Tim Bergsten created this Ning Network.

I completed my first trail run since having our son, Rowan. I pushed as hard as I could for as long as I could (no pun intended) and covered 4.4 miles. I felt really strong. But when I returned to the car and checked my new Garmin, I saw that my average mile was 13:41. I had two thoughts:

#1, Seriously? Fail.

#2, Seriously? Get over it. It's only been 6 weeks.

I'm running a lot slower than I did before having Rowan, and I guess I thought I would bounce back a lot quicker. But, if I investigate this idea of "quicker", it actually took me 6 months to really run strong and fast after having my daughter. At six weeks and 26 pounds heavier, I'm not sure why I'm expecting a miracle. So, I've decided to stop judging myself, my running and my body. I'm going to find the positives in every workout, but it's so much easier said than done.

There's the obvious achievement; I'm running about 20 miles a week already. Finally, I'm actually running those miles, rather than running 0.2 miles and walking 0.1 miles. Though I might be slow, I am caring around a lot of extra weight. (Please note that I always carry extra weight, even when I'm fast, I'm a life-long Athena runner!) These extra pounds should make me physically stronger. It's like a 26 lb "natural" weight vest. There's also the 3 ton stroller with the infant attachment thingy, so that a tiny baby is safe in his car-seat. Yes, those lovely bucket seats that add another 2 tons to the monstrosity. I push that around 70% of the time. Really, I'm getting the world's best workout.

There's also the excuses. I'm not talking about excuses not to workout; I'm talking excuses to spend money. I mean, I need to stay motivated, here. I'm pretty sure that I have a pass to enter any race that I want for the next year. (I'm totally open to suggestions). I'm also pretty sure that I need a new wardrobe, for running, for work, for summer. I'm done wearing Duane's old race shirts. A girl's gotta look good.

In all seriousness, it's hard as hell to come back to everything after having a baby. I only want to snuggle with my son, and I feel far from my normal self. I know that things will change with time. It's just so hard to wait. But, I will, and in the meantime, I'm gonna start having fun while I'm doing it.

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Comment by Tonia Smith on March 30, 2014 at 6:18am
I think with each baby it becomes harder. It will all come back. Don't be so hard on yourself. The baby is a blessing to be enjoyed. The rest will eventually fall into place.
Comment by Vanessa Shawver on March 28, 2014 at 5:42pm

Looking forward to seeing how you re-invent yourself, as we all do after kids. The fitness will come back, for sure, but the view will always be eternally different with your little ones at home - and it continues to change as they grow and explore over the years. You'll find your rhythm. Until then, I think you have the right idea. Relax and enjoy what you have! You're doing fantastic!

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