It’s been a minute since I’ve posted anything fitness related! But, my first official race since having kids is on Saturday and this week I decided it was finally time to um, get back into shape? HA!
If you’re new around here, then you may not know (as evidenced by a whole lot of baby posts) that I used to be a pretty avid runner. I’ve got 7 half marathons, and 2 full marathons under my belt, and before we got pregnant with A, running took up most of my free time. I swore up and down that I’d get back into racing not long after having A, but life happened and here we are nearly 4 years since my last race. That race, coincidentally, was actually the same race I’m running on Saturday. And I was about 6 weeks pregnant with A, I just didn’t know it at the time! (We actually found out we were pregnant 3 days later!)
I’ve sometimes found myself feeling discouraged looking around at all the other fit Instagram moms who have somehow managed to have babies then jump back into running like it ain’t no thang. I’m not really sure how that’s possible, especially working full time, because it’s taken me four years and two babies just to get around to running a measly little 5k! I say that not for you to comment, “oh don’t compare yourself to others!” but to just be honest and say that yes, it’s a struggle mentally to go from being super in shape all the time, to huffing and puffing at one mile, and if I didn’t have those thoughts I wouldn’t be human.
I also think a large part of my absence from the running community the past few years has honestly been lack of passion, and simply a shift in my priorities. I went from running, racing, and spending every evening in the gym being my top priority, to becoming a mother and trying to stay sane being my top priority. My mindset shifted from feeling like I HAD to sign up for every race, to embracing the fact that the season I’m currently in may only allow for a long walk around the neighborhood as my main means of exercise. And that is OKAY! As much as I’ve wanted my priority to be self-care by way of spending more time in the gym and running races, life just simply hasn’t allowed for that, and I’ve let it be that way. I’ve embraced this season, and all of its challenges, and taken on a more balanced lifestyle approach instead. Instead of putting all of my energy into running and working out and putting pressure on myself to make it happen everyday, I’ve tried hard to just maintain – maintain a doable level of fitness, maintain a doable diet and make the healthiest choices I can, and maintain a doable mental load that doesn’t put me over the edge. And I think that’s been good for me. I’ve known in the back of my head that running and racing will always be there when I’m ready to come back to it.
So with that said, my first OFFICIAL postpartum 5k is on Saturday, and I’m super excited. I’ve got the bar set pretty low as far as expectations go, because clearly I haven’t been training for it. But, I think it’s going to be a fun way to ease back into my love of racing and running in general. I’ll 100% be surprised if I break 30 minutes, which if I were my “old” self, I’d be so disappointed. (For reference, my 5k PR is 24:28, with my next best time being 25:11!) Oooh back in the day! Will I ever get back to that? Maybe. Would I like to? For sure! I’d love to get back to placing in my age group at 5k’s and running 8 something minute miles. But, eventually, and with time. After having two babies, I’ve got a new body, and this new body of mine is equally as amazing, but not quite as fast! Yet! I’m still trying to decide which gym I want to join, but I’m looking forward to working out again after bedtime once B gets into a more consistent sleep pattern!
For several years I’ve been an ambassador for the Hot Chocolate 15k race series. You may have seen my promo code posts on the blog. It’s one of my favorite race series because duh, you get a huge bowl of chocolate at the end and it’s just FUN! Well, this is the first year I’ll get to run it in Dallas and I’m so excited! Adam is also running it, so it’s also the first race we’ve both done in a long, long time! Gosh, I think the last 5k we did together was in 2014?
Anyways, I’m feeling pretty good about it, and after last night’s run I feel more optimistic. The weather is supposed to be pretty chilly, so that always makes it easier. Last night I ran 3-ish miles, and felt like I could have kept going. I walked just a couple times to catch my breathe at the top of a few hills, but other than that, I kept a pretty steady pace and really enjoyed myself. Since having B, I’ve only knocked out 3 miles a handful of times, so again, I don’t have huge expectations!
My plan for the race is honestly to just finish feeling good. I don’t want to push myself so hard that I’m miserable at the finish line, but I also don’t want to take it so easy that I don’t challenge myself and see what I can do. There’s something magical about race day, and that added adrenaline always helps to pump you up. Speaking of pumping, I’m going to have to pump in the car on the way to the race, and again right after I guess. One more reason why racing as a nursing mom feels complicated!
I’ve got my playlist made already, and my outfit picked out in my head, so I’m getting excited! Adam will go to the race expo on Thursday and pick up our race packets and bibs. The race starts Saturday morning at 7:30, with the 15k starting at 8:15.