This was a big week. For both baby and mama. I ran my first race back and a half marathon no less, Max slept his first mini marathon of 8 hours. Yes, you've read that right. Eight glorious hours at 8.5 weeks.
As somebody who had resigned herself to be firmly stuck in the 5 hour bracket for a while, this came as a total shock. It helped that we had a big day outdoors with sunshine, running, stimulation and Max hearing all about how mum would be going back to her first race. But when it actually happened, Chris and I were so caught off guard that he stayed up way past his already late bedtime and I proceeded to hover over the video monitor anxiously until 4am because, he would wake any moment now. He didn't and even repeated the whole thing two more nights.
After which... you guessed it: he regressed to 4-5 hour stretches just as we had become too comfortable. No rest for the weary.
But let's rewind. This week, was big for me. I had known about this race since I cashed in my guaranteed entry in January. Oblivious to how my postpartum recovery would go, whether I would even be able to run towards the end of my pregnancy and not knowing if my delivery was going to be a vaginal and smooth one. I got really lucky in so many ways. My delivery was all things considered, smooth. I felt good enough within 3-4 weeks to resume running (ambling about), I have a baby who didn't mind being in the stroller and a great network of women who were happy to run with me.
A little side rant: I have received comments from strangers on social media and in real life, about the fact that I choose to run with the carseat. The stroller is not for children under six months, blah blah, etc. Now let me clarify. The stroller's main compartment is not for children under six months because they don't have neck control. The manufacturer of jogging strollers also has to point these things out among more precautions to not be held liable if people choose to jog with infants. Lastly, I live in a city where the route I choose is paved well. My baby's head is very secure in the carseat because it is a CARSEAT. Anyone that has driven back from the hospital with a newborn in said carseat can attest to a bumpy NYC cab ride and the stress that comes with worrying about the child's fragility. And guess what? That's a lot bumpier than my 9 or 10 minute mile huffing and puffing around Prospect Park.
So for the umpteenth time I really wish women would keep their comments about pregnancy and motherhood to themselves or phrase things in a positive way. Leave my parenting to me.
But I digress...
On Saturday morning my 12 pound alarm clock woke me at 4:30 am, only 15 minutes prior to when I would have set my alarm usually. We nursed and then I decided to place him in bed with Chris asleep and he ended up staying asleep there until 7 am! In the meantime I heated my usual pre-race oatmeal, sipped on my performance drink from Generation Ucan and showered and pumped. My stomach, as usual, was a little upset as I couldn't quite shake the jitters before running my longest run since one year ago and with the responsibility to pace my friend responsibly to a 1:59:59.
As I made my way to Brooklyn Museum where the start would be I realized that even in my prepared and feeling very accomplished state, I forgot my asthma inhaler, throw away clothes for the start and hadn't pumped enough. So upon arrival, I froze in the beginning rain, then proceeded to take up too much time in the portapottie hand expressing milk from my breasts. A sad sight and not very dignified. But after that I felt lighter and ready to go. I met up with two Every Mother Counts runners in my corral and we got underway.
I really enjoyed the race. The pace was not an issue for me, I only needed to pee once and was able to catch back up with Del, we narrowly missed our goal but ran a smart and strong race for her and a big personal record.
So that's that. I cannot imagine right now to race myself. As I watched Del enter the zone in which talking is impossible and she worked so incredibly hard, I tried to imagine how my previous race pace of 7 minutes per mile would feel. If I will every get back there and how on earth I will do that.
I guess I will just have to trust that just how I figured out how to keep a two month old alive and thriving, I will eventually find my footing in running again, too.
This next week marks our first vaccine appointment at the pediatrician and another chance to weigh the baby. It's a joy to see him grow and develop a personality.
... to be continued... next week.