There was a time, about 8 years ago now (wow!), where all of my free time was devoted to running. I started running marathons in 2002, and quickly fell in love with them. I often tell first time marathon runners, that you will either hate the distance, or you will fall in love with it. I was newly married, had my first marathon (Calgary) under my belt, and quickly dove in to run others. I even taught (and worked!), for a brief time at the Running Room. After (to me), a devastating finish in Victoria in 2004, I hired a personal coach. I worked downtown, and at lunchtime, after work, and on the weekends, I trained. I cycled, lifted weights, and I ran. I was working towards a Boston Qualifier (BQ). Much thanks to the personal training I received, I reached that goal running Calgary for a second time in 2005, with a finish time of 3:39:40 (I needed under 3:40 for my age and sex). My trainer told me he thought I could get faster. Would I want to keep training? And I made a choice. What my husband and I really wanted was a family. That summer we found ourselves pregnant with our first daughter. And I wouldn't change any of it.
Since my son was born in 2010, I have been a stay at home Mom. My three kids are my full time job. I haven't trained for a marathon since I only had my eldest daughter, running Goofy in 2009. This jump to run Calgary in June, is my first time as a Mom of two, and as a Mom of three. Finding a way to meet their needs, and my running needs, is a fine balance.
Last night, all three tucked in, my son woke at midnight. I got him back to bed, and the littlest started waking, inconsolable, every 30 minutes. By 3 am, and a dose of tylenol, she was fairing no better, and I was quickly realizing, a run of 24K was no longer a possibility. Running that distance would have been a milestone in itself, but it was unattainable on no sleep.
By 7 am I was up with all three, the babe still crying, and I had to figure out a new attack plan. I knew deep down it wouldn't be 24, but it also couldn't be 10. I need to stick as close as possible to training. It was -16C outside, with a windchill making it feel like -22C, and it was lightly snowing. With my hubby's prompting, we decided it was best I try to run the distance on the treadmill. That way if I got tired, I was already at home.
I managed 19K. That in and of itself on a treadmill, makes me extremely proud. I watched three episodes of The Good Wife. By the third I just couldn't take any more law - ha! And my legs just didn't want to turn over anymore. 2 hours and 10 minutes of running. And that latte at the end was just a few steps away in my kitchen.
I think of all those marathon Moms, who 6 months post partum, still run world record times. It's unbelievable to me.
And last night, in the middle of the night while thinking "how can I run 24 this tired?" I also thought "this may happen on race day too, perhaps it's good to know how far I can go with so little rest".
I'm in such a different training place now than I was a decade ago, and I'm glad I had those years of being able to focus on this passion of mine. Now it's a new challenge. And this challenge comes with some pretty cute cheerleaders at the finish line :)