Monday, February 3, 2014

Is it me I'm looking for?

It's funny, I've been back to running since 6 weeks post partum which means umm...lots of weeks. 12 today, or almost 3 months. And yet it's only in this past week that I feel like a runner again.

At first running was beyond slow and so damn hard.

And then it was so hard to get it in. I had weeks I couldn't run at all, weeks where one run that week was good. I planned to run in the morning, and found that the only time he let me sleep was...late morning. Running at night is scary. I wanted to run both weekend days and life gets in the way.

I got my elliptical, and it helps. It does! But it's not /running/. It's just not. I can work up a good sweat and get a hell of a workout. But it's not RUNNING.

I didn't resent it. Miles is all of 4 months old right now and still - big as he seems, relatively - an itty bit of a thing. He needs me more than I need me.

 I'll admit - it's still so weird I had a baby! This is my...son? Wow!

But all combined, I didn't feel like a runner. Last week though, I got both weekend runs in - scraping the bottom of my determination barrel to go out at 11 at night and get a quick 2 mile run in, followed by a 4 mile run the next day. I did it. And that night run...wasn't sooooo bad. I did laps around my neighborhood, 8 quarter mile laps. Boring, but miles are miles and it was outdoors and it was a RUN! And it got me thinking maybe I could sneak a couple 2 milers in during the week...because see, I have these running goals. They're calling my name. (Hello, sub-35 5K. You're on my RADAR. I'm coming for you!) And I have these races, I'm signed up for. And there's this marathon I want to run...

...and if I'm not running, I'm not a runner, and not-runners don't do those things. And I like the me that runs! A lot. I'm happier as a runner. It's me taking care of me, and it's me having FUN. (Dear high school self: Running is fun. I promise. ~Current Me)

 Can you see the ice on my eyelashes? ...neither can I, my phone cam isn't good enough, but dude. There was ice on my eyes!

So this past week - despite it being my daughter's 5th birthday when I usually just weep that my baby is growing up and ETE ALL THE FOODZ - I ran outside twice during the week, a 2 mile run and a spontaneous 5K run - and then a 5 mile weekend run through the snow. (The 5 miles was HARD! It wasn't the distance, running through the snow is hard!) Only 10 miles - but all outside, and all in one week.

And suddenly, I feel like a runner again. In a way it's deja vu because the 5 mile run was exactly the pace I ran a year ago, right before I got pregnant. I used to run 5 miles 2-3 times a week plus a long run. Sunday's 5 miler was my long run - I still have a ways to go to get back to where I was - but I feel like ME again. I have no idea what a reasonable goal is for this weekend's 10K - my chocolate race! - but I'll finish it, which a month ago I wasn't sure I could.

That feels pretty damn good.

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