Monday, July 14

What running looks like with an 8 month old

My Facebook wall today: Fastest mile I ever ran? Maybe not. But the lightning sure put some pep in my step on the commute home tonight!

That's the kind of running milestone I celebrate these days.

My running has been derailed. There are no more detailed training plans. These days I'm just trying to keep from passing out from exhaustion at work after yet another sleepless night. If I also shuffle home from the Metro station, it's only because it buys me an extra few minutes with my baby boy.

If I'm honest with myself, I think I jumped back into racing too soon. I ran a 5k at 6 months, and while my body was ready for the run, my head wasn't in it. I sort of hated every moment. ("Why am I doing this?!?" really isn't a winning mantra.) But that may be just the brutal 6-7 month sleep regression talking.

Over the next month my miles dwindled in direct proportion to my hours of sleep. Cumulative sleep deprivation is no joke. My body was barely functional on 2-3 hours of shuteye per night, and while I know well-meaning parenting books will tell you that exercise helps stave off fatigue, that advice is aimed at the sedentary American general public. Track workouts, I am sure, are not what they had in mind.

So I took a few weeks off. Dancing in the kitchen with my baby became a "workout."

And now, slightly better rested, I'm building back up again. But my running life will probably never be the same.

Here's what my running looks like now:

Last week I snuck out of the office for 3 miles at lunch. Over the weekend I was awake at 5am, so I nursed my baby, handed him off to dad, and hit the pavement for another 35 minutes (who knows if it was closer to 2 miles or 5?). And I've run to or from the train station a few times. I might've lifted weights once or twice.

I have no idea how many miles I've run.  (Did I run commute 3 days? Four?)

And I don't care.

I'll just keep plugging along until the spark re-ignights. (Let's just hope it's not in the form of more lightning.)

Sunday, May 25

Lessons from a 5k

First post-baby 5k lessons:

  • When you're coordinating your race around baby feeding and nap schedules, a 30 minute delayed race start is completely unacceptable
  • I'm not as fast as I was
  • I'm not nearly as slow as I thought I'd be
  • Mid-race daydreams now revolve around watching 8-10 year old runners and wondering if my son will be a runner when he's that age
  • I've entered a phase of life where racing seems like a waste of precious running time
  • Hubby is still my favorite racing partner, but for entirely different reasons now (baby transport > mid-race paparazzi)
  • I believe more races should be stroller-friendly
  • Running 3 miles as a nursing mother is possible. Women who run half marathons or longer before weaning deserve gold medals. (There
  • I will race less now, and won't really miss it as much as I thought I would
  • I will pretend that some mornings are race days anyway, just to make sure I get out the door