Ready to Race

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Who has two Brooks running shoes and has just been cleared for postpartum running?  THIS girl!

I recently had my final postpartum appointment, where I got a clean bill of health and permission to resume all of my normal activities.  Yippee!  I’m thrilled to finally close the book on this pregnancy.  Toward the end, it got a bit dramatic (mainly because of incompetent administration at my doctor’s office, which caused me so much stress that it pushed me into delivery a week before my due date; it wasn’t the sole factor in Nugget’s slightly early arrival but it sure didn’t help).  Long story short, I’m really, really happy that my pregnancy is over and I’ve got this cute little guy instead:

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I’m also thrilled to be back in my running shoes!  Running is one of my happy places; it’s my favorite way to work up a sweat, chase goals, and stay (mostly) sane.  For years, running has been my coping mechanism during times of stress.  When life gets overwhelming or whenever I feel anxious or sad, there’s nothing like a good head-clearing run to set me to rights.  I love to head out the door and leave all of my worries on the road, and I always come back from a run feeling refreshed and ready to take on whatever challenges I’m facing.  I’m a nicer person when I run – less snappish, less stressed, more peaceful and more productive.

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I stopped running early in my pregnancy with Peanut, because something about it just didn’t feel right.  With Nugget, though, I continued running until I was about 24 (or 26? can’t remember) weeks along.  Nugget ran two 5k races (the Color Run and the Greater Buffalo Track Club Cross-Country 5k), one 8k (the Turkey Trot) and one half marathon (the Biggest Loser half) in my belly.  I hung up the running shoes after the Turkey Trot, because I was feeling sluggish and uninspired and it just wasn’t fun anymore, but I always knew I’d come back to running eventually.

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After a good long break, I’m back and ready to hit the road again!  I started feeling the itch to run when Nugget was about a month old; I was feeling more like my old self and starting to want some of my own life back.  I’ve been listening to Another Mother Runner podcasts as I bounce Nugget around the family room, streaming Boston Marathon coverage (Desi Linden, wow!  And Meb’s finish brought tears to my eyes) and generally chomping at the bit to get back in a running groove myself.  And now I FINALLY have the go-ahead.  I’m building my base back up slowly – not looking to get injured here! – but I’ve got so much inspiration right now, I’m just trying to ride this wave of enthusiasm right into the summer and fall racing season.

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Naturally, I’ve been surfing over to BuffaloRunners.com every few days to make googly eyes at the local race listings, but I’ve tried to restrain myself and refrain from signing up for many races until I was cleared for activity and knew how long I’d have to train for different events.  My top running priority is to prepare for my first marathon in October (I’d signed up for the 2014 race, but deferred to 2015 – one year was the only possible deferral – when I got pregnant).  Other races would have to wait until I had a better sense of where they may fit into my marathon training.

Now that I’ve got clearance to run again, here’s what I’m thinking as a tentative race calendar for 2015:

June: 50 Yard Finish 10k.  This race was a half marathon last year, and I ran it.  I enjoyed the race but told hubby I wasn’t sure if I would participate again in 2015.  Had this race still been planned as a half marathon, I’d have sat it out.  But the course has changed to a 10k this year, so I decided to run again.

July: I’m not sure, but I’m considering running the Lighthouse 5k in Corolla, NC, while on vacation in the Outer Banks with my family.  (The Lighthouse 5k is actually a race series, and there is one Lighthouse race each week.)  Corolla is a bit of a hike from the area we stay in, but I do think it would be fun to run a race down there.  I might try to squeeze in a local 5k, too, but I don’t know.  The only July race in WNY that caught my attention is actually taking place while I’ll be out of town on vacation.

August: Definitely planning to run the Tops Run for Roswell 10k.  This one was on my calendar for last year, but ended up being the same day as Peanut’s birthday party – oops.  I’m also eyeing a couple of novelty races in August.  I think I’m going to do the Total Recall race (each participant is required to memorize a pass code and input the code on occasion; if “done correctly” this is a 5k, but if you make a mistake it’s longer – I have a freakishly good memory so I think I can rock this one).  And I’d love to run the Finn McCool 4 Mile Odyssey, but it might be a little soon after Nuggetpalooza for me to attempt an obstacle race.  We’ll see.

September: Just one event planned for September: the Mighty Niagara Half Marathon.  After I ran three half marathons in seven months in 2014, it feels weird not to run 13.1 until September this year!  The Mighty Niagara was another one that I’d planned to run in 2014 but didn’t.  I was registered for the race, but I was about 14 weeks pregnant and just not feeling it.  Looking for redemption in 2015!

October: The BIG event of the year is in October – the Mohawk-Hudson River Marathon!  I’m both excited and terrified at the thought of taking on the big, bad 26.2.  Especially with a seven-month-old (which Nugget will be at the time) and a toddler.  Training should be… interesting.  Running a marathon has been a dream of mine for a long time, though.  I think if I’m smart about priorities, I can do this.

November: Planning to run a turkey trot, as I have for most of the past six years (I only missed 2012).  I think this year I’ll probably run the Troy Turkey Trot – the 10k option.  (Can you tell that I like the 10k distance?).  One year I think it would be fun to do both the 5k and the 10k, but this year I think I’m just going to want to run the 10k and then get home to the kiddos.  I may also check out a local 5k earlier in the month.

December: I don’t have anything planned, but I may run in a holiday race depending on how tired I am after all the hoofing it I have planned for summer and fall!

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I’m feeling motivated and inspired and ready to go!  It’s hard, with two little ones, to find time to do anything for myself.  But running and training for races are things that make me happy, so I’m committed to figuring out a way to make this happen, even amidst all this chaos.  I think I need the stress relief now more than ever…

Are you a runner?  What’s on your race calendar for 2015?

One thought on “Ready to Race

  1. Pingback: 2015: A Look Back | Covered In Flour

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