The day of the Saint John Santa Shuffle – my first post-baby race – my first wake-up call was around 3 a.m. when Silas decided it was time to eat. Ever since he was about three months old, I have been blessed with a through-the-night sleeper. But it looks like those days are over for now… with those early mornings getting earlier and earlier.
Silas was up and down a few times more before we finally got up around 7:30 a.m. I was feeling really spent and I hadn’t taken a step. I briefly considered bailing. Checking the weather did not make me feel any better.
Cold, wet, slippery. Why did I sign up for this again?
Before having a baby, I would leap out of bed on race mornings. On Saturday, it felt more like a chore. I just kept telling myself it was only 5K, and continued getting ready for the day.
Race prep with a baby is quite different than before. Not only do I need to make sure I get myself fed, dressed and geared-up, but I have another human to take care of as well. Basically it takes me twice as long to do anything. On Saturday, I got Silas dressed in his sweet “Gift for the Ladies” onesie and red plaid Baby Budds bib and then got myself ready as much as possible. The last step before we went out the door would be feeding him.
We arrived at Brunswick Square a little early so I could get my race kit. We also snapped a couple photos.
Since the weather was so wet and mucky, Mark and Silas decided to wheel around the mall rather than cheer from outside.
I opted to lose my jacket at the last-minute. I figured it would be too hot, and I knew my hat would keep the rain off my face.
Before taking off, participants gathered for a group photo and to hear a few words from the Salvation Army, which the run supports. The event was not timed, which was kind of a relief. No pressure!
I started along Harbour Passage with a slow, steady pace, and just kept it up, watching my footing. My plan was to take a walk break every 10 minutes. After the first 10, I was still feeling good and decided to stop for a break at the turnaround point (just past Ocean Steel). I didn’t stop there either.
Running through slush, tipping my head down against the rain, I sensed a familiar feeling – I had run this route so many times before. I had run 5K many, many times before. And the feeling of running in the crazy elements made me feel refreshed and confident.
Before long, I made it back to the start/finish mark. I looked at my watch and saw it took about 31 minutes for 5.19 km. My pace was 6 mins/km – exactly my goal. I walked back to Mark and Silas with a little big of swagger in my step. Five months after having a baby, I successfully ran a 5K. Yes! I did it!