‘I have a difficult time remembering what it was like to be a runner prior to having a baby’😊
Lucas has strengthened me in so many ways that how I navigate through my day is consistently influenced by the impact he has made on my life. He is such an overwhelmingly beautiful, crazy, and loving gift….and the way I run and my perspective on running is so much healthier and happier after becoming a mother.
Yesterday I had a race that I was disappointed with. I did not run a smart race and for many reasons, it has been a difficult one to let go of.
I started writing this blog only a month ago so I will briefly mention my post partum half marathons up until now. My first one I was 4 months postpartum with no expectations other than to finish and smile the entire way. It was The San Francisco half marathon and such a perfect way to begin my postpartum running journey. I felt so grateful to be out there running with such a supportive and enthusiastic community. My time was 2:04 (I think😘) and I finished feeling strong and calm.
I then ran the Santa Rosa Half marathon which has been my favorite half ever. It is a gorgeous course through vineyards and I broke 2 hours by one minute which was my goal.
In December of 2016 I ran The San Diego Holiday Half with a goal of 1:50 to 1:55 depending on how I felt. This was the first race that I really trained for with some decent tempo runs and speed work. Race conditions were amazing and I ended up running a 1:49 which is my current postpartum half marathon PR.
I then took a break from half marathons to train for my FULL marathon (3:59) and followed that race up with the San Diego Rock N Roll half marathon where I ran a 1:53. This was an incredible race. The energy was on fire and I had a blast. It was a hilly course so I was not expecting a PR but I ran it well and felt so present the entire time.
Then came yesterday 😯America’s Finest City Half Marathon.
I did not train for this to be a goal race but I did put in a lot of quality miles and hills, strength work and cross training. I admittingly need to incorporate more speed work but given my average paces while stroller running and treadmill runs, my body was ready to run a 8:15-8:20 average mile pace for a half marathon, or so I thought.
What I did not expect to happen two days prior to the race is for my son to come down with a wicked cold that would keep him up at night and go from one nursing a day to multiple times a night. This led to much less sleep for me and feeling rather drained from nursing more than I was used to. My body was getting ready to wean Lucas completely and so I probably burned quite a few more calories in those 48 hours. It was a couple of hard days both physically and emotionally leading up to the race and something that I really should have accounted for as I stepped onto the start line.
The race is pretty spectacular in that it starts at Cabrillo National Monument, so we had to take shuttles in and the view overlooking San Diego harbor at 6am was breathtaking. However, the start was a bit chaotic (We only had about 30 seconds to get into our corals) and given how tired I was, I started out too fast. I was on track to run a sub 1:49 for the first 10k but my body was fighting every step. My confidence was dropping and by mile ten, I was letting my emotions get to me.
My legs did not want to go faster and when we hit mile 11, where it is a pretty steep incline for 2 miles, my body began to tense up and cramp. Relatively speaking, I remained focus and kept my breath steady but I really wanted the last 5k to be fast. My body knows how to run sub 8 miles, my body knows how to run hills and my heart for sure LOVES running. There were a lot of tears at the top of the hill and I was able to kick the last 400 meters but 1:54 was not a satisfying time for me. Not because that isn’t a good time. It is a great time. It just was not great for me because of the journey leading up to it. I started off too fast and since I was tired and maybe needed a few more calories in the beginning, I think a slower and steadier beginning would have helped a faster and stronger finish. If I had to say it in a few words, ‘I ran inefficiently’.
My son and I have run so many miles together. We have been through sleepless nights, long runs, angry runs, happy runs, and painful runs together. We are a team and a part of me felt like I let him down too yesterday. But, all is ok. We will get up in the morning, lace our shoes, fill up the water bottles, grab snacks, get the Thule stroller and try it all again….because we run to learn more about each other and to explore the world with gratitude and curiosity. And you better believe I am going after that sub 1:49 in December again and a marathon PR in 2018 😍
“That’s the thing about running: your greatest runs are rarely measured by racing success. They are moments in time when running allows you to see how wonderful your life is.”-Kara Goucher