5 months, 5 Miles and a 5 K
When Julie ran her marathon I cried.
As I sat in the chair in our living room with my cell phone in hand anxiously receiving text updates as she passed each marker, talking to my mom on our land line and my computer screen filled with the Seattle Rock-n-Roll course map, pace sheets, and the live feed of the finish line I cried. I cried joyful tears for Julie, for as long as I have known her a Marathon finish has been one of her biggest goals and I cried bittersweet tears for myself.
Sitting there in the throws of first trimester sedation and nausea, still adjusting to the fact that I was two months pregnant as my then 8 months old baby napped upstairs I cried.
When would I ever run again? Really run.
When would I ever feel like an athlete again, let alone actually be one?
When would I be me?
And I was inspired. For the first time in many months I began to envision myself crossing finish lines. I imagined how I would smile at the cheering sections. I thought of hearing my husbands voice as he cheered me on at a hard mile marker during some big race. I dreamt of the t-shirts I would make my children wear for family photos at a big post race block party. I dreamt of feeling like myself again, tough and athletic with an easy laugh and enjoying it all.
The next week as I poured over Julie’s blog detailing her entire marathon experience I clicked on the Skirt Chaser 5k link. For a moment I was back. I felt the athletic drive and that old friend the competitive spirit swell up inside my gut. A quick check of the family calendar and I sent my husband a text proclaiming “We are running the Skirt Chaser 5k. I can totally bust out a 5k!” He was in and we were registered.
I had already been an active member of Baby Boot Camp where we work out with jogging, lunges, wall sits and resistance bands for 60-75 minute sessions all while pushing our little ones in strollers. So my fitness level was good and I was cleared to continue running.
A month ago Daren and I took Georgia on our first family fun. We ran for three miles around our neighborhood and I was so proud for making it the whole way and so grateful that Daren pushed the stroller. As a dating and newly married couple running together was our thing. We would meet up at the trail head for an evening running date or head out early on a Saturday for a long run then hit our favorite breakfast spot all sweaty and beaming with endorphins. We ran together, we raced together and we fell in love together. The first time Daren even said “I love you” was after a big hard race up in Seattle. Running was part of who we were as a couple and since I got pregnant with Georgia, that had been missing.
During my first pregnancy I was too afraid to run. Too afraid to do much of anything other than walking and some yoga. And I lost myself. I gained many many lbs and struggled with the massive physical changes and the mood swings that accompany any baby baking session. I had not completely come back to myself, or to Daren, when we found out we were expecting our second child.
Two weeks ago I ran five miles at five months pregnant. Daren, once again got me out onto the road and told me that he was certain that I could run the whole loop. I told him absolutely not and that I would be turning around at the 1.5 mile marker and heading back home. The mile marker came and went and I never turned around. I ran five miles. I ran five miles with Daren. I ran five miles with Daren, the only running partner I’ve ever had, while five months pregnant with our second baby and it was awesome.
We were back!
We were back because I was back.
I was running.
Saturday we ran in the Skirt Chaser 5k! The women started three minutes before the guys and they had to chase us down, chase the skirts if you will. I took off knowing that my main man would catch me and when he did, about the mile and a half in, I was so happy. I was so excited to see him! The conditions were hot and muggy and I was starting to overheat so for the sake of the baby in the belly I walked for a bit, and Daren being the incredibly supportive race partner that he has always been, walked with me. Then ran me all the way into the finish line.
We were us. We were Daren and Sarah the couple, more than Daren and Sarah the parents. We were running a race together and we loved it and we loved each other and it was wonderful.
And I am me.
I am running.
Running has saved me in these last few months. Its saved me from the pregnancy blues and the massive weight gain I had the first time around. It has brought me back to myself, even while pregnant, and in fact its even lifted my bum a little!
So thank you to the road and to the miles, though few today will be fast and far again soon.
Thank you to Julie for inspiring me to Run Like a Mother.
Thank you Daren for running with me and pushing the stroller.
And thank you to my body, for holding together and holding my babies.
Running I love you, even when I hate you.