Sunday, 25 January 2015
In 132 days I will run my 5th Half Marathon, the Niagara Falls Women's Half Marathon.
It will be my first real race since having a baby and by far the furthest distance I have done since the day before I found out I was pregnant (when I did my best 16k yet with a 3wk old baby in my belly - you can read about it HERE) I feel excited and scared. I know that physically I can do the distance, even if it isn't pretty when I cross the finish line. And I am fairly positive mentally I can do the distance - but motherhood seems to have changed me in more ways than a leftover belly bulge and the ability to eat, do online banking and brush my hair all while nursing.
It feels like motherhood has left me scatterbrained. I heard of "baby brain" when I was pregnant, but "10 month old son" brain does much more damage! I survive only on making notes and lists now or I would forget even what day it was. I can only enter a grocery store if I have a hand-written list and I am on my second white board for the kitchen to keep track of bills, to-do's and honey-do's. So I feel challenged to complete the run not only physically but mentally as well, but than I remind myself of the battle it took to get Lincoln born.
Lincoln surprised us 3 weeks early and still took 21 hours of labor to appear - 21 just so happens to be the distance in km's that a half marathon is and I keep telling myself if I can survive 21 hours of labor and 3 months recovery after that, I can certainly labor my way through 21.1km again.
So that means I am officially back in training. I normally follow the 18 week Half Marathon training program from The Running Room but this time I stretched it out longer in order to give me a couple weeks to start building my cardio again. I figure I needed it since it has been so long since I have been regularly running and regularly building any distance.
With training comes outdoor long runs which I have realized are much more difficult in the winter, with a baby. I am a true Northerner and I can handle some cold snowy runs, but I cannot make my poor son suffer to same fate and spend an hour bundled up in a stroller trying to not freeze his face.
So I bought a treadmill and I named her Niagara.
I set her up in the living room (mainly because its the only place she will fit) and I even have her facing a small upper window we have so I can have a little "scenery" when I run. I take advantage of Lincoln's regular nap times and am currently running 3-4 times a week. I bought this treadmill used so it doesn't have too many bells and whistles but it has an incline, adjustable speed and a fan which that is all I really need :) I just set up the baby monitor and off I go.
Now, I have always hated treadmills - I have a hard time getting into a rhythm and I think my pace often suffers from it - so when we decided to buy Niagara I wasn't really looking forward to it that much. That is until I had a hard "mom day" and I didn't sleep well, I felt frustrated at the baby and I wanted a break from this new job of mine. On that first day, when I got on the treadmill and was able to run, like really run without a stroller or a dog leash or the bitter cold air - I felt free. It was wonderful, and I sweat and felt sore and my shins burned and I loved every minute of it.
Because I felt like I had a piece of "me" back.
Being a mom really is all about self sacrifice - and though the sacrifice is all worth it at the end of the day (or so I am told lol) I really struggled with feeling like I lost myself when Lincoln was first born. And looking back now I think its OK to feel that way, because your life has changed. I am no longer thinking about myself solely but instead I have a little person whose needs and feelings go before mine. I missed my old life, I missed work and adult conversations, I missed being able to go for a long run on Saturday mornings without needing "baby permission". I missed and still miss a lot of things but as Lincoln grows and becomes more independent I get little bits of "me" back as well. Moving out of the 'newborn' stage into the 'little guy' stage brings all sorts of new challenges and rewards and my return to running is one of my rewards.
I am a mom first and foremost, but I am also a wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, soul mate (JM), young adults leader, lover of Kraft Dinner, member of SheReadsTruth and a runner. I am working on embracing and loving ALL of those things - even on an old dusty treadmill.
My name is Barclee and I am a half marathon runner - to be confirmed again in 132 days. ;)
Friends, if any of you struggle with treadmill life check this out: 26 Treadmill Workouts