Almost 15 months ago I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Sloane. She was worth the painful delivery, weight gain, sleepless nights, and mood swings. However, pregnancy was tough for me because it slowed me down. I was tired and sick most days, making it hard to part with our couch. I ran up until 20 weeks pregnant when something interesting started to happen. Guys cover your ears and ladies pray this does not happen to you! I began peeing myself with every step I took. One can imagine how embarrassing this is. It also made chaffing unbearable. I spoke with my doctor about my “symptoms,” she immediately advised me to quit running. If I did not give up my addiction I would have to have surgery on my bladder. I was cleared to do any exercise that did not include jumping or bouncing. I quit cold turkey, the hardest thing I have ever had to do (tougher than giving birth). Running reduced my mood swings, controlled my pregnancy weight, and gave me a connection to my growing baby. What was I going to do without it for the weeks to come?
I hit the gym the next day and took very long walks. Although, I hate walking (I am extremely impatient) I found it peaceful during pregnancy. I would walk for hours through the park trails and talk to my belly, I am sure people thought I was a wack-o! It was my way of taking mini adventures with my little bean. I received some funny looks at the gym as well. I was all belly, I had not gained much weight anywhere else. I do not think people realize some pregnant women do workout. Men and women would just stare in amazement, I felt like an animal on display at the zoo. A lot of men approached me because their wife or girlfriend was pregnant. They would ask me lots of question and I would let them know my doctor approved my workout regimen. They would tell me how their wives did not want to work out because they were too tired or the doctor told them not to. They would even ask me to call their wives to let them know it was okay to work out; I obviously did not do this! The very best was a man who pointed his pregnant girlfriend out to me at the gym and told me to go over and motivate her. His reasoning was, “I don’t want her to get too fat and I know she is going to, she is lazy!” I was in shock and I felt sorry for this poor girl. When I looked over, I realized I knew the girl. I never repeated what her boyfriend said to me.
I worked out through my pregnancy because I wanted to get back to my addiction as soon as possible; I wanted to be race ready. I had a big “Bucket List,” I wanted to get back to. I knew after giving birth qualifying for Boston was the first things I wanted to do. Along with run back to back marathons, and finish an Ultra (secretly 30 years old was approaching and I needed to accomplish these things before D Day, I mean my B-Day). All my working out paid off, I had a very long delivery (22 hours of pure endurance). I hate needles which meant no epidural. I went 18 hours without drugs and the pain was becoming intense; more intense than any marathon I had run before. I had never felt pain such as labor pain. I thought my legs were going to rip off my little frame. I did not think I was going to make it through having a baby. Why did women do this to themselves? After 18 grueling hours I asked for the epidural, it was the best decision I have ever made. It only took on the left side of my body because they missed the center of my spin (this was most likely do to me flipping around like a fish). I was finally able to relax and give birth pain free. At 8:47pm on December 20, 2009 I welcomed my little Sloane into this world. I knew I could handle any marathon, ultra, tri or any other athletic event after baring a child. The exhaustion from labor is a 100 while the exhaustion from a race is 25. This was the greatest endurance event I had encountered.
Six weeks later I was released to workout (I went straight from the doctor’s office to the park). I “hit the ground running.” It only took me 3 miles to feel total fatigue, I had to stop. Bouncing back to race shape was going to take some time. I started slow by weight training. I belong to a local Crossfit Gym which incorporated Olympic lifting and endurance. Each day Crossfit provides a WOD (work out of the day) which normally requires one to finish the WOD as fast as they can. The work outs only last 15/20 minutes but they kick your ass! About 2 months later Crossfit gave me the foundation to start running again. I regained my core and back strength which is needed in all running activities. It was time to get in “Boston” running shape.
I registered for the Kentucky Derby MiniMarathon and the Columbus Marathon in hopes to qualify for Boston before 30! During my mini training I was almost hit by a car (this guy thought it would be funny to mess with me by getting too close). Before he hit me I jumped out of the way and fell half on a curb and half in a ditch. My ankle snapped in half as the SUV darted off. He was too fast and I was in too much pain to get his license plate. Lucky for me another car stopped to help me. I knew I would not be running the mini, I was crushed. I cried as I set in the ER, my dream of Boston maybe over. I knew I would not be allowed to run, I was going to have to start all over once more.
X-rays indicated I had an avulsion fracture in my ankle (a fragment of bone tears away from the main mass of bone as a result of physical trauma). The orthopedic surgeon was on the fence whether to do surgery or not. I did not have surgery but spent hours in rehab. All my hard work was destroyed and the hope of finishing the mini marathon post baby was gone. I was confined to a big black boot and my couch. Was I going to be strong enough to come back from this and qualify for Boston in Columbus? I had yet another long road of recovery a head of me.