I came to a big realization last week: I miss running and racing. Not just a little. A lot. I miss short training runs, long runs, the competitiveness of races, the relief and satisfaction you feel when it's over...all of it.
It all came to a head after a stressful Friday morning. I woke up tired, and my little Peanut, who threw up the night before, also woke up on the wrong side of the big girl bed, not acting herself. So, we decided to have a low-key morning of television watching and oatmeal cookie baking. Perfect for me! As we got ready for a grocery store trip to get the ingredients we needed, I noticed Danae looking behind my couch, mumbling something. She then said, "Look, Mommy! The apples are back there, and the ants came for food!" Indeed, as I pulled the couch away from the wall, there lay Danae's plate and sliced apples from two days prior, as well as a HUGE colony of ants. That would explain the random ants I was finding in the living room and kitchen. Grrr.
After a 40-minute clean-up and quick potty break, we were ready to go to the store...until Danae said, "Hey Mommy! Look what I found in the couch!" There she was, pulling a handful of fruit snacks from the depths of my couch. Grrr. At least they were from an hour earlier and didn't draw in any more ants!
Finally, off to the store and home, making cookie dough. That is, until I look over and see my little helper dumping spoonfuls of oats into my big storage container of flour. Grrr. After digging out the oats, we continue mixing...until Little Helper starts making funny noises. She suddenly coughs, and a BIG cloud of white flies from her mouth. I just had to laugh as I explained that we don't eat flour by itself and took my coughing, flour-spewing child to the kitchen sink to continue her spraying of the white stuff.
Saturday morning was when the "I miss running" feeling arrived. We biked (hey, at least I can still do that!) to a 5K in our town (in which I ran and finished first in my age group last year), and as we sat there at the finish line, I ached to just get up and run the thing! Knowing that running causes a flurry of Braxton-Hicks contractions in my 5 1/2-month pregnant belly kept me from getting up and going, but all of those old feelings were there...especially wanting some stress relief and a bit of competition.
Don't get me wrong: I definitely miss running and racing, but I'm perfectly fine being pregnant and taking a break. Races will always be there, and I can live vicariously by watching others and hearing their stories. As far as stress relief goes, evening walks, occasional bike rides, and house cleaning will have to do. For now, I'll continue to sit here on the couch (sans ants), watch the 112th Boston Marathon on television today, cheer on a few of the elites, and wait for the cool, fall weather to do a comeback run and race. :o)