Getting back into running has surprisingly been much easier than I thought it would be. From what I had observed, I thought it would be nearly impossible to find time to run; my endurance would be shot; and suddenly running would just be much less important in the face of all the all-consuming mothering I was going to be doing.
But one thing a friend of mine told me while I was pregnant is that in general, we tend to find time in our lives for the things that are important to us. It might not be everything we want — I haven’t finished the baby hat I started before Will was born, for instance, and those flower beds out back are still choked with weeds — but in time, we make room for the important things. That thought was a big relief, and now I’m finding that for me, making time for running and yoga hasn’t been as impossible as I was prepared for it to be. I know that having a treadmill is a big reason I’m able to run so much, so I continue to be extremely grateful to have it.
That being said, running itself, as it was before Will was born, is definitely not easy. I am not going long distances at all — 3.5 miles is the longest I’ve managed — but that doesn’t mean it’s a cake walk, and not just physically. My biggest challenge right now is the mental aspect. There’s a saying that running is 90% mental, and I think it’s so true. I just don’t trust my body to do the things it’s capable of.
Yesterday’s run was hot, humid, and discouraging, and I stopped to walk several times toward the end. I know that in the heat, this isn’t a bad thing, but I was having a really hard time staying focused. I knew I could ask more of myself, and that my challenge was all mental — so this morning’s run was going to be all about confronting those little doubts. I knew that physically I didn’t need to stop; I just needed to prove to myself that I didn’t need any crutches or safety nets, that I was and am perfectly capable of responding to these increased challenges. And today I finally did. My first postpartum run without any walk breaks! I completed 3 miles in 29:17, and I was ecstatic — not just because of my time, but because I am finally getting ahead in the mental game.
Now the challenge will be to convince myself I’m capable of maintaining that pace for four miles! Eek. But if it’s not a little scary, it’s not a big enough goal. I have two more months to prepare!
OK, that’s enough chatter.
(But really quick — I am NOT HAPPY about this Saturday’s 100+ projected temperatures. While my garage isn’t air conditioned, it’s still cooler than being outside, but I am hoping to get off the treadmill! We’ll have to get out the door as soon as Will opens his eyes.)
In other news, here are some pictures from the last few days. Look at how big this baby is getting:
Enjoying the pool yesterday
Will attempts to eat his shirt (which, as you can see, is starting to get a little snug in the diaper area. But do you like his patriotic colors?)
Tummy time, or: why do I bother?