...To my first post-baby 5k!
Jason and I ran the Jingle Bell 5k for Arthritis on Sunday, November 18, and it was our first foray back into the racing world since Eloise was born in August. Having a baby not only changed my running habits for a while, but Jason's as well. While I was pregnant, Jason was working full time, finishing up some classes for his Ph.D., training for and completing an Ironman, as well as getting ready for little E's arrival. When Eloise got here, we went into survival mode for a bit. He took care of me and our newborn, and for a few weeks we got what sleep we could, staring at our baby girl in wonder when we weren't sleeping.
Eventually Jason started getting back into a running routine and I soon followed as my body recovered and my energy slowly returned. Jason's approach was to get in high mileage as soon as he could so until he got his endurance built back, he would often run twice a day getting 10-12 miles total each day until he could run 10-12 miles at one time. I started walking and running, adding in some Jillian Michaels kickboxing videos to help with my fitness and endurance. In our own ways we both started getting back to it and while the process was challenging at times for me, I enjoyed it too.
When the Jingle Bell 5k rolled around we had both come a long way towards getting back to where we were before Eloise's arrival. Of course there is still a long way to go, but I am quite happy with where my own progress has taken me so far and I hope Jason is as well. It isn't always easy to be patient, but most of the time I am content with the rate at which my running is improving.
The day of the race was simply gorgeous. It was the perfect, somewhat rare, fall day with clear blue skies, slightly cool temps, and plenty of sunshine to make it warm and comfortable. Jason ran from our house to the race (about 6 miles) and I drove Eloise to my sister's house on my way there. I picked up our race packets as Jason arrived and together we walked to the start line. It felt a little like a mini-date as we got ready to run. We have run this race every year it has been held - even the first freezing year when it was below 20 degrees and held at night on a slightly less than 5k course.
Jason wasn't sure what he'd be able to do and neither was I for that matter, but weren't overly concerned about it. I started out sort of conservatively, but it was hard to really know during my first race what was conservative and what was pushing it. So I just ran. My splits were 8:12, 8:24, 8:00 which is exactly where I'd hoped to be. I finished in 25:33 and I didn't know it but I won 2nd place in my age group! I found that out a few days later when I checked the results. Jason was 2nd over all finishing in 17:53.
Not a bad showing for our first 5k since our baby girl was born. Our next 5k is this coming Monday night and it may be a bit soon...but I'm wondering if I can improve on that 25:33...just a little.