I've written before about how being a new mom has affected the way I see things as an athlete. It has changed my approach to training and competing more than I ever thought possible. As Mother's Day approaches, I am reaching out to all the mamas who continue to lead healthy, active lives because it makes them better moms. It's extremely tough, but we still get out and move our bodies because we know the rewards are great - for everyone!

I used to plan my training weeks in advance. Now - HA! I decide that day what I can fit in. If I'm up early, and Dad is keeping an eye on a sleeping toddler, I can get out on my own for a quiet, solo 15km run. Or, I can pop in my ear phones (a novelty as I never run with music while pushing a running stroller) and let Katy Perry motivate me for interval runs.

More and more now, I stop. I used to worry that if I stopped running I would be too tired to start again. But my fitness has improved and my confidence is back. If I’m running with my little kiddo, we stop and look at the river under the bridge. We stop and watch the airplanes take off. We stop and watch the big eagles soaring above. I never used to stop, but my running has grown.

A perfect Mother's Day would include a run (with or without my child), because either way I am doing something that makes me a better mom. There are so many expectations on moms, and I have felt the pressure of returning to a very high level of athletics soon after having a baby. I have adjusted to that stress and turned it into something that works for me. Training in a way that works for me and my family is how I am happiest. And it's not easy mamas! I'm right there with you.

Not all moms need gifts, or cards, or serenades (although all forms of chocolate are generally appreciated). What moms need is to be appreciated for the daily work that goes into being a healthy mama, no matter the 'level' of athleticism, because in my eyes, we're all doing the exact same thing – creating footsteps and heartbeats.

Happy Mother's Day!