In typical fashion these days, I am just getting around to writing up this blog a whole 7 days after the new year greeted the world. That’s about right for me- I am a week late for everything- work expense reports, paying bills, reading news, etc.
What a beautiful year! 2011 brought me the most amazing gift of watching Eva grow from a teeny tiny baby into her now toddler and little girl-esque self. It is true what they say- there is nothing quite like having a child and watching her grow and be fasicinated by the world around her. What’s even more ironic, Eva and I seemed to live in parallel worlds this year as I also had to start from the ground up in learning how to run again. As I raced Tahoe Rim 100 in July, Eva began taking her first steps at 9.5 months old. It was really perfect.
Learning how to be a mom and to simultaneously be an ultrarunner has come with some very steep learning curves. I now look around me in line at Starbucks watching for the tell-tell dark cirlces that only a parent can have. The tired eyes that say, Yep, I was up from 2-4 and finally fell asleep at 5:00 and then the baby decided morning was upon us. That look is priceless.
Here’s what I learned this year:
1) You can run well tired. You can even run well when delirious- not everytime of course. But sleep might never be the same and your love for running is absoluletly worth getting out there.
2) Coffee and wine are now part of my basic food groups, kinda like fats and proteins are. Hey I gave up dairy okay, so I am going to have wine and coffee instead.
3) The first three months of running were pure hell. I thought I would never get back to being fit. I learned to have patience for the first time in my life.
4) There is no need to pull over at an aid station and waste precious minutes pumping if you are a nursing ultrarunning mom. I also learned that pumping every 6 hours while racing 100 miles is best when you have a steep climb ahead of you. Downhill running and pumping is out of the question.
5) I learned to not feel guilty about loving running. I really am a better mother and wife if I have gotten my run in for the day.
6) Being a mom is so much harder than I ever thought it would be. It’s also more rewarding, too.
7) Scheduling your daily run and your long runs are key when you have goal races. I used to run whenever I wanted before the baby, but now, I have to line up babysitters and make sure it all works with Eva’s schedule.
8) Making a full length feature documentary when you and your spouse have full time jobs, race schedule and a small child is about as wise as Hal Koerner not bringing body glide to UTMB. I can safely say, JB and I are happy to be done with a movie we are so proud of.
9) I learned this year that a mind that sufferred through labor can do almost anything.
10) I learned to be grateful for everyday on the trail, every night I give Eva a bath and every laugh I share with my husband, my family and friends, as life is a gift.
I am so looking forward to what 2012 will bring. I have a vigourous first half of the year planned with regards to racing-
Way Too Cool on March 10th, Lake Sonoma on April 14th, Miwok on May5th and the big track meet, Western States 100 on June 23rd.
I hope everyone’s New Year is off to a great start!