During my baby break yesterday (3 x 5 minutes walk/2 minutes jog), I realised I was running like an overweight newbie. Jogging for 2 minutes at a time was about all I could handle. My shorts were painfully tight. It wasn't just my speed that was ploddy; my gait was too. The idea of flying through a 20km run like I was 10 months ago was, quite frankly, absurd.
I thought about my friend Ally, another new mama triathlete. She'd mentioned that her comeback race would be the same as her first 10km race. Because she did it when she was just starting out, she may beat her original time, despite being barely 2 months post cs when she does it.
And that made me realise that I never really started from scratch, the way a lot of athletes do. I started walking at 16, and lost lots of weight doing that. Then added some casual swimming, up to a k at a time. Later, I joined a gym. When I started running, I was rubbish at it and puffed like a puffer fish. But I weighed 61kg or so, and I was fit. My first half-marathon was a 1:54. Yeah, I took 12 minutes off in that first year of running. But I never got those massive improvements a lot of others get, partly because I started off fairly fit and fast.
But now I am (sort of*) starting from scratch. I weigh god knows how much. My abs have been decimated. My muscles have forgotten what to do. Jogging at 7:00/k pace for two minutes took it out of me. That's much slower than my slowest half ironman pace. It's slower than some of my steep offroad race paces!
Anyway, there's something I find freeing and exciting, rather than frustrating, about starting from scratch. I get to return to the heady days of seeing results! Of setting and beating (post baby) PBs. I've been doing this so long, I haven't felt like that in years!
Here's to starting from scratch!
*Of course, I'm still not REALLY starting from scratch. Sure, it was tough on me to jog 7:00/ks for 2 minutes today, but if I were starting from scratch, I wouldn't have 7 years of running under my belt. I wouldn't have those 20km runs I was doing a year ago. But let me have it, ok?