This blog post has been plaguing me since I stopped running over the summer. I went back and read my inspirational last words of my previous post and think, shut up lady. An unexpected midnight banking transaction served as a reminder that my subscription to wordpress auto-renewed and sent my personal checking account into the negative. This was the nudge I needed to get back into it after reading the Dam to Dam journey I had been on last year.
First, a little recap
After Dam to Dam, I ran intermittently, trying to keep some semblance of a running routine. After all, I was feeling pretty good about myself. I had done well in my training, lost some weight, and was getting some more sleep. Then, an opportunity to go into private practice opened up right around race time and I took it. This decision rocked my personal and professional life for the past eight months. The struggles of learning how to run my own business, leaving a work family I adore, and taking the financial risk was emotionally consuming. It’s been a journey.
During this time of figuring out my professional life, I decided to give myself “a break” from working out and just focus on building a business. This slump took a hit to my diet and body. I stopped working out and learned how delicious bourbon can be. Oh, and my kids still haven’t mastered the art of sleeping. There’s that too.
Apparently, she wants to fall asleep with her finger in my ear.
Fast Forward to YMCA fails and wins
In October I knew my hiatus had to be over as I was stretching the limits of my work clothes. I returned to a group boot camp style workout at the YMCA that meets three times a week at 5:05am. I figured I was up at 5:00am anyway with kids, so might as well be working out. At the start of the series, we do a body composition. You stand on a fancy looking scale, it sends some sort of weird pulse through your body, and spits out a detailed receipt shouting all the body secrets you don’t want to know. After 10 weeks of this, I managed to gain four more pounds.
Thanks for the shame receipt.
Feeling defeated, I decided to try the YMCA Trek class on Tuesday and Thursday mornings beginning January. Basically, you hop on your reserved treadmill at 5:10am and an instructor yells, in a motivational way, to increase your speed, increase levels of hills, and, what I imagine is his favorite, increase your speed on your increased level of hills. It’s like this for 45 minutes and then you wipe last nights nacho sweat off your machine before you leave.
Like most folks, I’m not a fan of the treadmill, but I was kind of surprised of the results. I was curious as to how this would help me for outdoor runs. When I did run outside, I noticed my speed and ability to manage hills improved. In the spring, the class meets on an outdoor track. I was nervous for this. I mean, running on a track is what real runners do and I’m still feeling like an imposter. My first morning was as humbling as I thought it would be. It turns out I have two speeds: base pace and a little faster than base pace. It’s not as easy to push the “go faster” button on your body than on the treadmill. Also, it’s dark outside at 5:00am and much easier to ignore the intervals being shouted. The true people pleaser I am totally “makes an effort” when I run past the instructor only to sandbag it when I’m out of sight.
Wanting my body back
The other important chapter in my life is that I am no longer nursing my daughter. We nursed for the last time sometime after I returned from a vacation in February. She had been weaning on her own and I was following the “don’t offer, don’t refuse” credo. I would like to say I knew it would be our last time nursing, but I didn’t. She nursed for a few minutes, unlatched, and said “all done.” And just like that, she was all done. I genuinely enjoyed nursing my children, but I am as equally excited to reclaim my body back since this whole baby stuff started in 2015.
I’ve talked before about the struggle I had sharing my body with my tiny humans. I remember shortly after getting pregnant with my son, looking at my naked body in a full length mirror thinking to myself, ‘it’s never going to look like this again.’ And I was right. My body reshaped and morphed to accommodate the growing tiny human and accumulating Jethros hot wings inside me. I think when I gave birth, any muscle structure around my ass came out of the birth canal with the baby, leaving things looking more, ya know, droopier. This is not something I’m ashamed or upset about. I just knew it would be the next chapter for my body and an opportunity to get reacquainted with my newly formed mom butt.
So, I’m ready for the next chapter of getting to know my body again. I’m not sure exactly what this means yet, but I imagine it to be a combo of trying new workouts, planning more road races, and feeding my body the good stuff. I look forward to this next journey and setting more goals, mom butt and all.