One year ago, I was in tip-top shape. I was five weeks pregnant. And I was about to run my third half-marathon in one season.
I was on top of the world.
I remember running one dark October night. I felt like I was sailing down Douglas Avenue. It was effortless to knock of 10 kilometres on a Wednesday night.
Amazing how things can change in just one year. Running is no longer a top priority in my life. I still like it (I think), but a lot of things have to line up for me to even get out for a run, let alone train for a race.
I was feeling a little bummed on the weekend. I had originally planned to run a 5K at a school in my neighbourhood – one of the last runs in the circuit this season. But after battling a cold all week, I didn’t get in any essential training runs. I knew I could run 5K, but it would have been hard. When my baby woke up at 5 a.m. that morning, I looked at the clock said, Nope. Not happening.
I thought about how much things have changed in one year. A year ago I would have eagerly set my alarm, threw on some cute Lululemon gear and dashed toward the starting line. Now, I am out of breath after running one block.
I wondered if my passion for running has fizzled. Will it ever return? Is this lacklustre runner part of the new mommy-me?
But then, a day later, I did something that runners do: I laced up my shoes.
I handed my baby to my husband. And I went for a run.
And you know what? It felt OK.
It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t too hard, either. My music distracted me from hearing my laboured breath. I set my Garmin so I would run for four minutes, then walk one minute. I ran about four kilometres.
The air was crisp and cool. My cheeks were hot. I actually felt pretty good. And I realized (probably for the third or fourth time since having a baby), that I’m still a runner, and I will get back to where I was before, in good time.
When I got home, the baby was still doing OK so I hopped in the shower.
And when I got out, still vibrating with feel-good endorphins, I saw a sight that would warm the cockles of any new-mommy-heart:
Daddy had rocked his baby to sleep.