I recently ran my first post-Bug half marathon. I ran 13.1 miles in 3 hours, 1 minute, 5 seconds, over 34 minutes faster than my previous personal best.
Here's how racing with a child in the picture is different from running before:
- Running with the stroller is like running hills, it slowed me down, but it also has increased my strength, which increased my speed.
- As someone I used to know said all the time, 'it ain't gonna run itself.' No matter how the Bug slept the night before, no matter how much fun hanging out on the couch with her would be, no matter how warm and cozy the bed is, I had to put the time on my feet in. Making that time was harder than I expected it to be.
- I used to be able to devote a lot of time to my running; planning runs, recovering from runs, fueling for runs, shopping for running gear. (See Sally's recent entry 'Being a Good Triathlete Date'; she was writing about her experiences with triathlons, but it applies to athletic endeavours in general.) As a Running Mommy, however, I now have to come home and pretty much directly resume my Mommy duties. No ice bath, followed by a hot shower, followed by tea and carbs. The evening after the race, when I could barely walk, I raced up the stairs despite the pain, to cuddle my sad little girl after a nightmare.)
- Skipping a run once in a while in a training program doesn't hurt. I'm not saying I could have paired down my training to 2 runs a week with ice cream in between, but I won't lie, despite #2, and knowing that if I didn't put the time in, the race would go badly, I still skipped some runs, and more than 1 speed work session turned into just being upright going forward. I still PR'd.
- Having my little girl meet me at the finish line was the best feeling ever. Someday she's going to know that her mom is active and hopefully follow along, and beat the pants off of my time.