A few weeks ago I decided it was time to suck it up, put on my post-pregnancy parachute panties and dig out my runners. I was dreading it! No one likes doing something they suck at, and there was no denying that after a year long hiatus with my running shoes, I would most definitely suck! But I wanted my regular panties back, not the ones that were big enough to cover the hole in the ozone layer; so run I must.
It wasn’t always this way. Four years ago, I would never have called myself a runner. I could huff and puff my way through the odd 5k fun-run but a runner, I was not.
Then we moved to Paris in 2010, and after leaving my family and friends, quitting my job and landing on a new continent, I felt I needed something to keep me busy, challenge me and clear my head.
Running became my friend in a country where I didn’t yet have any friends that spoke my language. I started signing up for races and actually became quite a good little runner. I wasn’t Forest Gump, but I could crank out 20km, barely breaking a sweat.
So, yes; I started to consider myself a runner.
I had just finished training for my first half marathon and was about to roll right into marathon training when I jumped off a moving train (read more about that here) and that was the end of my running career for awhile.
Acquiring injuries, followed by having a baby are not great ways to get a new personal best under your belt. I hadn’t run in a long time, and with a newborn at home, I didn’t feel like running at all.
I somehow mustered up the energy and motivation to start running again. It was brutal. My last running memory I was flying through Paris, uber fit, feeling like a machine. Now all I felt were the seams of my running pants holding on for dear life as I pulled them up over my unexcersized thighs.
But fret not my friends, because my thighs shrank and I found my legs again. A few months later and I was back in the game, running a half marathon, while my husband and 8 month old cheered me on from the sidelines.
Just when I was back to being BFF’s with my sneakers, the stork tells me to throw those shoes in the back of the closet, Baby #2 is coming.
It was harder dusting off my Garmin after Baby #2, I’ll tell you that. Chasing 2 kids under 2 years old around the house felt like I was running a marathon daily. I had NO desire to go for a run. Not even a little. But I wanted to be fit and I wanted to be healthy, and more than anything else, I wanted to burn those obscenely giant knickers!
So I dug to the back of my closet, and found my trainers. How could something that was once my favourite thing look so unfamiliar and unappealing? It felt like I opened up my highschool yearbook and was looking at a picture of my first boyfriend. Really? We were an item? We had a spark? I couldn’t even imagine it anymore. My running shoes, like a photo of my first boyfriend, were not igniting any internal desires.
My husband, who is one of those ‘naturally athletic’ people, could see I was defeated before I even started. He walks over to the shoe closet, picks me up from the pool of sadness I was swimming in on the floor and grabs me by my shoulders for a pep talk.
“You’ve been here before. You know you’re not going to be able to run a half marathon, or even 5K, but you have to start somewhere. It’ll come back.”
Okay, he was right. I might not be able to whip off 5K in my first trip back outside, but it was better than hanging out on the couch with Ben & Jerry…well, better for my waste line anyways.
I lace up, get into a Usaine Bolt stance in the front entrance to get a laugh out of my husband, and I was off!
I made it just past the mailbox before I needed to stop and catch my breath. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
He could have set the bar lower on his pep talk! He had me thinking I might be able to crank out a couple kms and I could barely run 30 seconds. How depressing. I ended up running 1.25 kms in total and I must have stopped 9 times because it felt like there was an army of small angry dragons breathing fire in my lungs.
Seeking attention for my efforts, upon my return home, I dramatically collapsed on the living room floor as if I’d ran an ultra marathon. Starting over sucks! There’s no other way to put it.
But there’s hope my running friends. That was just a few weeks ago and I’ve been working on it every few days since. Each time I go a little further, a little faster. They’re small victories, but victories none the less.
Today marked my first post-pregnancy 5K, and although I still have to stop for breaks and my face is always bright purple, I can feel my stride coming back. I can make it WAY past the mailbox now.
I bought new runners and signed up for my first full marathon. It may be a bit ambitious, but I have lots of time and I need a goal. I’ll take the training 1km at a time and hope for the best.
If you’re on the fence about rekindling your love affair with your running shoes, I say go for it! There’s nothing better than basking under the rain of a post-run shower as you enjoy your runner’s high. Especially knowing that thanks to your running shoes, and determination, your summer wardrobe will fit just right.
Speaking of summer; if anyone needs a beach towel, I have a pair of underwear I’m no longer using that are about the right size.
Thank you Lisa!
Please visit Lisa's blog at Canadian Expat Mom!
Please visit Lisa's blog at Canadian Expat Mom!
When we're not writing or reading we're wasting time on social media, so come hang out with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!
Get email for our upcoming book, Motherhood, May Cause Drowsiness: funny stories by sleepy moms, plus special events, readings, and book giveaways:
*******Sharing is Caring! Click the icons below for Twitter, Facebook, and g+! You'll have good camping karma.