It’s official- Jake’s Mom ran a half marathon. While this may not seem like front page news to most people, for a mother of a new baby, getting back on the horse after having a 5 month hiatus from running to 1.) be pregnant, 2.) have said baby, and 3.) recover to actually run 13.1 miles again, was a pretty huge accomplishment for me. Before I had Jake, I was a pretty active runner. My husband and I ran a 5K about once a month for the past 3 years, and running the 2011 Hartford Half Marathon 2 weekends ago marked my third half marathon. I was able to keep up my running up until i was 7 months pregnant. My husband, bless his heart, ran the Madison Turkey Trot with me last Thanksgiving, including one bathroom stop at mile 2.5, and a mix of running and walking, we finished. (and not in last place, by the way!) By that time, running was just kind of laffable. I was slow, clumsy, and frankly, pretty tired. So i hung up my running shoes and resigned to treadmill walking and using the elliptical.
Fast forward to hour 18 of labor. My doctor, who knew i was a runner, kept telling me that I was so close to having my baby. He said, “If you were running a half marathon, right now you’re at mile 12!!” Apparently my doctor had never run a half marathon before, because it would be another hour of labor before Jake decided to show up. Mental note to self- mail a card to him with a picture of Jake and I after the half marathon.
Recovering to your former self after having a baby is never an easy task. Losing the pregnancy pounds is one thing, but reminding your body what it used to be able to do before you had your baby is something totally different. I physically had to re-train myself mentally and physically into believing, and affirming, that I could run 13.1 miles again. I’ll never forget the morning of my first run post-Jake. I ran 4 miles on my treadmill without stopping to pass out. I got a little blister on my foot, and it was the best thing ever. I could actually do this again! My pace was slower, and my breathing was heavy, but I did it. I used to always say running is more mental than anything. Once you set yourself up for success, once you truly believe you can do it, you will. I know it to be true.
My time for my first half marathon post-baby was not my fastest, but it was by far not my slowest. I smiled the entire time, and truly enjoyed every mile marker along the way. One of the best moments was coming around the corner right before I ran under the Arch to see Mike holding Jake up proudly. I know that if he could talk he’d say, RUN MOM RUN!!