A whole year in review.
Most people would say that Covid was the most impactful thing of their 2020, but really that didn’t affect me too much. I was pregnant again! Yay! So, working from home (was already doing that with my toddler), not racing, and avoiding people really wasn’t a big deal. Pregnancy – not as easy as the first time. Birth – much, MUCH, easier than the first time. Now recovery – so far, so good, but its slow, which is difficult. I waited the recommended 6-weeks to start running…nope, not really, I went for a couple short (like a quarter mile) jogs at 4 weeks, but I was feeling good, no harm, no foul, I guess.
So for 2020, 1- had baby, 2 – bought and sold house, 3 - moved 2 weeks post-partum, probably not a great idea, but not the worst since DH had 4 weeks paid leave. Very eventful (and good!) 2020 for me personally.
Now for the running-related update. Exactly one year ago today I attempted to BQ at the Atlantic City Marathon, which didn’t quite happen. This year, I ran up THE HILL by our new house without stopping. Success! This hill has been my nemesis since I began running again now pushing a double stroller. Side note – double stroller plus kids equals approximately 90 pounds, which makes me feel better about my paces. It didn’t help that DH (who doesn’t really run) was able to run pushing the stroller up it on his first try, but good for him!
For me, post-partum recovery is a difficult mental exercise as much as it is physical. You have to pretty much start from scratch and work back. It’s probably similar to a severe injury (I didn’t run anything for over 4 months), but (knock-on-wood) I have not had one of those, so I really can’t say. So, starting from scratch, coupled with new running routes that all have rolling hills (moving to PA from S. NJ is quite a change to the elevation profile of what I can run from my front door) and it’s a recipe for feeling down about running especially comparing (and trying to beat) what I did after DD was born. My answer is making small reachable goals – Run 1 mile without stopping, then 2 miles, then run a faster pace than the week before, then 3 miles, then a 5K, which is where I am at now, but there was always THE HILL in each of these goals. I could not continuously run any of those distances from my house because of THE HILL. It’s about 60 feet of elevation change over 0.14 miles, so not much for some of you, but from my flatland experience, it is a MOUNTAIN! Ha! Anyway, I could not run up it pushing the double stroller. I felt like my legs just couldn’t go up any more and that I was just going to trip or not move forward, so I would break to a walk. Every run (2 times a week) I would try to get a little farther before walking and I was generally successful at that. Well today, exactly 1 year since running a BQ attempt marathon, and after 5.5 weeks of trying, I made it all the way up the hill without stopping and finished a 5K running with no walking breaks! I feel like I’ve dropped so much running ability over the past year, but I can see/feel it coming back and that gives me motivation to keep working at it, and hopefully be ready for a BQ attempt when marathons are more back to normal, AND I am stronger than ever (Yay hills and double stroller!!), which I am hoping is next fall – maybe Steamtown! The best part about it all, DD and new DS both love to ride in the stroller and be outside every day! There’s no greater motivation than that! 😍