Monday-7.25 miles (counted as last weeks miles)
Week #7 Workouts-
Tuesday-4.75 mile walk with friend, 30 minute upper fix
Wednesday-3 mile run/walk (ran 2 miles, then P decided he would not remain in his car seat in the jogger. Carried P and pushed stroller home), 30 minute lower fix
Thursday-2.5 mile run, 30 minute Pilates Fix
Saturday-5.5 mile run, 4.5 mile walk with daddy and P.
It was a perfect day for a run…except I really wasn’t feeling like going. P got up 5 times during the night. I was exhausted. I had things to do around the house and back to school is near. Not one to make a ton of excuses or back out on a goal, I set out for my Sunday long run (12 miles) that was scheduled on my training plan.
Along the way I felt the familiar tweak of a muscle that gets painfully sore from time to time since training for my first marathon nearly eight years ago. Earlier this week I wasn’t sure I’d make it more than a mile into one of my runs. Some stretching and easy running and it nearly went away.
I’m loving running and working out, but am feeling the challenges of being on someone else’s schedule and balancing all the new mommy tasks. I can’t just run when I feel like it or move a run the way I could in the past if something comes up. I’m feeling the exhaustion of a baby who has been getting up 3-5 times a night for the past three weeks after getting used to only one feeding a night for the previous five weeks. To make matters more difficult, when P stopped getting up only once per night, he has also stopped taking a bottle so well. Day time bottles from dad are usually ok, night-time bottles he refuses. Last night I got frustrated with P for being awake AGAIN and not letting his dad give him a bottle. In my head I kept thinking I had a long run planned for the morning and he was making it so hard to get up and run.
And then I thought, who gets mad at their baby because they have a long run the next day? I immediately felt guilty for thinking it, but the fact that I had remained.
According to the Wonder Weeks app he has been “storming” all month (love this app by the way) and will be for another 11 days. I counted. He is definitely going through some major development as almost everyday he wakes up doing something new. One morning he found his feet. Another day he began sticking out his tongue. He loves doing pull ups with his hanging toys. He adores knocking toys off his exersaucer that before he just stared at. He hates riding in his car seat if he can’t see the world around him.
As I got a few more miles in the familiar tired/weak feeling returned. It seems to show up near mile five in a run in the morning. I just can’t figure out my fueling with breastfeeding. I headed out on a longer route so I couldn’t cheat any miles. As I turned down a country road that would take me past one of my favorite trees, I started to ask myself why I was out there. If I’m not loving what I’m doing, then why the push? As my favorite tree came within sight, I stopped to stretch and think about why I was so eager to get back to marathoning. When I was pregnant I promised myself not to put pressure on myself to return to running or run to a point that I was overwhelmed and feeling unbalanced after baby. I have not been holding true to this. I’ve been putting lots of pressure on myself.
As I neared my favorite tree I thought about the logistical problems that recently arose with running this marathon in Indiana. I registered before our school calendar was out. We have inservice on Friday, so we are not allowed to take a personal day. I would have to take an unpaid day in order to get to the Saturday race. I’m ok with taking an unpaid day if it means a weekend of family fun. P is, however, not riding or sitting in his infant seat well as of the last two weeks. A two-hour ride took forever last weekend. There is no way he can make the 7 hour drive there AND back in two days. After putting him through a road trip to Boston, we don’t feel it is in his best interest to even attempt this drive, so I will have to run this marathon alone.
This presents another problem. I fall asleep really easy when I drive and I’m tired. There is no way I can drive myself 6-7 hours Friday, run a marathon Saturday and then drive the same distance back. I know myself. I will fall asleep. My goal of running 50 marathons in 50 states was always about exploring a state while visiting for a marathon, which I guess wouldn’t happen either. More importantly, I don’t want to be without my boys for that long.
I hate when people back out of commitments. I never make goals and not follow through with them. I’ve never signed up for a marathon and not ran it. I was feeling so guilty at even entertaining the idea of not running this race. I waffled back and forth for another mile beating myself up with my own thoughts.
As I made the turn towards town and home, I thought about how lately my heart, mind and body have not been so into this training. The song changed on my iPhone to the Zac Brown Band-Loving You Easy. I instantly smiled a big, dorky mom smile. I dance with Pierce to this song in the kitchen while I sing the words to him often and he smiles this biggest, heart melting smile each time I sing the chorus to him. Running along I was flooded with emotion and tears glistened in my eyes. I missed my baby. I could feel his soft skin. His little hand when it curls around my fingers when he nurses. The delicious smell of his sweet baby smell. His gummy grin. The way his whole body smiles when I walk over to him, limbs waving with excitement. All of this talk in my head on this run was not important.
The decision I’m waffling on is not worth the memories I might miss or the stress I’m putting on myself. I want to run what I feel like on that particular day based on how many times I was up the night before, how Pierce’s day is going, or around other family time. I just finished the 21 Day Fix today, and I really enjoyed doing the workouts, but combined with my training it is a lot. I want to make time for parts of both, not do both. A run here, a 30 minute fix there. Balance. I’m also loving my weekly yoga class that I missed twice since picking up training.
I always believe in honesty and hate how social media often makes life look so perfect and cookie cutter. Life is messy. My cookies never roll out perfect each time. This is just another example of that. So, I’m 95% I won’t be on the starting line of the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon like I planned and thought I wanted to be. Instead I will aim for the Houston Marathon in January as my first marathon after baby. I have my sights on a fall half marathon or two since this distance is much more manageable for me right now.
I don’t regret setting this lofty marathon goal only to change my mind. It’s not a failure. For the $50 I paid back in December I got my butt moving after having a baby. I walked a lot so I’d be able to start easy running sooner so I could then start training for this race. I credit this goal with getting me back out on the pavement and to yoga sooner than I would have without a goal. This helped me remember to give myself some time each day and got me outside with baby early on.
My marathon goal also helped me gain some much needed perspective. I want to do it all. I want to be a good mom, wife, friend, daughter, sister, runner, teacher, …and on and on. But, we can’t be perfect at all of them all the time. Focusing on what is important led me to realize that my goal to arrive at the starting line of my next marathon with balance in my life just isn’t possible right now as a new mommy.
Balance right now means not training for a marathon that will happen in just over two months. Balance right now means not following an exact training plan and giving myself some flexibility with accountability. Balance right now means a run one day, yoga another, and coffee and serenading my sweet baby everyday. Loving him is easy. Making this decision wasn’t at first, but in the end I know I will enjoy this time even more without the pressure I’m putting on myself. I will be a better mom to P. A nicer wife. And that’s what really matters…along with singing and dancing in your kitchen, which is exactly what we did as soon as I got home from my run.
Look to see a post each week as I continue running, 21 day fixing and working on balance with this whole new mom thing.
And, in case you wondered…
Weekly Miles Ran-17.3 miles not counting Monday’s 7 miles
21 Day Fix Recipe(s) I Loved This Week aka Yummy, Healthy Eats!
This was so good. I was skeptical since the flat-out is so thin, but it was delicious. Minus the vegan cheese-Think Kraft singles, but so, so much worse.