Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A New Year for a New Mom Runner

Please forgive me for it being a little over a month since my last post. Baby nap times are precious for getting things done, or catching some rest, so sitting down to blog doesn't happen as often as I'd like. The last month has been very very positive for me as a mom and as a runner. I've been able to run 3x/week consistently and I'm up to 7km now for long run day. I am intentionally progressing my mileage really slowly as my abs are still a little tender (but improving), and I am not exactly at my ideal running weight yet either. Because of both of those factors, running has been really hard work! I don't want to push myself too much too soon. The plan is to get to 10km for Feb 1st so I can practice that distance a few times ahead of the West Van Run in early March. A fall half marathon sounds like a reasonable goal too! Maybe the Victoria Half in October? It won't be the type of running year that's typical of Zahida, but I think still respectable, and all about returning to action and fitting a running lifestyle into my new life as a new mom.

I know a lot of people set fitness related goals as New Year's Resolutions. If you know me well, you would know that this is not my style. I'm goal-driven by nature and set goals constantly. Through and since my health transformation, fitness related goals have moved me forward. I am always working toward something. Now that I have "baby weight" to lose, I have that goal in mind, sure, but it has nothing to do with New Year's Day and everything to do with always wanting to live in the healthiest version of my body that I can. My true goals are more about health and how I want to feel when I run rather than a number on a scale. Despite not setting resolutions, that's not to say that I don't get reflective when a new year begins. I like to think about what I accomplished the year previous and what lessons I learned. I take those lessons to decide on a theme for my upcoming year.

Last year was defined by my pregnancy and the welcoming of my baby girl in October. Long before I knew of my pregnancy, I decided my theme for 2017 would be kindness to myself. My husband and I had been trying for a very long, painful time to get pregnant and I was often very upset at myself and worried it would never happen. The moment I let go and shifted my mindset toward kindness, the miracle we were looking for arrived. It enabled me to maintain a healthy and active pregnancy. It also allowed me to enjoy my pregnancy! Imagine that. You remember though, I ran up until week 37 and completed 10 races with baby in belly.

My daughter is here now, and I'm so full of love and wonder toward her. I can't stop staring at her precious face. So this year, I really want to enjoy every single moment with this miracle. My theme is about appreciating the little things and living in the moment more than I do. My daughter is almost 3 months old now and is indeed already growing up too fast. I don't want this time to slip by because I was in too much of a rush to do the next thing, trying to accomplish something comparatively unimportant, or too focused on bigger details, that I missed the little ones. I want to stop and smell the roses, so to speak. Life will get busier once my maternity leave ends, so before it does, I need to embrace the slow life and all those messy, imperfect, quiet, cuddly, sweet cooing, crying in my face, diaper-filled moments.

So it was rather fitting that I began the New Year with the Resolution Run hosted by the Running Room. Being a fun run, rather than a timed event, I decided a while ago that I would likely walk the event with my daughter in the stroller. And since my husband got scheduled to work that day, that was indeed my approach. So I dedicated my bib to her.

It was my first time walking a running event, and most definitely my first event with a stroller! It was rather a special time with my daughter, even though she slept the entire way there, the whole walk, all the way home, and for two hours after that too! She has no idea she was part of this event, I don't think (I'll have to show her photos one day)! Here we are at the start line. Notice my lack of run gear? Odd to show up at a race in regular clothes...

It was a cold 0 degrees (Celcius) morning with lots of fog, but it wasn't raining and Stanley Park is always beautiful. The energy was very positive and I loved the special time with my girl. At the finish line, the Running Room store hosted a waffle breakfast with door prizes from Brooks. It was hard to get around in there with the stroller with all the store fixtures and other people, but I didn't let it stop me from enjoying. I also got to introduce my daughter to some friends who'd never met her before, including my running buddy Karen.

So what's next? The West Van Run in March where I'll be doing the 10K. I haven't decided on other events yet, except maybe the Victoria Half in October. Anything in between is still up for decision as now any race I do requires someone to look after my daughter, likely meaning my husband has to take time off work (he often works weekends). I'll keep you posted on what I decide!!

Thanks for tuning in and Happy 2018 to you and yours!