URBANA — Thousands of runners are looking forward to Friday’s Presence Health 5K. One woman has been working hard to balance training with family and school. Her family includes her husband and eight kids, but she says it’s been worth it.
Before this, Britta Kreps had never considered running a race. She says she made it a personal goal to be ready for this week’s race and she stuck to it even through life’s little challenges.
For Britta, staying balanced means more than just keeping her footing when she goes out for a run. After some time alone, she knows she’s coming back to a crowd.
“We have eight kids,” said Britta. “Three girls and five boys.”
Their oldest is 12 and the youngest is just eight months.
“She was about six months old when I started and really just had that post pregnancy bleh feeling,” said Britta.
That feeling helped inspire her to start training for the 5K. Most of Britta’s running involved doing laps around her neighborhood. She says her kids have been some of her biggest cheerleaders.
“If it wasn’t nap time, if I had to squeeze it in between taking somebody to a practice, they would sit and watch the little kids while I ran the laps,” said Britta. “I’d wave as I go by and check in, but that was the only way I was going to get it done.”
Even when she’s not physically running, Britta is usually running her kids around to their various activities, but she doesn’t use that as an excuse.
“There’s never enough time,” said Britta. “I tell my husband every day, ‘can I have four more hours?’ And he’s like, ‘no you can’t.’ So we just have to make it work.”
So that’s what they do, even when they’re at home. Britta is more than just mom. She’s also the teacher for her homeschooled kids. The dinner table has become more of a focal point as her training has continued.
“We make the time to eat,” said Britta. “We make the time to sleep, albeit not enough most of the time. So if we’re going to stay healthy, we have to make time for it. We’ve actually spent a lot of time in the last month or so revamping our diet, eating healthier, and that takes time.”
Her race is about more than just the 3.1 miles. Britta says she wants to be a good example for her kids.
“I have three daughters, so I want a positive body image for them, that they don’t worry so much about the wrinkles and rolls, but that they’re eating well and exercising and the balance,” said Britta.
Without her family, Britta says she wouldn’t have been able to balance it all. Now she’s looking ahead to the race.
“I hope I come out of it smiling and want to do it again,” said Britta. “We’ll see.”
Britta says she’s taken her kids on some of her shorter runs and they like that a lot. They’ll be waiting with her husband when she crosses the finish line on Friday night.