Runaway Pumpkin Recap
Today at four months postpartum, I ran an 8k. This isn’t a huge distance; just under five miles. I set a goal for myself to do it in under ten-minute miles, and a secondary goal to do it in under an hour. I was ambitious about getting into shape after having Elise and determined to run a manageable race to do it.
I ran the Runaway Pumpkin Half Marathon and 8K. The course is flat, beautiful and I love the small-town, local feel. The weather today was awful – rainy, windy, wet. I am such a clueless runner still and had no idea what to wear. Ha. I usually look to my awesome runner husband for advice, but he wears a tank-top and shorts unless it’s snowing. *eye-roll*
Around the half-way point (mile 2.5), I was so tempted to stop and walk. I knew that if I walked that early in the race however, I would have a really hard time running the rest of the way. I found myself thanking God for every step I took, and asking him for the next one. (Guys, this is kind of embarrassing to admit because this is not that long of a distance – but I am still pretty out of shape.)
When I got to the point where there was about .5 miles left, I gave myself a .1 mile walk-break, and ran as hard as I could the rest of the way.
I wish I was talented at taking pictures while running, because right as I was about to finish, there was a race sign sponsored by a local funeral home that said “The end is near” and had a grim reaper standing next to it. I’m not sure whether this is genius or super insensitive, but either way, seeing that kicked my butt into high gear. I saw Dan (who had already finished the half-marathon at that point) and wanted to make him proud. I sprinted to the end and finished strong.
I finished in 52 minutes – which was over ten minute miles, but under an hour. So, I met my secondary goal. As soon as I crossed the finish line, I had an overwhelming urge to cry. (I didn’t because I wasn’t wearing sunglasses and nobody wants to see me sweaty and ugly-crying) I don’t know if I wanted to cry because I was proud of myself for finishing, or because I didn’t meet my first goal. It was a weird mash-up of emotions.
My mind automatically shot to all of the reasons I didn’t do as well as I wanted. I do this a lot. In running, parenting, marriage, my outfit choice. But the reality is, nobody cared. Especially in this instance. My husband was proud of me, my friends congratulated me and at four months postpartum, I got out there and ran.
I may have not wanted to move the rest of the day, and ate tons of sweets to balance it out, but I ran.
So often, I find myself wanting to make excuses for why things aren’t “as good” as they could be. Even when something is great, I think “well, if I had more money, my house would be cuter.” Or, “if I was more patient, my kids would be more well-behaved”, “if I got more than two hours of uninterrupted sleep, that race would have felt a lot better.”
While all of those things are true, it doesn’t negate the fact that what I did, what I have, what I am blessed with is still so good.
So today, I decided to celebrate myself. I gave myself a pat on the back for running slower than I wanted, because I ran. I indulged, and had fellowship with friends later that day, and even though the Ducks lost (again) I enjoyed myself.
Have you started exercising or running again after having a baby? How did it go? I’d love to hear in the comments below!