Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Having a Marathon Baby

Training for distance running for the first time, is a lot like having your first baby.

Go back in time with me, if you will, to when your first child was new born.

Imagine the new found joy, the pride, the accomplishment.  Remember feeling how much bigger the world got and how much more focus one singular thing in your life required.

Imagine the sleep deprivation, the swollen-ness, the lack of touch with the real world, the hunger, the pain.  Remember how you wished other people knew "just how much" you were suffering!?  Remember how folks would ask you to social functions and you wanted to yell "NO! I can't possibly go to dinner, I HAVE A NEW BABY, DUH!!"  Exhausted, out of touch with anything else, consumed.

I think being a new distance runner is sort of in the same vein.  I remember the first time I ever ran 10 miles - I felt like I had given the world an amazing gift in my accomplishment.  As I trained, I became a different person from the inside out.  I was hungry, tired, anxious, and no one seemed to fully understand just "how much " I was suffering - but it was absolutely wonderful.

Now, for those of you who have multiple children, think of the day that the 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th child came along.  With the amount of workload, fatigue, and pain associated with that did you just want to march back in time to "First time Momma" you and smack her around a little bit?  I sure did.  I mean, how could I have thought that having one singular child to worry about at home was SUCH a BIG DEAL!?!

Our youngest's debut 2009 - Cameron Allen.
It's all about perspective!  It WAS a big deal at the time.  Just as running my first 10 miler was a big deal at the time.  Now, as the mother of 4 children and the care provider to a few more, my threshold for parenting  is a bit higher.  Having a baby crying is about like going for a 4 mile run...sort of an every day, run of the mill occurrence.

And so it goes with my 5th child.  I will call her Marathon.

I'm at the point where an 8-10 mile run isn't out of the question at any point, and won't cause much subsequent suffering.  I don't feel the need to wear a t-shirt barking out my need for additional calories and a rub-down with BioFreeze afterward, and amazingly, I find myself WANTING to go on a run of that distance quite often.

But sweet little baby Marathon will require more.

She will require me to become accustomed to paying more attention to only her, at times.  There will be hunger, fatigue and irritability.  My thoughts, focus, and plans will be consumed.  I will feel like I am the only one in pain.  Sacrificing.  Hurting.

I wouldn't have it any other way.  As I was ready to go from "Mother of 3" status to "Mother of 4"...with trepidation, I am ready to venture out from Half Marathoner and have another baby.

My Marathon Baby.

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