Race Recap: MCM10K

I have two blog posts in the works that I’ll probably never finish or publish simply because my focus these days is, well, out of focus.  One post is about my ongoing struggle with my anxiety medication and a recent bout of depression; and the other about my newest workout program, Cathe Friedrich’s X-Train, which I started last week. 

image

Preacher curls on the balance ball from X-Train.

Instead I give you a weekend race recap from the Marine Corps 10K that my husband and I ran in DC on Sunday morning.  Very early on Sunday morning.

I shall preface this by saying, as the first paragraph suggested, that I’ve not been in a healthy emotional space lately.  Part of this stems from the lingering feelings of failure for having bailed on the MCM Marathon and for running the 10K instead.  This was supposed to be my big weekend, my moment of glory.  A huge red check mark on the Bucket List.  But I was running 6.2 instead of 26.2, and that bummed me out. 

My husband, who was running the 10K as part of the TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) fundraising team, secured us a hotel room and shuttle service to and from the race through his company’s Director of Operations, a former Marine.  We took full advantage of this golden opportunity to have our first night away from our children, ever.

image

This is my "No kids!" hotel bed jump move.

We shopped, we dined out, we received zero kicks to the face while we slept since we didn’t have to bedshare with any tiny humans.  The whole evening was downright spectacular and exactly what two weary parents needed.

image

Our shuttle picked us up at 5:30 am on Sunday morning.  Five freaking thirty.  We began to seriously question our commitment to this race and I even briefly considered faking an illness so that I could slip back to our room and snooze under the covers until checkout time.

But we didn’t do that and when we arrived on the National Mall and saw the countless numbers of uniformed Marines setting up for the race, we were humbled and instantly inspired to run our race.

image

The TAPS team we ran with. Sun's not up yet.

And what a race it was.  The whole shebang ran like a well-oiled machine.  DC police, the National Guard, and military officers galore had the capitol completely shut down for us runners.  It was really something to run the completely empty streets and bridges of DC.  Well, empty except for the crowds.

The people who turn out to cheer on the runners are just the bee’s knees, bless ’em.  Motivational signs, whoops and chants, a marching band, a group of Harley bikers, and did I mention the Marines?  I don’t have the right words to describe what it feels like to have members of our military, who already serve our country and sacrifice themselves for my freedom, offer me a cup of Gatorade or a high five.  Or tell me “Great job!” as I run by.  Or put a medal around my neck and congratulate me.  I was sure to thank as many Marines as I could along the course.  I waved and clapped for them as they picked up our litter and stood guard at intersections, shouting, ” Thank you for your service, Marines!”
image

What a great run.  Truly.  Of course I still wish it’d been the marathon finish line that I was crossing, but today’s race wasn’t about the distance; it was about the heart.  It was easy to see that everyone out there, from the amputees running on blades to those with the faces of fallen soldiers printed on their shirts in memoriam, was running with all their heart. 

So the cure for my funk turned out to be a healthy dose of kid-free R&R and the best damn 6-mile run I’ve ever had.  And the company I kept certainly played a role, as well.

image

Now What?

The triathlon honeymoon is over. In the hours and days following my triumphant run across the finish line of my first sprint tri, I’ve been overindulgent, a teensy bit lazy, and not very focused.  I have a super fun 5K coming up to benefit Sophie & Madigan’s Playground, as well as the Marine Corps 10K (when I dropped out of the marathon I downgraded to the 10K, which I’ll run with my husband), but those are both relatively easy races.  There’s nothing big on my calendar or goals list to work toward right now.  And I feel a little lost.

My brain is being tugged in a dozen different directions, and I’m just gonna lay out its blueprint here because writing is therapeutic for me and I read this fantastic and utterly truthful quote the other day:

flannery_oconnor_quote_writing

One route that my brain wants to take is on a fast track to Couch Town. I’m tired.  I trained hard this summer.  Six days a week of swimming, biking, running, PiYo, HIIT, weightlifting, or any combination of the above since many were double workout days, have drained me.  I kind of just want to live in yoga pants without actually doing yoga.

