What a Journey
It's been forever since I've updated the steppin' to it part of my running life in doing the Couch to 5k program that I started this summer. I apologize to those die-hard readers (ha!), but returning to work after 5 months off with my maternity leave and 2-year-old and 5-months-old... well, you know how that goes, nothing gets done anymore once you're exhausted and working and packing daycare bottles and diaper bags and attempting to fit into some work clothes again!
BUT I have been running! Yay!
However, no, not as much as I was this summer or as much as I wanted to be running. I have not kept up with my program as well as I did just 3 weeks ago. It started when I hurt my ankle. I had to take a week off from running. Then when that felt better I was ready to run again, but got a horrible ear infection, which put me out another week. I felt TERRIBLE. I was on some steroid medication, it was serious, told to do nothing but rest (yeah right, with two kids and going back to work that week!). So that week I walked, but could not run.
Then I've been back to work, with zero energy because my daughter is teething and has her first cold and has a growth spurt to boot! SO that meant up at least once or twice a night every night for two weeks. Can you say no thanks I have no energy to be diligent with running!?!
So yes, I've run (yay! any amount or running deserves a YAY!), but it has not been what I hoped it would be these last 3 weeks.
I've dreaded posting this because I feel like in a way I've failed. I did not accomplish these last three weeks of running diligently according to the program. I've run each week, but not my route, not my fastest, not my longest. I can't check it off on my program list that I completed that exact session as it's written. That bugs me.
And yet, here I am, posting this for the world to see. And the reason? Because this blog is all about being REAL. A REAL Mom does not get it all done all the time. A REAL Mom does not get "me time" as much as she wants to. A REAL Mom does not have energy and is completely exhausted to even think, let alone get up and lace her sneakers sometimes. A REAL mom does fall short sometimes of her goals and ideals. It's just how it goes.
It's not because we don't want it bad enough or don't try. We do try. We pump before we put on the sports bra so it hurts less. We make sure our running clothes are at the top of the 10 loads of laundry so they are ready for the next run. We wait until the babies are asleep and ignore the really mess living room and kitchen so we can run. We try to put ourselves first, something that does not come naturally to us as mothers. We do try. I tried.
So, I'm still proud of myself. I really am.
I ran 7 straight weeks according to the program, and 3 more I ran every single week and found I was still in shape a few times a week. I found I could still move and breathe - that's gotta count for something.
I have learned that moms HAVE to put other things first sometimes. I put the need to sleep first - instead of waking at 4 a.m. to run before my family woke at 5 for the work day, I chose to sleep because if I did not sleep I'd be really crabby with no patience for my kids or work day. I chose to rest my body when it was sick and hurt ankle instead of pushing it and being out for the count longer. It's about choices, sometimes that's just how it is.
Next up is the 5k race! Do I feel ready for it? HELL NO.
BUT I'm going to attempt it. And if I end up walking some of it, WHATEV.
I'm going to repeat to myself while trying it - "I am a mother. Mothers can do whatever we set our mind to. And yet I'm NOT Super Mom, I can't do it all. I can just try, that's all, and see where my strength, determination and courage get me."
If I could survive pregnancy - twice! - and birth C-sections - twice! - and sleep deprivation - twice! - then I CAN DO THIS. There are so many important reasons in my life why I can attempt this, and if I don't succeed how I hoped to ... well, at least I'll know that I'm someone who tries real hard and who my kids can be proud to call M-O-M.