I did my long run this past Saturday, old-school-style. I ran with my sister, Lori, who I haven't run with in what seems like ages. Here we are pictured above as little sisters long ago! (I'm hatless; she's in the hat.)
I wrote about one of my last runs with her during my pregnancy, Morning Run Down Memory Lane. We ran on the Bethpage State park trail, where we always used to meet to train for half marathons prior to my pregnancy.
As I ran and chatted with Lori, I realized how much has changed since baby Robby came along. No longer can I just say, "Hey, let's meet up at 8 a.m. at the trail for a run", and then bounce myself happily out the door with only my iPod, hydration belt and a snack. Getting out the door is a feat in and of itself before I even hit the road running.
The night before my long run, I began "Robby packing". I planned to drop Robby at my mother's since it's halfway to the Bethpage trail. This meant packing up: Diapers, wipes, toys, his play mat, formula, a bottle, rice cereal with a bowl and spoon, pacifier, MANY bibs (his drool is on overdrive), burp rags, stroller (for later).... ummm... I think that's it.
Then I prepared my things: Filled up the hydration belt bottles with water and diluted Gatorade, iPod, layers of clothing, run mittens (cold snap was back on Long Island), run hat, Garmin (my new run toy), extra water, and banana. Plus I packed a change of clothes so I could shower and do a little Target shopping with my mom after the run.
I woke up my usual early time Saturday morning and began loading the car before Robby woke up. I ran around the house while I simultaneously downed coffee, toast and peanut butter. I threw some last minute things in my bag. Mike took care of our iPod-chewing, pacifier-swallowing dog Toby, then he was off to work (yes, on a Saturday - boo!). Once Robby was up, I changed his diaper and clothes, fed him a bottle, bundled him up and strapped him into the infant car seat ... and off we went! Whew! I was in the car at 8 a.m., not a minute later, just as I planned - I was pretty darn impressed with myself.
After all that, can I still run 9 or 10 miles?
I was scheduled for a 9-miler and Lori was planning to do 10. I figured if I felt good enough I would do 10 right along with her. In the pre-baby days, Lori and I would run a couple of miles together and then I would take off ahead of her. After Lori trained for the NYC marathon last year and I was, well, pregnant.... much has changed! Lori sped up, I slowed down a bit, so we actually ran the entire way together. I never had to turn my iPod on once. I relied on the company of my sister to carry me through the run vs. Prodigy, Brittany Spears, Metallica and Dave Matthews.
Somehow we both missed a mile marker and ended up doing 10-1/2 miles instead of 10. I felt pretty sore and wiped out toward the end, but boy was I happy to do that run. It was great to be back in the game with my sister, after living vicariously through her marathon training as my belly grew and I took short preg-o runs around town with the dog. And it was great to see how much her pace improved from the slower, half-marathon "newby" she was years ago. I'll never forget how I offered to run with her for her first half-marathon, only to realize it is very difficult to run 13.1 miles at a MUCH slower pace than I'm used to.
Moral of the story....
I do still have enough energy for a long run after packing tons of baby and running crap in a bag, loading the car, and then unloading the baby and crap at my mom's.
With each new baby-barrier-to-running I conquer, I only convince myself more... if you want it badly enough, you'll find a way.