Training for a half marathon as a new mom took longer than I’d hoped. Before having our daughter, I’d run enough distance events that it was part of my lifestyle and my routine. I thought I’d jump back into running immediately after Small Shaw was born, but when she started struggling with weight gain I put running on hold.
As an exclusively breast-feeding momma, I felt tremendous pressure to put her needs above my own. It was my choice to stop running at that time, and although it wasn’t an easy one, it was what I thought was best for Small Shaw. Fast forward a year, and not only were our breastfeeding days behind us, Small Shaw’s weight was awesome, and I was ready to run again.
My husband and I picked a nearby half marathon and began to train. He did PT on weekdays while I did my short runs. On the weekends we spent one day doing a long run as a family and one day at the pool, where he’d play with Small Shaw and I’d swim laps as cross-training. Running and swimming gave us a nice, healthy way to spend time together, and we got to see some pretty countryside on those long run days.
Our training cycle wasn’t easy. He got sick. I got sick. Small Shaw got sick. Sometimes two or even three of us were sick at the same time. Fevers, stomach viruses, and allergies plagued our training. Just when we were all feeling healthy again, I tripped, breaking two toes. The broken toes came at a critical point in the training cycle – just as we were supposed to get into our good, long run weekends. Instead of running that weekend’s 10-miler, I was at home with my toes elevated and buddy taped.
Tomorrow is race day, and I have such mixed feelings. Because we never ran more than 9 miles, I feel unprepared. Because we’re used to running with the jogging stroller (which isn’t allowed on race day) I’m nervous about carrying keys and phone. Because it’s been more than two years since I ran more than a 5K, my pride is on the line.
But above all that, I’m thankful. I’m thankful for the pretty scenery we’ve taken in on our long runs. I’m thankful that I feel strong again after pregnancy and breastfeeding. I’m thankful that our little family is active — carving out time to stay healthy together when it would be much easier not to work out than it has been to work out. I’m thankful for the beautiful little girl I get to push along in the B.O.B. while I run, and above all, I’m thankful that Nick is here with me. The last time I trained for a half marathon, he was in Afghanistan.
Wish us luck tomorrow in the Regensburg Half Marathon in Regensburg, Germany. I don’t expect a personal best time; this time I just hope to finish.