Archive | May, 2016

The Philly 10k

9 May

Registration for the Philly 10k opened this morning. This is the third time that the good people at Philadelphia Runner have put on this race, and it will be my third year participating. As soon as I saw the announcement that registration would open at 10:00 A.M. today I made myself a calendar reminder (right next to my 10:00 A.M. pumping reminder!) so that I wouldn’t forget. Forgetting things is my new MO, and I didn’t want to miss this one.
  

The Philly 10k was the last race I ran while I was pregnant, so I’m really excited that it will be the first race I run post-Bean. I registered for the race last year when I was only a few weeks pregnant, things were off to a good start and it didn’t occur to me at the time that I wouldn’t run through my entire pregnancy. Then four or so weeks later I started bleeding and was put on “pelvic rest.” For those of you that are unfamiliar with the term that means no exercising and nothing can be put in your vagina (I’ll let you all extrapolate from there). So I was sidelined at 12 weeks and wasn’t sure I’d be able to workout again, let alone race, for the rest of my pregnancy. Thankfully, for more reasons than just the 10k, the subchorionic hemorrhage resolved itself by 20 weeks and I was cleared to start exercising again. When I ran The Philly 10k I was 24 weeks pregnant, which means I had 4 weeks to get ready from when I was cleared to start working out again and race day. Let’s face it, I was never in it to win it, so I decided to just take it slow, see how I felt at every turn, and use a very structured run/walk regimen so I wouldn’t be tempted to go out too hard. I got my training runs in and felt confident that I could finish the 10k – perhaps not fast, but I knew I could finish it. 

Race day arrived and I had a blast. It was such a stark contrast to the year before. My first (well, everyone’s first) Philly 10k kind of sucked. It was hot, the sun was relentless, and there were more than a few times that I almost said “Eff. it” and dropped out. But my second go, with Bean as my copilot, it was a breeze. Sure I ran a full minute per mile slower than I did the first year, but I enjoyed every minute. I ran through my neighborhood (and strongly considered stopping at my house to pee!), and I ran into (ha! “ran” into) a friend from social work school and her husband. I felt like our whole city was cheering me on and wanted me to succeed as I jogged along the course. My husband and my cousin were also really excited I ran the race because it meant they got to split my beer at the finish line, and let’s face it, extra beer is always a good thing.    

I can’t wait to experience it again this year, knowing the cutest cheerleader on the planet (I’m not biased or anything) will be at the finish rooting me on. 

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My First Mother’s Day

8 May

I want to write some poignant piece about my experience of motherhood thus far, but really, I can’t help but feel it’s been said before. The writers, storytellers, and mommy bloggers before me have told of the the love so grand that it feels like you’ve been punched in the chest, the challenges so great that you wonder how you’ll overcome them, and the fact that it’s all worth it in the end. My story isn’t overly unique, I’m a mother of a small baby; there are millions of women alongside me doing this today, billions who’ve done it before, and theoretically infinitely more who will do it after me.

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Bean on the day she was born

Even though my story isn’t unique I still think Mother’s Day is a worthwhile day to pause and reflect on the last 4 months. I want to say “everything is different,” but that’s not quite true. I’m still a wife, still a social worker, still a daughter and friend. I’m still a runner and a crafter. I’m still funny (I think), and light hearted, while maintaining a healthy dose of anxiety and perpetual worry.

But I’m also tired. I’m spread thin. Trying to find balance. I’m the center of this tiny person’s universe. The level to which she needs me is amazing and overwhelming. But the level to which she loves me is even more amazing and overwhelming. Seeing her smile breaks my heart in the best way possible, it breaks it so it can grow larger and have even more capacity for love (thank you for so eloquently making that metaphor Sylvie).

There are the sacrifices you expect – like the lack of sleep. Then there are the ones you don’t expect, like needing to spend at least 3 and a half hours per day hooked up to the breast pump. You figure the baby will get sick once she does to daycare, but don’t necessarily realize it means that you and your husband likely will as well. I didn’t expect that I’d have to give up dairy and soy so that I’d be able to keep feeding her. And I certainly didn’t expect that I’d pee my pants trying to get to her.

But then there’s the smiles. The full face, bright eyed, gummy smiles. The “you make everything right in my world” smiles. Her tiny toes, her little baby belly, her elfish nose and ears. Her laughs and her coos. The way she snuggles up against me and buries her head in my shoulder. It’s nothing short of magic. She has me bewitched, entranced, and captivated.

There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for this little Bean. She is my world. And I’m smitten.

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Bean and I at 3:00 AM this morning

So I sign off with a Happy Mother’s Day, to all of the mothers, to all those who’ve been mothered, and to all those who need a little bit of extra love today – I’m sending some your way!

Running After Having a Baby

6 May

My pace is slower. Everything feels different.   Because everything is different. My rebound is taking longer, because I have less time to get out the door and run. Instead of running a few times a week, I’ve been pleased to get one run in per week.

But I found one sure fire way to increase your pace as a new mother: have whoever is with your baby give you a call when you’re almost done your run and tell you that your baby has been crying inconsolably since you left. Bonus points if you can hear the baby crying in the background, because there is nothing quite like the sound of your baby crying to kick that adrenaline up a notch and take you into the next gear!

This is what happened on Sunday. Our normally “super chill” baby was just not about it. She wasn’t okay with what was happening in her little world, her eczema had definitely flared up, her reflux was likely bothering her, maybe she had gas, and maybe she was concerned that Trump was likely to get the Republican nomination, or maybe she didn’t like the onesie we picked out, but whatever the issue actually was, one thing was clear: my girl was. not. happy. And she needed us to know about it.

Alex did his best to hold it down, but there comes a time with all small babies when reinforcements must be summoned – so he did the only logical thing he could do, he called mommy for a status report. And I heard that baby cry, I said “I’ll be right there” and I hung up. I sprinted. I sprinted the last 6 blocks of the run, and all I could think was “I have to get to my baby.”

If you are also a new mom, or have ever been a new mom, you can probably guess what happened next… If you guessed “the sudden change in level of exertion further weakened your already weak pelvic floor muscles and you peed your pants?” You are CORRECT! And if you followed that guess with “and once you started to pee your pants, you really couldn’t seem to stop?” You are double right. That’s right team – I finished my run Sunday night, my 3-mile-this-is-all-I-have-time-for-and-apparently-I-didn’t-even-have-time-for-that run covered in urine.

In the immortal words of Huey Lewis: I’m doing it all for my baby.