Olympic marathon runner, Lisa Weightman is currently in training to win a place on the start line at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast where she’ll, hopefully, add to the bronze medal she won at the Delhi Games.
With a personal best time of 2:25:15 for the marathon and 69 minutes for the half marathon, she’s a force to be reckoned with. Perhaps even more impressive, however, is the fact she ran her Olympic qualifying time just 12 months after giving birth to son Pete and today, the 38-year-old doesn’t just fit training in around the needs of her family but around her job as a consultant for IBM.
“My life isn’t dissimilar to many other mums. I’m just blessed with the ability to run a bit faster than others and push myself beyond my limits”, she says. Despite the fact she’s represented Australia, running for her is a passion. “I couldn’t support my family on race prizes”, she points out.
Here, she shares her tips on how she does it.
Learn to prioritise
Mother guilt is a real conundrum. I see so many mums talk about it, write about it and angst about it. Modern mums are often expected to cram the work of a full-timer into three days, entertain our children with simple, home-made tools, never use screens as electronic babysitters and still have time for our own passions.
We can’t be everything to everyone and remain true to ourselves as well so I prioritise. These priorities change on a daily basis but I work out what has the most important claim on my time at that moment and then get on and do it.
Focus on your achievements
Don’t focus on the things you can’t do, congratulate yourself on the things you’ve achieved. If I miss a run, it’s not the end of the world. I don’t give it another thought. I know that at the end of my career a missed training session here or there will be insignificant. Remaining healthy, happy and relaxed as I move into race phase is a much better way to prepare and achieve a PB.
Look for support
There’s a saying: “It takes a village to bring up a child”, and in our case that’s true. My mum looks after Pete while I work and my parents and sister take care of him when I train. In return I take my nephew Tom to school a couple of days a week. I get to spend time with my husband Lachlan McArthur, training together as many days as we can. On weekends, we manage with the support of his parents. They live in Creswick, just outside Ballarat, and they enjoy spending time with Pete while he enjoys getting out into the country and playing trucks and diggers with his grandparents. It’s a win-win situation for everyone and I feel truly blessed.
Recognise and congratulate yourself on the lessons you’re teaching your children
I want my son to be proud of his fit parents and I hope he’ll grow up knowing that a combination of discipline, team-work and never losing sight of your dreams can result in amazing achievements.