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mother. marathoner. blogger. reader.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Post Baby Running - week 1

It took the threat of a price increase to get me to register for my post baby half marathon.

I picked a local race, one that I have already raced in, thinking it would give me the confidence to attempt a half marathon 7 months after having my third baby. I know that there are superwomen out there who run 100 milers, 2 weeks after giving birth, and stop at rest stations to breastfeed their child. I am so NOT that woman. 

I'm more of the wearing my husband's running shirts because mine still don't fit right and his are long enough to cover my gigantic just had a baby bottom. Oh and there's probably spit up on that shirt because I had to burp the baby 5 minutes before I could escape out the door. Then there's the deer in headlights look that I have because I went to bed, for the third time, at 5:30 only to get back up at 6:50 to get the family up and ready for the day. 

Quite the attractive picture huh?

At this point, when 2 miles are torturous and my fuel belt still doesn't fit, it's hard to imagine that I'll be able to complete 13.1 miles.

Hard to imagine but still possible. 

I strongly believe that if I hadn't been so diligent (some might say obsessed) about exercising while I was pregnant, I wouldn't be in any position to train for this race. Just during the past week I've been able to increase my speed, cutting a few minutes off my 2 mile time. It wasn't something that I did intentionally, it just happened. Don't get me wrong, it's still hard but I can feel my body submitting and answering to the demands I'm putting on it.

I've been debating whether or not I should share my weekly mileage/pace with you. I'm generally in the not sharing camp because I never want anyone to feel that my slow pace is their fast pace or visa versus. And in this instance, coming back from pregnancy, no one should feel that they should do as I'm doing. But I know that there are women out there wanting assurance that they will be back to their normal running selves after having their baby - at least I know I did. So I'm going to share - the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Week 1
Monday: 2.50 mi, 37:22, 14:58/mi

Wednesday: 2 mi, 26:07, 13:03/mi

Friday: 2.14 mi, 27:23, 12:47/mi

Saturday: 3 mi, 38:39, 12:52/mi

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

running is hard.

"The first mile is always the hardest."

Truer words have never been spoken. 

The first mile I ran today was brutal. I felt like I was carrying 50 lbs of dead weight. By the time I got around the corner from my house, I was out of breath. I could feel the sun beating down on my neck and my mouth was dry and parched. I wanted to stop. I wanted to quit. I wanted to turn around and go home.  

But at home was my running partner, who graciously volunteered to come during her lunch hour to keep an eye on my kids, so that I could go for a run. I couldn't show my face 5 minutes after I had just left the house. 

So I kept going. Tried not to look at my watch. Prayed for a college friend whose 4 year old son is battling a brain tumor. Thought about how you hardly ever see used Toyota or Honda minivans for sale. Considered what we were having for dinner tonight. Thought about anything other then the torture I was purposely inflicting upon myself.

Mercifully, my Garmin finally beeped at me, alerting me that I had reached a mile. I could turn around and head home.  

As a marathoner, it is humbling to struggle through a two mile run. I worry that it will always be this hard. That I won't be the same runner I was before. These are not new fears. I go through this cycle of self doubt whenever I take time away from running. 

Thankfully, while today's first mile left me doubting, the second mile left me elated. 

Often in running, you need not only the courage to start but the courage to continue. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Thoughts on 3

On March 5, 2014, I became a mother of three.

The transition from two to three children has gone much better then I had expected. 

My two older children have adjusted relatively well to this new little person that has invaded their world. W generally ignores him, unless G is crying, then he covers his ears and says "I don't like that sound". Initially, I was concerned that E, my three year old, would be jealous of her new brother and would turn into a maniac. Thankfully, she has seems to love him and takes her role as Big Sister very seriously. She likes to tell him to burp and then when he does, she takes the credit.

The key I have found to maintaining some sense of sanity is to plan ahead. For the older two, I lay out their clothes for school the night before, make lunches, and consult the calendar as to what to expect for the next day. G is a great baby but becomes an angry, screaming monster about 15 minutes before he's supposed to eat. Thankfully, my amazing husband measures out all the bottles for the day so I don't have to fool around with making bottles while holding a screaming infant.

In our house, everyone "rests" in the afternoon. There might not be actual sleeping going on but that two or so hours gives me a chance to recharge or even get a little shut eye. E will probably be a rebellious teenager before I give up on rest time.

Surprisingly enough, I've learned that my children behave better when we're in public and it's easier to contain the insanity when we're out and about in the world. Playgrounds are the greatest things EVER. Playgrounds that are shaded are even better. The older two can run around and burn off the energy while I hang out with G. I pack a picnic lunch and BAM an entire day of relatively stress free fun.

Even though there are some stressful moments, I'm trying hard to savor the good ones. The late night baby snuggles, rocking with E and G on my lap, and singing with W before bedtime. Before I know it my three babies won't be babies anymore. Then I'll be forced to come up with another witty title for my blog.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Don't call it a comeback

Yesterday was the day. It's been 6 weeks since my c section and that can only mean one thing... I CAN RUN AGAIN. 

It has been quite awhile since I've been able to lace up my sneakers with the sole intention of going for a run. Running is such a huge part of who I am, a daily part of my life and routine, that not being able to do it has been strange, and at times, difficult.

Towards the end of my pregnancy, when I was going to the gym and walking on the treadmill, I would daydream about being able to run again. Being outside, with the sun on my face, leaving behind the stress and frustrations of life with every step. For me, running is not just about the physical activity, it's also about an emotional and mental release.

After 6 weeks of minimal sleeping and navigating life with three children, this benchmark came just in time. I actually had to be fitted for a night guard because I was waking up with headaches from clenching my jaw. Apparently, not running is detrimental to my oral health.

I woke up yesterday to a text from my fabulous running partner congratulating me on being able to run.


She totally gets me.

I got the kids ready, dropped them off at school, and then sat in my car in the school parking lot. I was nervous. I actually had butterflies. It was the strangest thing. What did I have to be nervous about?

Finally, I forced myself to put my phone down and get out of the car. Within two minutes of starting, all my nerves were gone. I fell into a comfortable trot and just kept moving forward. It was a fabulous 2 miles, slow but fabulous. 

Staying fit during my pregnancy definitely helped my recovery and return to running. My lungs and legs are strong and I wasn't sore at all this morning. 

I'm excited about slowly adding mileage and getting back into my running groove.

Watch out running world: this Mommy of 3 is hitting the road!