Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mother, Runner, and again Working Woman

It is with mixed emotions that I return to work tomorrow.  Clare is 3 months old and I feel like we are in a good mom/daughter groove.  I'm starting to get to know her well and she definitely knows me.  I've said all along I didn't think I was cut out for this stay-at-home mommy thing, and while I'm not.  It's going to be hard to drastically cut back the hours I've been spending with her.  40 hours a week seems like a lot.  Maybe someday I can figure out something part-time or just a different situation, but for now, I'll be at work.  It will be nice to get back to that daily routine - I do better with routine. 

My running camp that I joined is at that critical time when the running-shoe-rubber hits the road.  When you first start it seems ridiculously easy.  Run for 2 minutes?  No problem! (OK - so it wasn't completely effortless, but it didn't seem impossible).  We are transitioning this week to running longer than we walk, and I remember when I was training for my first 10K (6 years ago!!! YIY) there came a point, about in the middle of the program, when you felt like you turned the corner into a runner.  It got noticeable harder.  That's going to be this week I think.  I welcome the challenge.  It feels good to be able to push myself again without worrying about another human being.  I just worry about me.  It's nice.  Mother's really do make ultimate sacrifices for their children and I'm not just saying that because I am a mom now.  It's more like I am understanding what millions of other women do for their children.  It amazes me actually.

Last Wednesday when we run, the coach was talking about how running gives you the confidence that you can do anything.  You can ask for that promotion, lose weight, skydive....whatever.  And the first thing that came to my mind was "But I couldn't give my daughter a natural birth".  I think about this a lot when running and I believe I'm still harboring some feelings of guilt, disappointment and failure about the way things went down.  My husband said "You say that like you had a choice."  True - it was an emergency C-Section - not planned, I did everything I could but it was out of my control.  But I cannot help the way I feel.  It's just going to take time to let go I think.  Anyway, I think about this a lot while running.  Let me update from a previous post...Labor is NOT like running a marathon.  I was a fool :)  There are no walk breaks during labor.  You cannot get a water break and it hurts and is exhausting with no easement.  And it gets worse.  Yet I still have memories of pushing through a lot while running and feeling so proud of myself and what I could accomplish which make the actual labor part feel like even more of a failure.  I DNF'd birth.  I've often said that my greatest fear is reaching my limits.  Knowing that I cannot do any better.  That was the most I would understand intellectually, the most fit I could ever be, the most caring I can ever be.....So maybe having Clare just felt like reaching my limit.  Like that was something I just couldn't handle and do.

I KNOW.  I KNOW.  I KNOW.  I have a beautiful baby girl and I am healthy.  I finished.  I know it isn't rational, but it's how I feel sometimes.  98% of the time I do not think of this, but running opens you up to a flood of emotions and thoughts.  And there you have it.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Running strong

Running Camp Week 2:

The hardest part about this week was NOT using the 30% discount on clothing and 25% discount on shoes at the local running store after the run.  We met at a running store as part of the week's lecture series to give us information on all assessories running.  I wanted so very badly to buy the shoes that I would need next year and a few tops that I would NEED for this summer.  But I stopped.  Because.  Because I've grown.  I'm more mature than that now.  Eh.  It sucked walking out of there with nothing.  But you know what sucks worse?  My drawers not opening because they are so stuffed with clothes they get stuck.  And then I have to go through and decide what I want to get rid of.  And I think getting rid, is harder than walking away.  And after this remodel project and all of the crap Clare has been buying (I know, she's a total shop-aholic) I know that I want to have an organized house with less clutter.  And that means less stuff coming in or more stuff going out.  So no new shoes.  No new tanks. 

We ran 4 minutes walked 6 and I thought it was easier than the first week.  I think I'm getting more used to it.  Back into it shall we say.  It felt great again.  My whole week is better when I am exercising. 

I'm off to shop for jogging strollers.  Sure we already have a stroller, but not a JOGGING stroller.  And we might need one of those umbrella strollers too at some point.  See what I mean!?!  How much crap Clare has to buy!  Sheesh!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Mother Runner

I am a mommy.  For 2 whole months now.  It's nothing like I ever expected.  Both in terms of work and love.  I was worried that my plans to get back into running wouldn't work out because I ended up having a cesarean.  Not so much the natural birth I wanted, although I did get to experience it for 18 hours.  I healed up nicely and after 9 weeks am able to run.  We had our first women's running class last night. 
I know what you're thinking.  "Oh my gosh! She's the cutest baby in the world!!!" I know right?!?!?
It was EXHILARATING.  I remembered some things.  I'm a runner.  I love to run.  I'm not sure I can even describe how great it was, but since this is a blog and that's sort of the point, I'll try.  I've left Clare before for a few hour here or there.  Every time I do, I'm always wondering what's she's doing.  Worried if she's crying and I miss her like crazy.  Cuz you know..I love her.  Except for last night.  The weather was perfect (God must have know that anything less might have discouraged me).  When we were running it was like everything was exactly right.  I didn't think of Clare at all.  It was me and my own thoughts and all of these wonderful words and thoughts came to my mind that I would write about here.  A very welcome break.

It was very humbling, yet with the experience I've had as a runner I was still confident.  I know what I'm capable of.  But it was so very hard.  That's the humbling part.  Here I was in a group of people, some who have never run in their lives and I was numbered amongst them.  But I had run.  It's weird to not be able to do what you could once do with ease.  I'm talking about running for 2 minutes.  2 MINUTES!  It was rough.  My legs felt like bricks.  I was out of breath.  But in eight weeks I'm going to be able to run a 5k.  No doubt.  

Nothing ever felt so right or natural to me than to be running again.  To be with a group of women.  To do something on my own, for myself.  Everyday has been a question.  Are you hungry?  Should you sleep now?  Are you bored?  Are you over stimulated?  Should I be doing more with you?  What should you wear today?  And everyday I think I have no idea what I am doing.  But I know how to run.  No question.  Exercise is so good for the soul.  It felt nourishing to me.  I cannot wait to go out again.