Well, I wish I could say that weeks 13 and 14 were full of some inspiring events, but alas that was not the case. Week 13 started off with a blow, to my ego.
I have been pretty pumped that I have lost 8 pounds during this training process. At my last thyroid check (I am one of the lucky ladies with hypothyroidism), 4 months after giving birth, I asked my MD what my weight was my previous visit. He said, "147.8". I was pretty pumped because that was 2008 and my weight was the same in 2011 post both babies. Feeling pretty good, until the kind sir, who he himself had recently dropped half a person, said "Wanna know what you weighed when you FIRST came to me?" Before I could even interject an "Ahhh, NO!!" He drops three little words, "135". Thanks buddy. Way to make a post partum mom feel great about herself.
So when I went for my 6 month follow up I was pumped. I was ready to show this sucker my numbers. I was ready for him to say "Well, well, nice job. Training for a marathon??" I weighed in pretty stoked to see his reaction as he read my chart. The Doc rolls and in and I am waiting for it. Sweet redemption heading my way....
Now if you have been following blog from it's inception you may notice some numerical inconsistencies. I waited. Nothing. No great job? No good work? No looking good? I was heading to get blood work when I asked, "Just wondering, how much did I weigh the last time I was here?" Here it comes, vindication..."Ah, let's see 147.8. Same as today." The super ego I walked in with quickly deflated. I realized that after I left that first appointment 6 mths earlier I put ON 8 pounds!!!! My 155 starting weight had nothing to do with my 2 children, just me. Just me on my couch eating cheese puffs and ice cream. Now I have subsequently lost them, so I am indeed proud and excited, don't get me wrong--- but man my pride was leveled.
I bruised my knee up in VA, so I took it easy on the short runs. Translation: I was lazy and the couch and new TV seemed way more appealing, my bruise was the perfect reason<excuse> to keep me planted. I did manage to do 4. My long run for the week was a biggie, 16 miles. Despite my lack of effort during the week my long run went pretty well. I was slow. It was hot, but I finished. I sport two Nike GPS' while I run and the mileage conflicted. One said 15.5. The other 17. Somewhere in there I did 16.
Week 14 started off on the coat tails of a long unmotivated week, but I know that this is crunch time. I had to quit defeating myself. I was ready for week 14. My children however, my checkbook, and my own self pity decided to stand in my way.
When you are pregnant Dr's, friends, and other mothers prepare you for an emotional toll every mother feels. Every working mother experiences it. That first time you drop your child with another as you return to work you become overwhelmed with..."Mommy Guilt". How can you leave your most precious commodity with another? How can you abandon your sweet bundle? Or worse, you secretly find relief in your time apart?? Mommy guilt. It's real and it's a bitch. It's terrible to be on either side of the MG coin. Your heart breaks when you hear from a caretaker that your baby smiled for the first time and you missed it. Your heart breaks that you enjoy slipping out from work early to get a pedicure instead of picking up your wee one early. Mommy guilt. When you are carrying your sweet baby others prepare you for the inevitable invasion of the MG virus, but what about the stay at home mom? You would think she would immune to such an infection. Every mother is a carrier of the MG gene.
I was a working a mother up until I had my second bundle Baby E. All of the above scenarios applied to me. On maternity leave last December it became very clear that the best choice for our family was for me to stay at home with our girls. I loved my job, but the teeny-tiny salary I was being paid would barely cover childcare, let alone anything else. I was excited about staying home with my ladies. I would be there for every milestone. I would conquer the MG virus. Or so I thought.
There are two perceptions of being a SAHM. The first being "She stays at home. How tough can that be?" And then you hear "It's the hardest job you will ever do." I always went with "how tough can it be?" Until I started my new profession. My children are amazing. My 28 month old is crazy smart, vivacious, curious, creative, and downright sassy. My 11 month old is a dynamo!! She is a gentle, quite, kind, observer, with an emerging sense of humor that is adorable. My life is so full. A day in my office consists of cuddle time, days in the park, painting, reading, blowing bubbles, and trips to Monkey Joe's. What's so tough about that?
<<We interrupt these precious moments for a toddler tantrum, diaper blowout, dogs barking, laundry buzzing, sister slapping, baby crying, 15 minutes late for a well check kinda morning>> Multiply this by 62 and that is my day. It's a roller coaster of emotions when you spend your day with your little ones. A park I am SO glad to be running, but it is emotionally and physically exhausting. There are moments where you find yourself wishing you had a "real job"--guilt. You find yourself yelling at and a punishing your child because YOU are tired and frustrated--guilt. You yell at your husband because he gets to go out for work after hours--guilt. A simple solution is to take some time for yourself, get a sitter, see a movie with the hubs, but because you aren't working and you are barely making ends meet you can't afford it---guilt. You then begin to feel guilty because WHO FEELS THIS WAY??? Every mother does. We just don't talk about it.
My running used to be my refuge, my break. Easy on the wallet and good for the heart AND soul, but I gotta be honest with ya, running 16 miles in the post summer south GA sweat box is not as therapeutic as it once was. I managed to get in all my short runs, including a 9 mile run in 87 degrees (heat index 90). The Mommy Guilt got in, but I wasn't letting her win. At first I went inward. I was embarrassed about how I felt, but then it occurred to me, I know I am not the only one. My phone rang and another SAHM mom friend was standing on her ledge ready to jump (figuratively speaking). I shared my chaos. In that moment we both knew weren't alone. No mother EVER should. When my girls read these words years from now I want them to know that being a mother is the most incredible thing a woman can do. Your body creates, carries, and gives birth to life. No one but a woman can do that. You learn to love this tiny creature that keeps you up all night long and still manage to be overcome with emotion when they say "Mama" for the first time and proceed to puke down your shirt. No one but a woman can do that. You go to bed at night thinking there's no way I could love you more, and the next day you do. No one but a woman can do that. You feel guilty with or without your kids, only a woman feels that, only a mother understands it. I don't look at it as mommy guilt anymore, just love taking a wrong turn. It's all apart of the fun that is being a mom. Unlike amusement parks life doesn't come with a map. You get backed into an emotional corner, but you and the love for your children work your way out.
After an emotional week I set out to conquer 19 miles. Fall arrived just in time for my morning run. I ran, and it was beautiful. I felt great. I felt so good that I didn't stop at 19...I did 20. When I watched the 19.99 flip to 20 tears streamed down my face. All the training has paid off. All the hard work, all the blood, sweat, and tears have lead me to 20 miles. 14 short weeks ago I struggled with 5. It was an amazing feeling that I look forward to reliving as I watch my girls graduate, marry, and become mothers of their own.
Weeks 13&14: 58 miles
Lesson learned: Mother's don't need resumes. They are just awesome.