Today was the virtual run to honor the memory of Sherry Arnold. I had picked today to be my first run post-baby to honor her. I woke up this morning ready to run. I feed Chet. I pumped. I ate breakfast. I bathed Chet. I feed him again. All of a sudden the day started to slip away. While I was nursing Chet, he was so sweet. He was so cozy. I didn’t want to leave him (even for a 30 minute run). I wanted to sit with him and enjoy all the cuteness that he offers. Christian asked me to hand him over, so he could enjoy his cuteness too (and so I could run). After trying to come up with a dozen excuses as to why I couldn’t go run, I handed him over. Christian insisted. I think he would have pushed me out the door if I kept saying no. I changed my clothes. I put on my running shoes. I left with no plan at all except to listen to my body and to run/walk around 2 miles. The whole point of my run was to run for Sherry. I wanted to honor Sherry. I wanted to honor myself as a mom and runner.
I walked the first two minutes before I felt the desire to run. I ran for the next five minutes. Hello glorious running. I have missed you. It wasn’t fast. It probably wasn’t pretty. But it felt great to expand my lungs, to use my muscles, and to breath in the fresh air. I even got a little choked up when I gave myself a minute to think about my crazy running journey over the past year (I’m blaming post-baby hormones!).
After the first five minutes of running, I still felt good. I also knew I didn’t need to over do it, to push to hard, to wake up incredibly sore tomorrow. I walked another two minutes. I kept this pattern for 3 miles. Three miles running five minutes and walking two minutes isn’t too bad for five weeks post-baby. (I was only hoping for 2, but when I got close to my house and my watch said 2.4 I knew I could run another .6.)
The run was a lot easier than I expected it to be yet it was also a lot harder than I expected. My legs felt good. I expected them to hurt. My lungs burned. I thought my cardio might be better. My posture is awful. My core is weak. This wasn’t a surprise. I need to strengthen my back and stomach starting now.
Based on my Garmin, my run looked like this:
Mile 1: 13:01
Mile 2: 13:24
Mile 3: 13:33
Total: 3.01 at a 13:20 pace (walking included)
Based on my mile times, I am exactly where I was physically (minus the pregnancy) at the Rock n Roll half marathon. My times are almost identical. I wasn’t really expecting anything from my run, so I’m happy to know that this is my starting point. Each run will get a little easier. Each mile will get a little faster. I’ve started the process. This is always the hardest part. Starting at a point I worked really hard to get to during pregnancy feels good.
Every time the run got hard and I wanted to go home to snuggle Chet some more, I thought of Sherry. I get to run home to my bundle of joys. Her family will never get to great her again after her run. I’m running again five weeks after having a baby. I get to run. I get to snuggle my boys. I get to live my life.
I hope Sherry’s family felt the love from the thousands and thousands of people running for her today.