Thursday, April 26, 2018

Patience, grasshopper

Pregnancy update: 25 weeks this week, so a little more than half-way, but there's long enough left to be over all the ordinary aches and pains (ugh) and that due date is not soon enough to be all excited or anything. More detailed untraining logs can be found over at Salty Running.

Meanwhile in banal family details, I don't know what daylight savings time changes do to your kid, but mine wakes up earlier regardless of the season. The last two days he's woken up at 5am. One day I took kiddo for a run, and the next day Mr GCA was on duty and I slept in. Seriously, we need to teach the little to read so he can entertain himself quietly until WE are ready to get up. Tiger mom? Try tired mom.

Reunited with an old running buddy. Also, he's lucky he's cute.

A little over a week ago now I got to watch the Boston Marathon. (There are no photos of me doing so because the rain was torrential and my phone was in a ziploc bag and I took it out for only a few seconds at a time, to check with numb and frozen fingers where all my friends were on the tracker app.) I missed half of the people I was tracking, because we were all buried under 325789 layers of extra clothing, but all the friends I was tracking finished! Hats off (rainjackets and handwarmers on) to anyone tough enough to survive that weather.

But I didn't miss this, and I'll never forget it: we were standing almost at mile 25, and then heard ‘Elite women coming!’. The media van came first, then the motorbikes with their flashing lights. I saw Des coming through, and began to lose it, screaming my lungs out. Then, after her… no one. For. A. Long. Time. The seconds ticked by. My friends and I looked at each other. Where’s everyone else? Entire minutes pass. And that’s when we realised she had the win in the bag, and I basically started crying happy tears. And Yuki Kawauchi's win was the icing on the cake: he definitely wasn't in the lead when we saw him go by, but a few minutes later my phone notifications told me he had just pipped Geoffrey Kirui to the finish.

Getting to watch Boston is awfully inspiring for most everyone, and like many people, I'd love to qualify and run it someday. But between pregnancy and postpartum recovery (not to mention adjusting to a new routine in family and professional life) I literally don't know when I'm going to run another marathon again, let alone go after long-term sub-4 or BQ goals.

I mean, realistically? Nothing athletic has ever come easily to me. I'm not one of those superwomen you're going to see running through third trimester. In fact, I'm barely running right now, and there's still almost half an entire pregnancy to go, plus however long recovery takes! My body needs the break, even if my mind is raring to go. Obviously, I know I'm doing this now because we definitely want a second kid and racing will always be there when I'm ready. But I'll be honest - the enforced break is a little frustrating and I'm envious of anyone who can train to race right now.

But then I remember how long that first year of new parenthood felt. And how I actually got faster after that year than ever before, despite sleep deprivation, a new job, and imperfect and slipshod training. And the high of setting two half PRs and a gigantic, 35-minute marathon PR in the second and third years of parenthood. And that's fuel for the tiny spark of hope that I can do it all again.

Which brings us right back to Des and the marathon. She's the patron saint of the pluggers, the people who keep showing up, whose very showing up day after day reinforces bit by bit their confidence and tenacity. It's the fairytale for those of us who have nothing else but the belief that if we keep looking where we want to go, eventually we'll go where we look.

1 comment:

  1. I’m right there with you on the “when will there be another marathon,” but at least in the meantime a BQ time will get more lax as we age, haha!

    I watched BM on TV too... so fun to watch in my warm house. It makes me nostalgic but the two kid thing makes me not feel too bad for now. They keep you on your toes in other ways.

    Almost third trimester. You can do it! Pregnancy ain’t great for some and I don’t miss it at all even though I know that was my last one. But the reward is well worth it...