It’s been about a year since I last wrote on this blog, and life has changed dramatically in that time period. Last summer, I finished my first marathon, traveled throughout Southeast Asia, did the summer wedding circuit, ran a 10K with my college roommate, got accepted to and started my masters program… oh, and I found out I was pregnant!
Yes, it’s true – just 10 days after my college roommate and I ran the Dog Days of Summer 10K in Westminster, Colorado for a mini 7-year reunion, I got a big surprise. It was 5AM on a Saturday morning last August when I woke up early to meet Kelly for our first run together since marathon training. I impulsively decided to take a test, convinced that it would be negative and I would be on to my Marine Corps. Marathon training for October, and the line was so faint that I hardly believed it was real. I distinctly remember walking up to Kelly on the trail, planning to keep this a secret, and blurting out, “So I may have to go slow. Because I’m 99% sure I’m having a baby.” We ran our 10 miles with me freaking out with excitement the.entire.time.
Fast forward almost a year later, and life is so different than it was the day I finished the Colfax marathon. I’m finishing up my 3rd semester of graduate school. My company is thriving. I suddenly run an 11:00 mile instead of a 8:30-9:00 mile. My husband and I are about to celebrate our FIFTH anniversary! And I have this happy, healthy, hilarious 3 month old son that my husband and I just can’t get enough of. I don’t want to brag, but life is pretty freaking good.
I was incredibly fortunate to have felt well enough to run throughout most of my pregnancy – my goal was to get to 30 weeks, and I made it to 34. While I cut back pretty significantly after some early complications, I still managed to run a 5K last November and do numerous longer runs outside of racing on my own. I even reconciled with the treadmill in an effort to avoid running on ice while massively pregnant! It certainly wasn’t easy, but after a healthy pregnancy and easy delivery, I’m grateful for sticking to what I love.
After baby arrived, I took 3 weeks off completely to let my body recover. I walked a lot in this time – it’s me, and I can’t sit still. But I also enjoyed the days at home with my husband and son, and I spent a lot of time learning to breastfeed, sleep when the baby slept, and other things you’re supposed to do that make sense in theory but don’t when you have a crazy tiny human sitting in front of you.
At 3 weeks, I went out for my first run. It was hard. I barely made it 1/2 a mile. I spent a number of weeks doing a run/walk routine, and I gradually built myself up over time. Now 15 weeks later, I’ve worked myself up to 7 miles on the weekends and 2-3 miles a few days a week. My core is so much weaker, and weight lifting feels like starting from scratch, but I’m getting out there and trying to teach my body to be my body again. I ran my first post-baby race at 12 weeks PP, the Stadium Stampede 10K through Mile High Stadium. Nothing gets you moving like some Denver Broncos pride, afterall! That race was tough, but I finished and I got to high five my son at the end!
I’m finding now as a new mom – one that’s also all-consumed by motherhood, grad school, a busy job, a lovely marriage, family, and friends – that running still is what keeps me grounded and sane. Having the ability to wake up early and go for a run has made me feel wonderfully centered at a time in life where it’s easy to forget what that means. As always, running has given me a goal to work towards and a passion that’s all my own to look forward to. I was proud of my body for its achievements a year ago, but now that pride exists on a totally different level. On bad days, I ask my husband to remind me that my body made life – there’s no reason it can’t run 13.1 miles.
I’m still trying to find my balance, and there are plenty of days it’s hard to psych myself up. When the baby wakes up in the middle of the night, it’s hard to get up the next day and feel amped for a run. But I’m learning that the beauty in all of this is finding ways to enjoy all the little moments.
I have my first post-baby half coming up in October, and I’m working through my training plan carefully and faithfully, hoping for a great race. This may not be the year to PR, but my body’s done something pretty cool in the last year, and I’m ready to be back in the game!
Happy running, and I’m looking forward to running along with you again and sharing the ups and downs of this crazy new life!