The reality, though, is that I’m not cut out for couch potato-ing anymore. I get restless and grouchy if I go more than two days without a workout, which is why I only take one rest day per week.  So another option is to dive into a new training plan and refocus on weightlifting again.  I’m actually already doing that, having created a PiYo/Chalean Extreme Hybrid program with 3-4 double days of either a run or ride mixed in.  And I’m following the plan so far and loving the rush and the soreness of lifting again.  But I’m still kind of “meh” about the whole thing.  Lift, yoga, run, ride, wash, rinse, repeat.  It’s nothing new or exciting and there’s no specific goal at the end of the line.

One of the crazier roads I’m thinking of taking includes planning for a bigger tri for the spring or summer of 2015. I’m confident that I could tackle an Olympic distance tri… and the whackjob in me is entertaining the notion that I could actually make it across the finish line of Half Ironman by next fall.

But here’s the nuttiest idea of them all. Are you sitting down?  Got a stiff drink within reach?

How ‘bout a baby?

Wait, WHAT?

So, I have planted my feet firmly in Camp Done for at least a year now. I’ve sworn six ways to Sunday and back again that our family of four (plus the dog) was complete.  Two healthy children – a boy and a girl – was both everything we needed AND could handle.  Nothing was missing; we were happy.  And we still are happy.  But… is it possible that we could be even happier?  That we could triple that love and awesomeness with just one more little Terry?

Obviously, I have some concerns. Not the least of which is how much it already costs to feed these bottomless pits and the fact that we’d be prolonging the single-income household status by a few more years before we could finally feel financially comfortable instead of strapped.  But some of my fears also come from a place of vanity.

I’ve worked hard – REALLY hard – for two years, to lose 70 pounds. I have changed my body, my brain, my diet, my life, my self-esteem, and in many ways, my identity.  Before I fell in love with running and cycling and weightlifting and athleticism, I was *just* a mom.  Unquestionably the most admirable title I could possibly ever hold, yes.  But it was one-dimensional.  I was pregnant, then I was birthing, then I was breastfeeding, then I was babywearing and cloth diapering and attachment parenting.  All of my interests and adjectives were wrapped up in motherhood.  Now, I’m a mom AND a triathlete, a runner, a health and nutrition enthusiast.  There are things that bring me joy and that fulfill me other than my family, and that has become critical to maintaining a sense of balance and practicing self-care.  Can I maintain this new, multi-faceted, happy Self with a third kiddo to look after?  Could I remain fit during my pregnancy and bounce back after birth before the breastfeeding munchies and reverse sleep cycles of a newborn wreak havoc on my junk food cravings?

IMG_2552

I am terrified of being obese again.

Thinking about taking up that space in the world as a 219 pound woman is what motivates me each and every day to get the workout done, even when I’m not in the mood. And I had lazy, inactive pregnancies with tons of morning/noon/night sickness and zero energy, and the postpartum phases weren’t much better.  Do I risk the hard work I’ve invested in myself because I’ve got a case of baby fever?  Do I tempt fate with another pregnancy when we’ve already been blessed with two healthy children and two healthy, safe pregnancies and births?

btsminis2014-14

It’s important to consider how cute beyond words this maternity cycling jersey by Sheila Moon is before we begin to answer these questions definitively:

I truly think I’ll be happy either way. Our family is currently perfect and would continue being perfect without any additional mouths to feed.  I would be pleased as punch to go on as I have been, pursuing endurance sports and chasing that next medal.  I love the idea of earning my personal trainer certification and gaining employment outside of the home to help people improve their lives through fitness.  Really, I’m good with the status quo and all that it has to offer.

Or, I could easily be persuaded to dust off the ol’ uterus and experience that inexplicable feeling of limbs wiggling and hiccups bumping inside my body as I grow a life. Latching a tiny mouth to the breast and listening to the gurgle and gulp of a new human getting a fresh-from-mama meal.

So, what’s it gonna be? 70.3 miles?  Or 40 weeks?

I did name this blog “Mama’s Lost It.” Perhaps I truly have.