You know what is just heartwarming to a mom of two young children? Watching them start to really interact with one another. Most the time Stella simply smothers Augustus with hugs (lays on top of him until I pull her off) and makes crazy squeaking noises at the poor guy. Today during breakfast, I set him in front of her in his bumbo. It was amazing. She sat and told him all kinds of stories while she ate her oatmeal, and he couldn’t stop smiling while he babbled back at her. Sitting back, eating my scrambled eggs, butterflies of endearment filled my belly! Growing up with a brother who was very close in age to me, I know exactly how much time they are going to spend together and how close they will become. Watching their relationship settle roots in to the ground this morning was amazing.
I participated in the Missoula Half Marathon on Sunday. I will be completely honest with you, it was freaking hard. I started getting a cold last Thursday that quickly developed in to a nasty sinus infection. By Saturday night, it had developed into a very enjoyable cough, making me look forward to running 13.1 miles even more! The race started at 6 AM Sunday morning, with a shuttle leaving downtown Missoula to take us to the starting line at 4:15 AM, so when Auggs woke up for a feeding at 3 AM, I figured it was best to just stay up. Who doesn’t love getting up at 3 AM for a Half Marathon when they are sick anyway? I loaded myself up with some doctor approved to keep nursing Sudafed, some Tylenol (planning ahead for some discomfort), a protein shake, and some black coffee and headed out the door. After picking up my favorite running buddy, Darla, at her hotel, we headed up to the starting line. So many feelings and emotions run through someone before an athletic event. I am so used to CrossFit events that are short yet intense, where I am terrified to step up to the starting line because I know I am going to experience some pain, but at least am comforted by the fact that it will be over shortly. A half marathon does NOT provide this comfort. I knew it was going to be two hours (or more) of suck. As they played the National Anthem and goose bumps rose on my arms and legs out of both fear and excitement, I fought the urge to run and hide in the woods and put my game face on. The first half of the race was in the neighborhood I grew up in. I know every turn, every pot hole, every house I would be passing, and knew there were a few hills to enjoy. Every mile I checked my watch, and upon passing the 5K mark, I was thrilled yet terrified to see I hit my post pregnancy 5K PR (a 25:13, not bad for me!) and decided I might want to kick in to a steady gear and set my pace for the rest of the race. At six miles in I made a fun motherhood discovery: repeated bouncing for this period of time causes your bladder to leak uncontrollably. As frustrated as I became, and even with the images of my running through the finish line with completely soaked running pants, I am too competitive to stop at any outhouse along the way to use the bathroom. I kept on trucking. This sudden leakage occurred every two miles for the rest of the race (I think it was much less than what I thought, yet I was still incredibly thankful for my dark gray pants that would hide any wetness!). Then came the nine mile wall. It hit me like a baseball bat to the face. Every ounce of muscle in my body was telling me to walk, but I fought them off and kept running. Kept running. Kept running. Felt like walking would be faster than running, but kept running. Mile 10. Mile 11. Mile 12. Yesss, mile 12! I noticed everyone around me suddenly had a bit more pep in their step. As I rounded the corner to cross Higgins Street Bridge in Downtown Missoula to approach the finish line, the slight hill over the bridge looked like the biggest hill in the world. It felt like it took me ten minutes to cross, but I made it. Though I was hoping to be under two hours, I ran under the finish with 2:01:50 across the clock. I had given it my all, and with four hours of sleep, a sinus infection, a nasty cough, and having a baby just three months prior, I couldn’t be more satisfied with my time. I won’t lie, I sat down after drinking a bottle of water and felt like I had been beaten from head to toe. I checked my watch to see what my average heart rate was. For the entire two hours of the race, my AVERAGE heart rate was 190 beats per minute. According to what I learned getting my college degree that equates to what my MAXIMUM heart rate should be. No wonder I felt like I had been beaten, I had been working at a max rate for two hours. I wonder what an exercise physiologist would have to say about that. I would say it hurt like hell, but I can’t wait to do it again (once my blisters heal, please)!