of those stars for me. In 2017, I created a training cycle journal (4 months) so that I could incorporate my faith more into my training. I have found that I train so much better when my focus is on my Creator, not on my efforts. I am currently working on an annual training journal. Hoping to have it available for others to use by the end of the year!
What’s your advice to someone who wants to start running?
Enjoy the process! Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by all of the information out there. There are so many different methods of training, and all of them can be effective in their own right. Consistency is the most important element, but don’t be afraid to throw in some cross training on days when things aren’t feeling 100%. I’m also a big fan of strength training!
What running products/gadgets do you swear by?
I love my milestone pod! It is a foot pod with a really handy app that will tell you tons of metrics about the run. I also really love it because it keeps a running log for all of my runs, so even treadmill miles get logged.
What are some of your favorite things in life, apart from running?
I love spending time with my family, preferably outdoors! We love to hike and take walks with our golden retriever. It’s the best way to connect and talk, and Cadence loves to be outside. My husband and I are also big readers. I get most of my reading done on the treadmill, but I also always have a book by the bed with a back-up handy as soon as I finish the last page.
We love to be outside, even if we aren’t running!
Just for fun – what are three things that you’re grateful for?
Oh so many blessings to pick from!
- A healthy pregnancy (22 weeks as of May 15th)! We miscarried in December, and it’s made me so aware of what a miracle this process is.
- A husband who supports my passions. When I told Jon that I wanted to train for another ultramarathon last spring, he said he was totally up for that as long as we travel somewhere fun. We ended up all flying to Oregon, and Jon crewed me for 100k while babywearing our 18 month old. True love!
3. Running friends! Running wouldn’t be nearly as rewarding if I didn’t have my friends to share the experience with. Running is such a special bond, and it tends to connect all of our other stages and phases of life.
Thank you for letting us see what it’s like to run a mile in your shoes, Meridith! Wishing you a healthy pregnancy and many happy summer miles!