Written February 20th
It’s coming back, slowly but surely. That feeling when I run, the whole reason why I love it so much. The turning over of my legs, the feeling that I can go forever and do anything. It’s all coming back. A little at a time, it’s coming back. Nine weeks postpartum and I’m starting to feel like a runner again. I’m starting to get out and decide to run farther than planned just because it feels so good. Totally different from going out and slugging through a mile and turning around to go home because 2 miles was all I could force my body to do.
Yesterday I went out for what I figured would be a 2 mile run. I had gone 3.5 miles the day before which was the farthest I’d gone since 35 weeks pregnant. I wanted to play it safe and run easy. My average pace these days has been about 9:15-9:30 per mile.
I took off running, pushing Carter along in front of me and I felt awesome! I looked down and my first mile was 9:05. I thought, whoa I’m gonna rock this run! I didn’t feel like stopping, so I just kept going. I got to 1.5 miles (where I’d turn around to run 3 miles) and I still didn’t feel like turning around.
So 4 miles it was and boy was it a good one. For the first time in I don’t know how long I ran my last mile the fastest (in 8:45 which is awesome for me right now). Lately I’ve been sore and worn out by the last mile and just trudge on in to the finish, on pace or a little over. Man did it feel good to have a finishing “kick”!
As I sped up the small incline toward the park where my car was parked an older gentleman was walking by with headphones in. He looked at me and shouted, “Way to go mama!” I couldn’t help but smile. It was the perfect ending to a great run. The best part was the volume with which he yelled. With the headphones in he had no idea how loud he was! I was filled with joy. I could have my baby and hey, I could run pretty decent too! I felt like I conquered something. I finished 4 miles with an average pace of under 9 minute miles, pushing a stroller, and still carrying some extra “baby weight”.
My fastest times may all be behind me, but I’m tougher now than I ever was before. I pushed through a half-marathon 32 weeks pregnant. I have run with 25 extra pounds weighing me down and a baby using my bladder as a pillow. I ran a 5k the weekend before Carter was born, trudging uphill and then having gravity pull my belly on the down hills. I have pushed a stroller uphill with the wind blowing me backward and sideways (and let me tell you running up hill, into wind, pushing a stroller is the most difficult running challenge I have ever faced). My running life has changed. It’s no longer about speed, it’s about the challenges. And honestly, I’m loving it more than ever before.