This week has been a time of wake up calls for me. I was not a runner before I got pregnant. In fact, I was 100lbs overweight. Never thought I would admit that in public. Honestly, it hurts to even type that, and I'm so ashamed that I let myself get to that point. I'm almost halfway to my goal weight now, but I've still got a long journey ahead of me. Running has been an integral part of this journey, along with my beloved bootcamp class with Christina Landry at DumBell Fitness. She pushes me and inspires me to do better and be better for myself, and for that I am eternally grateful. She guides me, but I've done the work, and I've put out the blood, sweat, and tears (literally!) to make it happen. I'm proud of what I've accomplished so far, and sometimes it's hard for me to see that big picture.
Today, my baby is 10 months old. Before, the thought of running was so far outside of what I thought I was capable of that I didn't even have the courage to try. Now, just 1o months after giving birth (with my husband being deployed from 6 weeks before A was born until she turned 5 months), I am less than 3 weeks away from running my first half marathon and am planning on running a full marathon in December. How crazy is that???? Thinking about this in terms of my progress, it makes me realize how hard I am on myself most of the time. People (particularly my wonderful and incredibly supportive husband, minus his humor over my sports bra woes) are constantly telling me that I need to cut myself some slack. I'm starting to get what they're saying.
So, here are my wake up calls for the week-
1.) My diet is far from perfect, but it's so much better than it used to be. Do I still eat crap sometimes? Of course. Ok, make that frequently. I'm sure my friend K is chuckling even as she reads this just thinking about the bag of cinnamon bears I practically inhaled on our walk home from the mini-mart the other day. But I'm getting better, and as long as the good outweighs the bad, I think I'm still moving in the right direction.
2.) Yes, I am still slower than your average, um...well, bears are actually pretty fast (have you ever wanted to try to outrun a bear? Yeah, me either), so we'll go with cow here, but I am a LOT faster than I was when I first started running. I could barely waddle at a snail's pace for 30 seconds at a time when I made my first attempts at running. On Sunday, I ran 9 miles-9!!!-without stopping to walk or dying on the side of the road. I started running when A was a month old, so in 9 months, I went from LITERAL couch potato to 9 miles. Yay me!
3.) I have been VERY lucky as a runner. Aside from a minor sprained ankle back in March, I have been injury free throughout this process. However, Sunday afternoon was a huge, painful smack in the face that I am not immune from this dreaded visitor. Actually, it was a smack in the hip. everything felt fine the entire run, and even pretty good right after I finished. But by mid-afternoon, my left hip and left lower back had started to twinge and ache a little. By the time I got the kids in bed, I was in excruciating pain. I could barely walk. It hurt to sit, it hurt to stand-it was awful. I took 3 motrin and iced my hip and back before I went to bed. Amazingly, I woke up and the pain was completely gone. Ahhhh, the power of motrin and ice. But talk about a scare. I was nervous about how it would feel after my run today, but it felt great before, during, and after, so I'm cautiously optimistic that it was just a product of my first 9 mile run, and I'm hoping it won't return after my 11 mile run this Sunday. Or ever, for that matter. But it also reminded me that it is practically inevitable, no matter how careful I am, at any point, I could get injured. That's a scary thought.
4.) I am so incredibly lucky to be surrounded by friends who share my newly discovered passion and who are so awesomely supportive of each other. My run this morning was 5.5 miles, and my wonderful friend J was kind enough to come over and watch my heathen so I could run stroller-free for the 3rd straight time. I got a late start though and it was not only hot but CRAZY windy. Even without the stroller, I was feeling the burn from the breeze pushing me back. Just as I hit mile 2 and headed out onto the Bridge, I passed 2 of these amazing friends on their way back, both pushing strollers. Now that's dedication!! Even with that brutal wind, they were both smiling. Nothing gives me a greater boost than cheering each other on as we pass by. I'm telling you, military wives are some seriously tough Mamas!!!
Those are just a few of the things I've been contemplating this week. Tomorrow, my 2 friends and I are buying our plane tickets to Maui!!!!! As excited as I am to run my first ever half, I'm even more excited to be going with 2 such amazing and supportive friends. They are both strong, caring, wonderful women and I am so proud to call them friends. They have also both overcome some pretty serious injuries on this journey, and their strength is inspiring. Like I said, military wives, Navy in particular;), are some SERIOUSLY tough Mamas, and I cannot WAIT to get a group picture of all three of us at the finish line!!