Running has been going great lately. I’m not running any crazy distances, or breaking any land speed records, but I feel myself getting back into the groove (I started running at exactly 6 weeks postpartum so this is a long time coming!). With the La Jolla Half marathon approaching in 9 weeks and the inspiration I found after watching the Marathon Olympic Trials, running is on my brain. I’ve found myself wanting to get out and run as much as possible, and burning out a bit on P90X (good thing we just started the last week of it). In fact, I’ve put runs above it for the last couple of weeks and have missed a few of the key P90X workouts as a result of poor planning. I’ve got a lot of thoughts running through my head on how I’ll be able to balance running, working full time and taking care of a baby (who still wakes up around 4-5 a.m. for a feeding pretty much every night), but for now, I’m enjoying the (quasi) freedom of being a temporary stay at home mom and enjoying mid-day runs in the 70-80 degree San Diego “winter” weather we’ve been having lately.
One of the big reasons I’m really loving running is that my friend Allison and I have set up three runs a week together. It’s rare that we end up running all three together, but for now we have a Tuesday stroller run on the 101 in Encinitas, a Thursday baby free run in Carlsbad (my mother is law has been coming every Thursday to visit with Siena), and a Saturday morning baby free “long” run on the trails near my house. Running with a buddy is ALWAYS better, and the miles tick by so quickly, even if my legs or heavy or my arms are sore from pushing the stroller.
This past weekend I ran my longest postpartum run yet – 7.3 miles. During peak marathon training I used to bust out 8-10 miles on a weekday, but this 7.3 mile long run felt victorious. I thought that I’d have a harder time accepting the “new me” when it comes to running, but I’ve been able to really let go of past paces and distances and just accept where I’m at today. Today, 7.3 miles is a LONG run. Today, a sub 10 minute mile average on a run is fast. Today, finally running the crazy hilly 3.1 mile trail near my house without walking is something worth celebrating. Today, I am the runner I am.
When I first started running, I PRed on every single race I ran for a year. It was so motivating and fun to watch myself get faster and faster. That’s how I feel again. That 7.3 mile run was as rewarding as the first time I ran 7 miles. My upcoming half marathon will be my first postpartum half marathon and I don’t want to compare it to races I’ve run before this. This is where I’m at, and I look forward to challenging myself to improve my current fitness level. Of course I’d love to beat my pre-baby PRs (and I plan to someday), but for now, I’m focusing on celebrating the improvements I’m making with this body and this fitness level.
After injury, pregnancy or another running set back, do you tend to compare yourself to your old self or your current self?
PS – Prices for the San Diego Craft Classic Half Marathon go up on March 1! Use code FITNESSFATALE to save $10 (there are also races in Atlanta and Phoenix). Come run and drink beer with me! http://www.craftclassic.com/san-diego/#