All thanks to my sole sisters, I had a successful first “after baby” 5K race this past weekend – The Phillies 5K Charity Run.
My definition of successful:
-not throwing up when using the port-o-potty before the race
-not tripping over any cones or other people (I’ve been known to do that)
-no walking – WAHOO
-finishing in under my goal of 40 minutes (36:37 to be exact- not bad for an out of shape mama)
-not eating the entire GIANT soft pretzel they gave us at the end that had 68% of my daily sodium requirement and 103 carbs – YOWZA!
The story behind the success:
I was exactly 5 months post partum the day of the run. This race was a result of positive peer pressure. Let’s Rewind to 2012: I missed the deadline for the race and my two girlfriends had a blast. I was jealous…very jealous. While they were earning 7 weight watchers activity points, I was stuffing my face with pancakes, bacon AND sausage. I wasn’t even pregnant yet, I was just dragging my feet…tired from work, shuttling two kids around to their activities, and being in a post-Christmas coma, I just didn’t feel like signing up for running outside in the unpredictable cold weather of March. It’s kind of a good thing that I didn’t. At the end of February, my husband and I were *surprise* expecting again after 6 years…A totally different story…
Fast forward to this year: I couldn’t say no to signing up- not a second time. Especially because the excuses of working full-time, raising 3 children now, breastfeeding, and managing a home just didn’t seem like enough. My friends also work, have families (one with 4 children – Amazing!), and seem to have an endless supply of energy. Call it what you want, but I was too proud and too embarrassed to say no. I had to do it. I had to keep up. So I held my breath, clicked the “submit” button and I was on my way to my first post partum 5K.
I did what I could to “train.” And I use that term loosely. It was more like practice. I’ve run 5K’s before, my husband and I dabble in sprint triathlons, and our kids play sports. We are definitely a movement based family. So while the thought of training while breastfeeding and being sleep deprived sent me into a tailspin of anxiety, the perspective of just “practicing” the skills I needed to just cross the finish line made me feel like I could actually do it. After all, I could always walk and walking isn’t scary at all. So I ran when I could (read: 3 times) and swam laps a bit with a friend YMCA (read: 3 times), and took a Punk Rope class with my 10-year-old daughter on Wednesday nights. When I could, I continued my pregnancy Vinyasa Yoga video to stay flexible. I just practiced. And I felt better; my *slogging and confidence were building.
*slogging will be defined in another post – stay tuned…
The air horn blew and the first 4,000 people started running, it took us 2 and a half minutes to even get to the starting line. My favorite playlist was blaring in my ears so I couldn’t hear my own heavy breathing. I had the “going up the roller coaster hill” feeling in my stomach. I just wanted to get into a groove. I crossed the starting line, started the slog, and didn’t stop until the last wicked-fast sprint carried me over the finish line.
The take away? Succumb to positive peer pressure & let the overflowing enthusiasm of others carry you across the finish line.