Yesterday was a tough one. My darling one-month-old was having some serious tummy problems. He is past the newborn stage of pooping 5 or 6 times a day and we are generally down to once a day. However, it's more of a challenge for him to get things moving and he spends a good portion of his day working out gas. I have taken dairy out of my diet for the last 2 weeks or so because I understand that milk in a mom's diet is usually the biggest culprit... if a nursing baby is reacting to something in mom's diet. (Of course, it may have nothing to do with my diet and I may be living without milk for no reason... though I've discovered almond milk is a pretty good substitute so far).
So, it was a Please Hold Me day. No. It was a HOLD ME OR I'LL SCREAM day! By the time the daycare kiddos were picked up and the boys and Scott got home from karate, I neeeeeeeded to run. I hadn't eaten well all day, hadn't had enough water to drink, and I generally can't get my body in motion after 5PM. However, I nursed Gabriel one last time and had him settled so as soon Scott was in the door, I took off.
I went in the opposite direction of my regular route - which meant even tougher hills than usual. I knew I was going to be needed at home sooner than later so I decided to do 15 minutes out and then turn around. I was pretty pleased as I reached my turn around point because it was just about 1.5 miles from home. Given that I walked the first minute as I got my iPod detangled and started, it occurred to me that I am beginning to feel like a real runner again. I even pondered dusting off my Garmin so I can track my pace. My legs were feeling it from the hills at that point, though, so I decided to walk for 1 minute as I headed back toward home.
Then I thought, "I wonder if this is okay."
Immediately I mentally smacked myself in the head. "I wonder if this is okay?! OF COURSE it's okay! This isn't volleyball where you need to check the rule book to see if the ball can hit the net on the serve. This is RUNNING! You move your body and you get from one place to another and then (usually) back to that first place. There are no rules. You do what feels right and should celebrate just being out the door."
This conversation with myself got me thinking about all the great Mamas I "know" from Another Mother Runner. I am guessing that many of them would have asked "Is this okay?" too. What is it about us that makes us need to question what we are doing and whether we are doing it "right"? Are we worried we aren't going to be part of The Tribe if we don't meet certain running standards? Are we afraid someone will take away our "like" of the Facebook page if they learn that our mileage this week was really low? What is WRONG with us???
And THEN I decided there's nothing wrong with us and everything right with us. Of course we are all runners and of course how ever we get ourselves out there (or on the treadmill) is 'okay'. But the fact that we ask outloud these kinds of questions just means we are looking for validation. Most of us don't get much of that. So, we go to FB and check in with other mother runners in order to accept and receive "attagirl"s and "been there"s and "just keep swimming"s. Maybe it's a x-chromosome thing or just a Mom thing.
Whatever the case, I'm sure I'll keep asking the obvious questions and keep seeking validation. 'Cuz that's how I Run Like a Mother.