Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Run

Many of my best journeys have started with a run. Certainly the road to my First Triathlon Ever. I started my pregnancy with a run, also - 1am, shortly after I saw that little plus sign and new what was coming, I went for a run to clear my head. Four months into my pregnancy, I had to stop running - or, rather, I chose to stop running to give my poor back a break. It was one of the few times I've let my body's whining win an argument.

This morning, for the first time since December, I set out on my old running route - the same one I ran that early morning a little less than a year ago - and I ran most of it. It hurt. It was hot. I had to take some walking breaks. But I got through it. I've been running a few weeks now - interspersed liberally with walking breaks - but I haven't ventured from the blocks around my little neighborhood, staying close to home and in my comfort zone. When the alarm went off at 5:00 a.m., I knew it was time to break free.

My weight is still ridiculous. I haven't been this size for over eight years - not since the birth of my first son. Its tough to accept but it is what it is. I have a healthy baby and an abundant milk supply to show for it so, really, in the scheme of things, the size of my posterior (which is formidable to be sure) is not important. Still, its often the unimportant things that consume our attention and it bothers me. A lot. But, I can still run. It feels ungainly. Its harder than it was a year ago - by a longshot. But, I was out there this morning, putting one foot in front of the other.

I'm slightly appalled that I haven't seen any real progress on losing this baby weight. I've been working out - usually twice or more a day - for weeks. Its not budging. I'm a little stronger than I was but the road to my next race seems unthinkably long. I'm not sure what the lesson is this time.

Triathlon taught me to find a healthy balance of pride and humility - I began to understand just how much this body was capable of while being constantly reminded of my unavoidable humanness. Yes, I could climb those hills that looked impossible but, more often than I care to admit, I could also taste pavement when I was just tooling down the street. Yes, I could swim farther than I would have believed a year before, I could also find myself fighting panic on an open water swim just yards from the shore. Yes, I could run miles and trails that were a distant dream before, I could also choke on the dust of a mom pushing her baby in a stroller while, at the same time, I PRd for a 10k.

Pregnancy taught me to accept things beyond my control. I watched my fitness decline and my body grow. I tried to revel in the grandiose belly that always drew comment from strangers. I did revel in the stirrings of my growing baby and tried to be patient as his due date came and went and then became a distant memory. I rolled with the punches and accepted interventions I'd wanted to avoid and felt my last remnant of control slip away when labor became not only painful but dangerous. I finally learned the lesson and felt peace come over me when they wheeled me into the operating room. Finally, I got it. I wasn't in control but I had faith that the One that was had a plan. Not my will but Thine be done. And it turned out okay. Better than okay. So, though I'm sure I'll have some reviews and several pop quizzes, I feel that I've passed that course.

Now, what? What is it that I'm supposed to take away from this? Anything? I think maybe its perseverance. Its one thing to press on when you're getting faster, leaner, stronger. Its another to continue when you see no noticeable result. To continue simply for the sake of continuing. So, I'll keep going. And I'm going to keep writing - or start writing again and keep going. I need this. I need a record of where I've been and a goal post for where I'm going. I need to put one foot in front of the other and one word after another. Thanks for being patient with me. Thanks for your feedback even when I'd been away for months.

Now, please help to hold me accountable. I'm back. And I intend to stay.

N-n-n-now that that don't kill me will only make me stronger . . .

6 comments:

21stCenturyMom said...

You're back! You will get stronger and faster and leaner over time. It will happen. You will go from frustration to "oh wow - when did my pants get too big" and you'll be happy.

Welcome back!

21stCenturyMom said...

ps - where's the baby picture???

stronger said...

Pregnancy weight is a _ _ _ _ _. It'll fall off if you keep working at it!

Speed Racer said...

It'll happen slowly, and then quickly. Remember what it was like getting into running the first time? Remember how running a whole, entire mile without walking felt like such a victory? Remember how much it took you to get to your first 3-miler, and how proud you were after the first time you hit 10K all in one day? Remember a time when your normal run was 20 minutes, and 5 miles was your "long run"? I bet all that stuff last year didn't happen overnight. What's hard is that you've been through this before, and you know that you're capable of a certain level, and it's frustrating because you want it all back RIGHT NOW. It'll come back slowly. So slowly that it doesn't seem like progress at all. So slowly that it seems like you're just "continuing for the sake of continuing". But then, one day you'll run 6.1 miles again, or more. That day you won't think anything of it, but then later you'll remember today and think, "HA! And I thought it would never come back! Look how far I've come... Again!"

Okay, that's enough of me trying to sound like I know what I'm talking about. I'm here to hold you accountable, so you'd better not let me down, missy!

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

I remember how much work it was - it took way more work than I thought it should to lose the weight. After a month of hard work I started to see progress - and that was the hook for me.

you can do it - it's hard work and you can. welcome back!

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