After Sunday’s VCM I didn’t put on my running shoes again until Friday afternoon. That’s just life with a three and a two year old, and a husband in his first week of a new job in the corporate law department of a firm downtown.
The ability to get out and run when you are a parent of small children is no small accomplishment. I trained for the marathon with the help of my husband, my mother and occasionally the child watch at the YMCA. But it’s really not as simple as just lining up someone to watch your kids for you. Last year, my not-yet-two year old’s common refrain varied between a very alarmed “mommy go running?” and a pouty “mommy go running” at the sight of my running gear. Early verbal proficiency aside, this was not always the easiest thing for me to hear.
It’s not a coincidence that my husband’s new job started the week after the VCM. He choose that week because he didn’t want to disrupt my training, knowing he’d be spending many more hours out of the house once he started.
That brings us back to Friday. As she has many times before, my mom agreed to come by in the afternoon so I could get a run in and also do some grocery shopping. After building with Duplos and chasing matchbox cars all morning, an inaugural trip to the pediatric dentist, and celebratory smoothies from Jamba Juice, I greeted my mom at the door and ducked out.
It was overcast and in the mid-sixties. For my first post-marathon run I decided to do the loop around Lake Quannapowit because it’s close to Market Basket (Moms: we multi-task). I was disappointed to discover that the twinge in my left hip was still present. I ran at a brisk pace and logged the first mile a little under 8;40. I decided to keep up the pace for the rest of the 3 mile loop. I noticed the hip straight away, but now I began to register my form and other sensations as I did a mental scan. My abdomen, quads, and glutes felt weak and begged for a trip to the weight room. I even felt the strain in my biceps as I ran at this slightly more aggressive pace. I’ve always known my body responds well to weight training, and given my joint and musculature issues, strength training and stability exercises pay dividends in my running. As I rounded the lake I began to think that sacrificing these other workouts in my effort to build up mileage quickly for the VCM may have been my undoing.
The first run after the VCM should be a new beginning of sorts. I haven’t decided on my next goal or picked out my next event. With T’s new job downtown I will be short on assistance in the toddler department. In many ways I’m still running the race that I blew last weekend. Licking my wounds. Wondering why. Why I do it to myself, my family. Why it made me miserable? Or was I miserable in spite of it? With these thoughts going through my head I stocked up on fresh produce at Market Basket. Eat right, feel right? Let’s hope so.