I ran my first post-baby 5K on Sunday! It was about time, right?
(Pardon our mosquito bites–it’s rainy season and she’s as sweet to mosquitoes, netting or not, as she is to me).
(Also, pardon my sweaty red face).
I had the Fight the Fat 5K (yeah, that’s the race’s actual name, I swear) on my mind for weeks, but I was approaching it very loosely, with “training” for it consisting of running 3.1 miles comfortably a couple of times before the event. I was also holding myself to being OK with (A) the race not happening for whatever reason (and trust me, getting out the door to make it on time for ANYTHING these days is a real hassle and would, on bad days, count as a reason not to do stuff), and (B) not holding myself to running it particularly fast or with any goal in mind. In other words, I had to keep expectations of ANY kind low. Really, really, really low.
The race was on Sunday at 4:30 p.m, with registration on Sunday until 4 p.m. Because I knew I’d be stressing about what needed to be packed and ready for the baby (oh yeah, and also for me), I made a list of what needed to be packed (baby milk, bottles, toys, more toys, dry top for me, extra sports top in case she spit up on me, diapers for an army of pooping babies, snacks, etc).
I had it all packed by Sunday at 11 a.m.
By 2 p.m., I had continued to add what I can only term “unnecessary shit” into both our bags, doubling the size of both bags.
By 2:30 p.m., I had unpacked said unnecessary shit and told myself to calm the $@%* down, reminding myself that it was not my responsibility to diaper an army of pooping babies or provide Band-Aids for all race participants, and that only two outfit changes for her and three Band-Aids for me actually needed to be packed.
By 3 p.m., she was fed up to her sizable cheeks, I was dressed to run, the massive rainstorm was over (did I mention it started hammering down rain at 2:00 p.m.?) and we were on our way.
I was stressed about registering on the day. I was stressed about feeding her right before I ran so she didn’t go all Jekyll-and-Hyde on her father. I was stressed about remembering to pee somewhere in between all of that. The only thing that wasn’t stressing me–because it was the only thing I WASN’T thinking about–was the actual run.
So let this post reflect what actually happened (lots of words for the prep, much less for the actual event) and I’ll tell you, the run was a breeze and SO MUCH FUN! We made it in plenty of time, I fed her in the car, and then I kissed my child (and husband, and friend) goodbye and got into the mess.
And by mess, I mean TOTAL mess: it was a free 5K sponsored by the Ministry of Health as part of their Caribbean Wellness Day events, and therefore much less a race than a social event with free T-shirts at the end of it. There was a false start to the race (as has happened in half the Trini races I’ve done), there was a near-stampede because no one told runners to line up to the front and walkers to line up at the back, there were kids running away from their parents, there were people starting and stopping and turning around. There was even a scuffle right after the start line when one woman accused another of shoving her kids out of her way. I ran past before any punches got thrown, but sheesh, that one was a real race first.
The route was familiar–being the same Savannah route used for most races–and I ran it easy, walked when I got too hot or tired of weaving around people, and just took in the Savannah and the party vibes of the race, reminding myself whenever I thought I needed to speed up that, while running at 4:30 p.m. is not my favorite thing in the world to do, running around the Savannah may well be. I made a great fast (for me) dash in the last half mile or so, went through the finish line with a stupid grin, and got myself and my bling through the crush of people and back to my baby (and man, and friend) for much-appreciated celebratory burger and fries after.
And just like that, I ran my first post-baby 5K.