Last night Tom took David for a run in the jogging stroller for the first time ever. He ran 5 miles at a 7:30 pace while pushing the stroller.
No big deal.
I stayed home and did some freelance work. Alone in the house for almost 40 minutes, it felt like new worlds were open to me.
This was Tom’s first run with David because, until now, we weren’t sure David was ready for that kind of speed. But now that he’s sitting up it seemed like he could handle it.
This milestone made me think of my first day running, nearly five months ago. That long, painful run. A lot has changed since that run, and I’m so glad it’s just gotten better and better.
First up, how running has changed for David:
THEN: David rode in his infant seat with infant attachment. This makes the stroller heavier, bulkier, harder to steer and impossible to see around.
(Note: the stroller manual recommends not using the stroller for running until the baby is 6 months old. Because I was running so slow, we felt like it was ok. We also checked with his doctor and my doctor for a go-ahead that we could both safely run.)
NOW: David rides in the stroller like it’s his throne. I thought that he’d love sitting forward, but he doesn’t seem too excited. Usually he sits there with his game face. Ok, mom. Let’s do this.
THEN: David used to sleep through all our runs and walks. Sometimes I’d drape a blanket over him for the duration of the run. This is my dad pushing the stroller, totally covered, in the Drumstick Dash back in November.
NOW: Remember this run? Ever since then David has been wide awake; he only occasionally falls asleep if I get too close to bedtime. Now I never leave without a toy and a pacifier, and make sure he always has access to his red strap. He loves the red stroller strap.
Running has changed a lot for me, too.
THEN: Oh my goodness the timing was so hard. Or at least it seemed that way. David was eating so often and all my time seemed so tentative.
NOW: Looking back, a lot of the timing craziness was probably new mom worries, and the rest was me trying to figure out this new stage of life. Timing is much easier now. It’s better now that David’s not eating so much and I don’t have to nurse him moments before running in order to run comfortably. Now it’s just a matter of working around his nap times.
THEN: Speaking of nap time, my first weeks…months? of running were done through the new baby haze. The word tired doesn’t apply. It was more like a heavy feeling in my head. Sometimes I would blink and my eyes would involuntarily remain shut and start to roll back.
Some people gave me advice to not run until I was getting more rest. It was good advice, but I found that running actually seemed to help add a few lucid moments to my day.
NOW: I’m still tired. Very, very tired. David doesn’t sleep through the night, and when he was sick he woke up multiple times a night. And nursing doesn’t help. It supposedly burns 500 calories a day. That’s the equivalent to running 5 miles, plus any actual running I do. So I’m tired. But not tired like I was before. Thank you, thank you, Jesus.
THEN: When I first started running I ran/walked about two miles. They were two hard miles, too. I could only manage a few blocks at a time. Then I decreased my walk time. Soon, I added a half mile. I did my first three and four mile runs with a friend. I acted as if it was no big deal, but inside I was bursting. THREE MILES! I JUST RAN THREE MILES!
NOW: I’m still not running as frequently as I used to, but my mileage is up. Somewhere along the way it just got easier and I started running 3 and 4 miles a few times a week. I’ve run up to 4 miles with the stroller, 7 miles without. So far it feels good to be out there.
THEN: On our first walk with David we saw a transformer explode. Our second walk we had to navigate hurricane debris. And after that I was a ball of nerves. I refused to cross the street if there was a car anywhere on the horizon and would wait at empty intersections for the ‘Walk’ signal.
NOW: I’ve relaxed. And it’s a good thing, too, keeping up that kind of worry is exhausting. I still err on the side of caution, though. I don’t subject David to my running craziness, like running at night, in the extreme cold, or in the rain.
David will be 7 months old next week, and I’m still getting in the groove. I’m sure I will be for a while.
I’ve always known this is just a phase, but I’m finally beginning to feel it. I won’t always be worried about nursing, pushing a jogging stroller and packing toys. Just like running did before I had a baby, the next phase will have new, different challenges. But I know this for sure: I’ll still be running.