The First Run After…

On Monday I went for my first run since I have been pregnant. It was my first run in almost two years. It is hard to believe it has been that long. Running was so ingrained into my identity that I could not imagine skipping two years, and in a lot of ways it feels like just last winter I was training for the cheverny marathon.

But I wasn’t.

Last winter I was raising a little boy who was learning how to babble and smile. I had this and that health problem left over from 9 months of swelling to accommodate said boy, not the least of which were ingrown toenails that prevented me from walking comfortably, let alone running.

Now, everything is more or less sorted and I can run. I even have a babysitter who can watch Peatuk so I can have up to two hours to myself, reading, writing, sleeping, cleaning, or… practicing the physical exercises.

That is how Monday I packed up the aforementioned baby boy in his stroller, took said babysitter with me, and hit the track just around the corner from my house.

In a lot of ways, the ‘run’ was absurd. I jogged a mile, walked a lap, and then jogged a second mile. That was it. I was incredibly slow. The whole ordeal took me almost half an hour. For two and a quarter miles! My lung capacity that I worked so hard to build up over the years is almost completely shot. My joints are not used to running. Two days later, my muscles are STILL sore. And, I can no longer run in a regular bra, lest my milk-filled bosom bop me in the nose.

My body and my mind still remembers heading out for 30 km runs. They remember my posture. They remember that a 10 km used to be an easy day. Now, I can’t even make a 5 km run in one go. In some ways, all of that hard work I put into running is gone. In other ways, I know I am mentally ready to get back into it and so it should not be as hard as starting over from the very beginning. I know what to expect. I know which training regimes work for me.

Even as I say it was a bad run, it was also a very good run. Because I did it. Because I used my body again. Because there were moments that I reconnected with a part of me that has been dormant for so long, and I could feel her in there. I know the first couple of months are going to be frustrating, and I know that I have to remember to be kind and gentle with myself. I have to remember not to expect to much. I have to remember that I was basically sedentary for the past year and a half. (Something I will not fall into during any subsequent pregnancies).

I have set an easy goal. By the end of the summer I want to be running 10k again. Not a fast 10k. Just 10 continuous kilometers without feeling exhausted or straining my lungs. I don’t even have a weekly amount I am working towards. Nothing so complex. I just want to be able to go out, on and given day, and hit a good, solid stride for about an hour and not want to stop when it ends. 

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