Our daughter cut her first tooth the day she turned 7 months old. She’s rolling, scooting, eating vegetables and fruit with gusto, and just days away from crawling. She’s saying ‘dada’ and ‘mama,’ and loves blowing raspberries. In short, she’s growing up – and quickly!
The last few months since my last post have been incredibly busy professionally, athletically and personally. Since running the Olympic Marathon Trials in February, I’ve been working on trying to run more consistently. Before the trials, I was running about 10 miles a week, and the 8 miles I ran in the race was my longest run in nearly a year! So, with the goal of getting back into training and potential race fitness by early summer, I set the goal of getting my mileage up and working in some tempo/speed work. My running has been consistent, but not very high in volume. I also have been dealing with some patellar tendinitis, which resulted in my taking nearly 2 weeks of complete rest in late April.
While it feels like I’ve been running nonstop, when I actually look at my training log, reality strikes: I’ve been averaging less than 20 miles each week! I run 3-4 times a week, trying to get a longer run of 8-10 miles and one run with pace or speed work. My biggest challenge lately has been sleep. Not an uncommon issue with parents of infants, I know, but lack of sleep affects my running hugely. From about 5-6.5 months of age, the babe woke almost hourly. She’s a quick eater, and goes back to sleep easily, but it doesn’t change the fact that I get up every hour during the night. In the past couple of weeks, we’ve upped her day-time and night-time meals and have worked to let her fuss a bit more…which means she’s been sleeping longer, and so have I!
The sudden uptick in sleep is probably why I let myself be coerced by running friends to run the local Run for the Zoo 5k, a great benefit for the local Albuquerque Biopark. It was windy and cold, but I had a great time racing in the blustery weather. This race also served another purpose: reminding me that I like racing! I knew that I wanted to race track this spring for the first time since I graduated college, but I had scratched out of early planned track races due to lack of fitness. Following the Run for the Zoo, my same running friend and fellow mom, Natalie talked me into running my first track race in over a decade: the 5,000m at the Masked Raider Invitational in Lubbock, Texas.
This race was an experience. As we (two women from Santa Fe and I) drove through the open, barren landscapes of eastern NM and north Texas on the afternoon of the race, we drove through epic winds, visibility-impairing dust, and heat. Two of us runners are nursing moms. The 5-hour drive meant that we both pumped breastmilk as we drove down the two-lane highways hoping desperately that we wouldn’t be delayed behind the many hay-trucks or tractors on the highway so much that we’d miss our evening race. We checked the cars temperature gauge less and less enthusiastically as the numbers topped 90° and our truck was buffeted by winds so strong they required two fully-engaged hands on the steering wheel. The race itself was brutal. Times were slow. Given the conditions, I think it was a solid effort, even though it was far from fast. It was strange to be on the track, racing, after more than a decade. It was fun! I raced in my training shoes, struck by a sudden, starting-line (rational? Irrational?) fear of injury, should race in my flats. Such is the return to track racing after such a long break!
I celebrated the rest of Mother’s Day weekend with my family, ran the Mother’s Day 1km with my daughter in her first race ever.