Spring cleaning, and racing

Howdy, friends.

You know you’ve had a sick toddler when you find yourself washing down the walls, counters, floors and everything as soon as he takes a nap. I feel like I need to scrub the sickness out of our house today. Ugh. I wish it were spring so I could open up the windows and air it all out.

A few more months, right?

Though I really shouldn’t complain — it warmed up into the 30s this week, and I ran outside in shorts yesterday with my friends Kristen and Lalley. It felt so good to not be wrapped up in a bunch of layers, mittens, balaclava and all that. (Even though winter running is by far my favorite.)

It felt SO good that Kristen and I started talking about maybe doing a spring marathon. I haven’t run one since Fargo in 2009 (where I finally qualified for Boston). My plans to run Twin Cities that same year were derailed by stress fractures in each pubic ramus. And then since that took so long to heal, I decided to use my down time to have a baby instead. I hate wasting time.

Well, now that the baby is almost 3 months old (tomorrow!), and I am able to run consistently without pain (as long as I don’t sprint and don’t run on the treadmill, which seems to aggravate things), I am itching for some goals. Brookings or Fargo marathons seem like a fine idea, and both are in May. Both are also close enough and casual enough that I don’t need to sign up months in advance. And both are flat enough that hopefully my piss-poor training won’t show too much.

It would be awesome to have a goal. I do realize it’s a little stupid to go from hardly running to marathoning. I ran a lot while pregnant with Jack, but with Genevieve, I had so many problems I had to stop pretty early — probably around 25 weeks or so. (With Jack, I ran up until 33 weeks, and went on bedrest at 34 weeks, delivered at 37 weeks.) But this time, I had way too much preterm labor, really low fluid levels (a problem I had with Jack, too), unexplained bleeding and growth problems. So, really, I have hardly run since July.

Then my stress-fracture sites were acting up again, but that seems to have calmed down, and I am managing about 15-20 miles a week, sort of. It’s all over. I also haven’t kept a log since July, which is really unusual — I generally make sweet love to my Excel running log after each run. I told myself that I would NOT obsess over mileage or pace or anything until I felt healthy. That lasted all of December.

In January, I said, this is the month to just get going again, with no pressure. February is when I plan to be more consistent. I was trying to cut myself some slack after Genevieve was born. After Jack, I started running 2 weeks later, ramped up quickly and had an amazing running year. Right up until I was too injured to even walk without a limp.

I didn’t want that to happen again.

But all it takes is one sunny, crisp winter day, running with Kristen, talking about some of the long runs we’ve done in brutal weather here in South Dakota. Splashing a bit of mud up the back of my bare leg, feeling the pavement — instead of packed snow — under my feet. And just dreaming about standing at another starting line.

We’ll see if I can get there again.

Happy running.

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