Monday, April 10, 2017

#motherrunning ain't easy

This race recap comes with a bonus - I did my goal race, a ten miler, last Sunday, then ended up also doing a 10k the following Saturday. All the recaps!

When I posted my thoughts about postpartum running just a few months in to my first pregnancy, I talked about anticipating running no longer being the priority it once was for me. I could not have been more right. I know there are plenty of women who get faster after having babies and we all know that friend of a friend who won a triathlon while she was pregnant and all that, but that's not been my experience. I have no doubt that physically, it's probably possible but emotionally, it's been tough for me (and as a result I have no idea if it's physically possible).

Here's the story: My motivation for working out/running sucked. I could barely manage to get out of bed early enough to complete maybe 2 miles a couple times a week. I didn't really see anything wrong with that, since from a health standpoint, that's (barely) enough. However, I didn't feel good about it. My running friends were signing up for races, and I wanted to be part of things. I thought I could just join in for training runs without actually doing the races, but it turns out, I couldn't. So I signed up for one the the cheapest, best races: The Cherry Pit Ten Miler. You may have heard of the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler, which takes place in DC's famed, beautiful cherry blossoms. This isn't it. It's on the same day, in Annapolis, not DC, and boasts of scenery like tiny little random farms, residential roads, and that's about it. But it's $10, and none of the logistical nightmare that is getting to our nation's capital for a huge race.

I trained for it. I bumped up my weekday runs to 3-4 miles, added in some T25 and weight lifting (that part was actually just to have less flabby arms for bathing suit season), and increased my long run distance until I made it to 9 miles.

On race day, I pushed it. I ran with my friend/training partner Casi, and while we did talk during the race and walk through water stations, we kept up a demanding pace.


The last mile, I truly felt I didn't have anything more in the tank. It's a hilly race and I'm glad I gave it my all. But, it's also the race where five years ago, I ran my fastest ever ten mile time - 1:20. This time, my time was 1:40. A full 20 minutes slower.

That's about what I expected, and certainly nothing different than I had any right to expect. To get my 1:20 in 2012, I was at the track at 5am, doing pitch black speed workouts. I worked for that. This time, I got my endurance up so that I was able to complete the distance, but I hadn't done a thing about my speed. I didn't work for a faster time, and I think the women who get faster after having a baby do something beyond just...having the baby. Like push themselves in training.

My results directly reflect the work I put in, as they should. There's just something about seeing those times in black and white. I do want to get faster, but I don't know if I'm at the place in my life where I'm ready to put forth the effort for that. I feel kind of tapped out. It's not that I don't have time, it's that I feel tapped out emotionally. Kids, work, cleaning, cooking - I'm certainly not doing anything special or above and beyond basic adulting, but I just want to zone out to a podcast or show when I run. So I guess the point of all this rambling is just wondering how I get back that drive to improve my running? Any #motherrunners out there want to fill me in?

Further questions - after the race, I felt really sick to my stomach. Couldn't really eat or drink. It's happened before, and it goes away eventually, but it's annoying and I want it to stop. By dinner time, I was back to normal, so we went out for burgers.

Baby's first burger (I think? Second kid probz. As usual.)

Gave him broccoli, he reached for fries.

The burgers exhausted Royce so much that he fell asleep on me while I was nursing him at bedtime. This is so rare these days and I was SO SO happy.

Next up: Sole of the City 10k. Quite the opposite type of race - gigantic, thousands of people, huge after party. I rolled in at the last minute and found my friends.

A fun part of this race was that I forgot my FitBit. I'm FitBit obsessed, so the fact that none of my steps counted was quite painful. I ran with Casi for about 2.5 miles, then I told her to go ahead since she had a time goal. My main goal was to just get a good run and NOT spend the day curled up in pain like the previous week. 

After Casi and I split up, I was excited to finish up S-Town (OBSESSED), but my headphones died. Womp womp. Luckily this race does have beautiful water views and there was plenty of people watching. This race is also where I got a PR several years ago, and I also ran quite a bit slower this time. Although, at least it was faster than the last time I ran it when I was 16 weeks pregnant?

Most importantly, on my walk back to my car from the race, I found a place that serves the best nitro iced coffee I've tasted (so far). 

My knee is kind of tight now so the past two days since race #2 I've been doing core/strength stuff. I'm currently on spring break, so expect/hope for another post this week! Exciting, right?


  1. Congrats on both races. You are an inspiration. I guess I should get out of bed (it's almost eleven in the morning) and do some yoga. Sigh...

  2. I don't work out these days, unless you count the 2x a week i do Stroller Strides, which actually did use to be more of a workout when I actually ran, but now I mostly walk since I seem to lose my breath after 10 seconds. I vowed though that after next baby comes and is sleeping through the night, I want to go back to Orange Theory. I am not one of those people that can just work out on their own. While I very much miss running, I don't miss it enough to actually get out and do it on my own! I need to pay for something and have a set time to do it and put it on the calendar in order for me to actually do it.

  3. Honestly after my first baby I think my body went haywire with hormones and breastfeeding and i lost a crazy lot of weight and it made me run faster. Now that things have leveled out I'm slow again and have no idea how to put in the work without neglecting other parts of my life. (And I do not get enough freaking sleep to wake up for 5am runs!) So I feel like all my PRs are unattainable now which is kind of discouraging. I tell myself maybe someday when I'm sleeping more but that could be years lol


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