Monday, October 27, 2008

One Trail. Two Bodies.

I did it! I completed my first run since Jacob was born. For the past two weeks I've known that I was recovered enough to hit the running trails but I was simply too terrified to do so. Less than two months ago, I had my stomach muscles cut open. And though everything has been healing just fine, the thought of going on a vigorous run after such an ordeal left me with an image of me in the middle of a wooded trail holding my guts into place over my newly opened incision. If that image won't keep you from exercising, nothing will.

Then I had my official six week check up (at eight weeks post baby thanks to my over-booked doctor's clinic) and I explained my fear to my doctor in person. When she finished looking at me like I was a crazy person, she told me I was healed very nicely that it was definately safe to run. I just had to get over my crazy mental barriers.

If you ask me, running is a 95% mental activity anyway. I'm used to battling and conquering my mind. This is something I do each time I lace up.

When I woke up this morning, I decided today was the day. Today I was going to destroy my inner monster. I like to think this newfound courage came from a store of undiscovered bravery deep within. But, truth be told, I think it had more to do with that huge Taco Bell burrito I ate last night, the one with a bagillion excess calories, and the fact that my bathroom scale has stopped tipping in my favor.

I bundled Jacob up, strapped him into the baby jogger, grabbed my shoes and bounded out the door. At first my steps were awkward and uncertain. My lungs burned as if I was racing towards a finish line. And my stomach muscles seemed to groan in protest, unsure of exactly what they were supposed to be doing. I was slighlty disappointed. I don't remember running ever being this hard for me. Not in middle school, not in highschool. Not even at the beginning of a new cross country season after allowing my body to atrophy all summer long. It was with great mental discipline that I propelled my legs out for each step.

Somewhere between mile one and two, things got better. My body warmed up and I started stripping off my many layers. My feet fell into a rythm that felt slightly familiar- like runner's deja-vu. I eased up on my pace a little and my lungs felt stronger. Before you know it, I was flying. Well it seemed like I was flying. It felt incredible. The sweat, the burning, the rythmic pounding on the sidewalk. I completed three miles in 36 minutes!

The baby jogger worked great. It was such a smooth ride even over potholes and uneven sidewalks. Jacob even fell into a contented sleep. I thought it would bother me to push a stroller on a run but it was no inconvenience at all. If anything, it gave me a great arm work out.

The best part of the run was being able to share the experience with Jacob. He's been on many many runs with me but he has never before been able to feel the sun, breathe the fresh air, or be exposed to the panoramic mountain and water view of my favorite running path. I loved sharing my favorite activity with him. I hope someday we will be running side by side on these trips. But for now, I'm stretching out my slightly sore muscles and planning a week full of amazing road runs.

8 comments:

LL said...

I'm so impressed with you- I still haven't worked out since Landon was born!

LEO said...

Sounds amazing! These days I'm torn between relishing in my pregnancy-induced-laziness and getting cabin-fever from being so sedentary.
And I have to second LL, you're impressive!

Trannyhead said...

Good for you!

My favorite remains the bike trailer. I don't know if it's age, but my kiddo now loathes the stroller and is FAR happier in the bike trailer than in the stroller. And anyway, I love cycling. We go every morning!

CM said...

Congratulations! Add me to the impressed list -- I don't know if I could have walked two miles, let alone run, two months after K was born. And it's great to get Jacob used to the jogging stroller now, so you can have years of happy runs ahead of you.

FSD said...

Way to go! I'm glad you got over the fear of your guts falling out. I cracked up when I read that. Keep up the good work!!!

Infant Attorney said...

I am so impressed. I know you don't like right in Seattle, but for some reason I'm picturing you running around Greenlake. Ah, I miss the beautiful Pacific Northwest. You're in much better shape than I am, I'm lucking if I can push a stroller up a hill much less push one on a run.

Kim said...

Good for you! It sounds great. Have you see the blog on runnersworld.com written by a runner with a baby? Here's the link: http://runningfortwo.runnersworld.com/I'm sure you can relate to a lot of what she goes through!

Anonymous said...

You made it sound so great, such motivation--my 2 mile brisk walk needs to picked up! I also read the runners world story and I liked what they said about the Solaroo SunSheet, I am so sick of applying sunblock on Connor!