How Motherhood Has Changed Me and My Running
As we knock on the door of my daughters 3rd birthday I started thinking back and realized how fast it all went. I always got annoyed when people would say this before I had her but it really is the truth. 3 years have passed in a blink and sometimes it is hard to remember being without a child. I didn't have a lot of free time before and still struggled to fit everything in my day but there was a sense of never ending time to make up stuff that I didn't get to. Even with one kid it seems like I am in a forever state of making up but a lot of my perspective on time has changed.
I have to manufacture time and adapt. Instead of things being ideal, I have to make do with what I have sometimes. Sound familiar??
You'll hear a lot of women saying pre-kid running was the BEST and they've struggled to get back to where they were. Personally I had the opposite journey. Like I wrote in one of my first posts (Here if you need a recap) I initially started running to lose weight. Post baby I did it to lose weight and also to try to piece myself back together and figure out who I was now. I didn't run through my pregnancy. In fact, after those 2 lines showed up I didn't run another mile. Mostly it was because I felt like crud from the get go and just didn't have the energy nor appetite to keep my basic needs going. But also there was that first time pregnancy fear of doing something wrong, which I now know isn't the case as long as you have your doctors OK.
(Our gender reveal announcement---Can you tell we are a fishing family?)
I waited a full year postpartum to run again. I walked with the jogging stroller until I felt fully ready to run and do it because I wanted to. I remember starting over again and being overwhelmed and dissapointed that what I had built up was gone but it was important enough for me to keep going. I had my eyes set on eventually running the 7 Mile Bridge Run in the Florida Keys and knew I wasn't going to get there unless I just kept running. I wasn't blessed with a magical sleeping baby, I was full time nursing with not having a bottle to fall back on, I was carrying extra Lbs and emotional baggage still just trying to get back into it.
It didn't magically come back overnight but it all started to slowly sew itself together.
(About 8 months pregnant here, in the middle of summer----SO WARM)
3 years in and I still don't feel like my pre-kids self which I'm more than okay with. I'm happy to say that I've grown stronger physically/mentally , I'm more focused and have become more appreciative of what running gives me. When I ran pre-kid it was very loosey goosey and I would find reasons not to run. I didn't make running or myself a priority. Now running has become my time to push myself beyond my normal day to day without it being about someone else. I still give my grace on days that I don't feel "into" running but overall I try to commit to every run, strength train and cross train. There are days the last thing I want to do after getting through the marathon that is toddler bedtime is to actually go run my miles. But most of the time I do go because I have goals that I want to reach outside of being a Momma---and thats OK!
My little one doesn't care that I ran my fastest mile ever, she doesn't care that I've run a half marathon, and she definitely doesn't care that anyone else is fast than me.
All she sees is me running and thinks its awesome. Now that she is older she actually wants to run with me which makes my momma heart just explode. I hope and wish that she keeps that zest as she does get older. I won't push her but I want her to experience the joy that it's brought me. She sees other people running and excitedly points and yells "Running just like momma!!" I love how she sees me and I want to model that for her.
(Looks just like me---Don't you think?)
I want her to know it's ok to have things that are for YOU and that just because we may not be Aliphine Tuliamuk or Desi Linden it doesn't mean you can strive for big things. Even my goal of getting an OTQ seems so far fetched but I don't care. It may never happen but that doesn't mean I can't work towards it and give it all I got.
Being a mom made me not be afraid to reach for something semi-unattainable----because that's what I want my daughter to do. I want her to reach and not be afraid of failing.
I want her to enjoy the run and enjoy life. Life is one big marathon made up of a bunch of 5k's, 10ks and half marathons. Life is getting a PR when you didn't expect it, having a horrible run and learning from it while still planning on lacing your shoes up the next day and trying again. Running is a gift that I try never taking for granted. It's not easy, but it's worth it. Just like day to day---every run serves a purpose to the bigger picture. You just have to be open to it.