“It is a journey, a long distance of revelation of self, of accomplishment and of failure” -Hal Higdon
The other night I was going through some old photos and found this one of me in Greece staring at the Olympic track. This was around May 2014. I had just started training for my first marathon and I had also just started dating Eric. It was also the last vacation I took with the father before he passed away recently. A very special trip for many reasons. I am half Greek from my Father’s side and to be with so much of my family was extraordinary.
Staring at the track, I remember my mindset at the time in terms of running. I liked it a lot. My first marathon, I was not running for a specific time. I was running to enjoy the journey. Sure, it sounds cliche…it is not about the result but the journey. However, in this case it was true for me. My love/passion/appreciation for long distance running began at this period. I had always enjoyed running but not in the same way and I mostly ran mid distance up until this point. Going out on the trails (often the case in Northern Cali, where I was living at the time) or the road and having no expectation other than to appreciate the time and space and freedom to run was a gift I am pretty sure I had taken for granted before in my life.
Long distance running for me are moments in time when life is clearer and very simple. When the sound of your steps and your breath mimic a slower pace of every day life.
I have no idea what my post partum #2 running journey will be like. When I had Lucas, I ran my first postpartum half when I was 4 months postpartum in San Francisco. The San Francisco half was the perfect way to return to racing. I honestly could care less about my time (it was 2:10 for those wondering) but it was about the community, the space, the freedom, the appreciation for what my body had done creating a baby and becoming stronger because of it.
My following half a month later in Santa Rose,I broke 2 hours, a few more half marathons later and then my second marathon where I broke 4 hours. My post partum PR half marathon was the last race I did before I got pregnant again. It was this past December. I had a time of 1:48.
I am so excited to run post postpartum again. It is such an emotionally wonderful release and racing really brings me so much joy but I am fully prepared to take it slow. I have been thoroughly involved in yoga during the third trimester and feel strong. I am emphasizing the yoga right now more than any other type of movement. I am for the most part physically uncomfortable at this point. For me personally, it is the nature of being pregnant, especially later in the pregnancy and I am totally ok with that. Pregnancy is magical and a miracle but it is also very unromantic at times and keeping my body happy and healthy right now means getting on my mat every single morning and strengthening my body to give birth as well as to take care of two children after birth.
My general plan is to do half marathons for the first year post partum and to start training for my third marathon the following year. I like Spring marathons and given this baby is due towards the end of October, it will make sense to start training in January after he turns 1. Lucas was 9 months old when I started training for a marathon but it worked out that way because I wanted a May marathon and he is a March baby. And I would personally love our races, traveling, and adventures to be mostly outdoors. I am forever excited to do as much camping as possible with my family of four.
In general how have things been going at 32 weeks? Busy:) Lucas starts school next week and my focus has been on him entirely. I am active every day which makes me so happy, my appetite is minimal. In fact, I have not had a great appetite this entire pregnancy but I am doing my best to eat small amounts throughout the day and that is working. I love organization and always feel like I am nesting so it is especially strong when I am pregnant:) I enjoy arranging pictures, furniture, kitchen items. I do not like clutter at all and don’t enjoy shopping that much except for very specific things so I do my best to keep just what we need. Eric and I agree on this and it is so great for the mind to have clean spaces and even blank spaces are good. I have been reading every night which has truly been one of my favorite parts of my evening schedule. I am hoping to get in three more novels before the baby comes.
Sleeping is kind of happening.:) Pregnancy insomnia is totally crazy to me but for sure a real thing and so I am just going with it.
My lists currently include what staples to have in the house before baby, what projects to do while Lucas is at school (this involves mostly deeper cleaning that involves focus and a good couple of hours), and a school routine for Lucas. There are two things that I know work for me REALLY well. Simplicity and routine. Making time to run, to do yoga, to be outside, to write more, to do activities with Lucas, to spend time with Eric. All these things are HUGE and in my opinion, preparation goes a long way. The first few months after having this baby will involve a lot of unpredictable adventures and choas but it will also be intertwined with daily activities that have helped our family for the past 2 and ½ years with Lucas.
Every woman, every pregnancy, every baby, every family, every lifestyle, everything is truly: “To each his own” but I do enjoy following some mother’s on Instragram that I can relate to and that have offered so much support, wisdom and experience in this phase of life. Motherhood and running and yoga have a lot in common for me. There are successes and failures and everything in between. It is a process, a journey, not something to be rushed. I am completely fine going slower if it means I am learning that much more along the way.
Grateful for it all and always love hearing from you.