Originally, my plan was to drive up in time to see everyone else finish the race, give them high fives, and then spend the day relaxing by the lake with Colby, eating chips and drinking cider.
What was I thinking?!?!
On Wednesday, just a few days before the race, I had a weak moment (perhaps a slight case of FOMO?), and I registered for the waitlist. I figured there was no chance I would actually get in so close to race weekend and didn’t think too much about my decision to run. Or the fact that my longest run since Colby arrived was 9 miles.
On Thursday, I received the notification that I got into the race. As soon as I saw that I was in, I immediately wished I hadn’t registered. I suddenly felt anxious and nervous about the distance. About the time away from Colby. About my body’s abilities and overall fitness. About breastfeeding, pumping, and my boobs, in general. And honestly, I wanted a reason to back out. I wanted to say no thanks, I’m good. Y’all enjoy the run and I’ll see you later at the lake.
I kept thinking this is a bad decision. Something could go wrong. What if I don’t (or can’t!) finish? What if I’m painfully slow? Is it too much time away from Colby? Are people going to judge me? Will they think I’m a terrible mom?
One foot in front of the other
The night before the race I listened to a TedXPortland Talk with Colin O’Brady, an inspiring endurance athlete who overcame adversity to become a professional triathlete, and then two time world record holder in mountaineering. After an accident while traveling, Colin suffered from severe burns that covered over 25% of his body, and he was told that he might never walk the same again. Despite what doctors told him, he has continued to put one foot in front of the other, challenging his limits, and putting his physical and mental strength to the test. Now with the help of Standard Process, a leader in whole food nutrient solutions, Colin is on track to climb the 50 highest peaks in the USA in less than 22 days (the current world record is 41 days) – a truly amazing and inspiring feat!
Colin’s story and his journey to peak performance helped me realize it was time to put aside my own fears, self doubt, and long list of what ifs, and at least toe the starting line. Because honestly, at the end of the day, in the grand scheme of life, it’s not that big of a deal – it’s just a run. It’s as simple as one foot in front of the other, and I knew with the right attitude, I could do it. And deep down, I knew everything would be just fine.
And I’m so glad that I chose to run.
I not only ran a 25K for my first race post baby (just 14 weeks postpartum), but I really ran the race. I felt strong and more connected to my body than I have in nearly a year, and I felt grateful to be out on such a beautiful course, running alongside some of my closest friends. We wound around Clackamas Lake and Timothy Lake on soft, buttery, beautiful trails with Mt. Hood grinning at us in the distance. The 15.5 mile (or 25K course) boasted just over 2,200 feet of elevation gain and loss. With only one minor hiccup – a wrong turn on a hot road that added just about a mile to our race – my running buddy Robyn and I were able to dig deep for a strong finish.
So while it wasn’t my fastest or my slowest (official race time: 2:40:20), it was one of the best races I’ve ever completed. It was not only a beautiful course, but I also got to run it with a good friend, and on top of all of that, it helped me regain confidence in myself, my postpartum body, and my strength. And I needed that. Desperately.
Reach your highest peak!
Wherever you are on your own fitness journey – whether you’re working on your postpartum fitness, recovering from an injury, or simply challenging yourself to reach for higher peaks – I invite you to give Standard Process a try!
And to make it even easier, I’m giving away Standard Process’ Veggie Complete Pro, an insulated tote bag (great for carrying bottles for all your outdoor adventuring!), a salad bowl, and a shaker bottle!
Join the celebration at Mt. Hood!
After a beautiful weekend racing on the mountain, I’m so grateful to be going back this Thursday, July 19 to celebrate Colin O’Brady’s final 50-states high point climb in his home state and his journey to become a 3x world record holder. Follow Colin live: http://bit.ly/2yoD3kq and come out to Mt. Hood Thursday morning to celebrate with us! Colin will arrive early, around 4 a.m. and should be back down by 11 a.m. He’s using the southside route, that is adjacent to the Timberline Lodge parking lot.
As always, stay sweaty (and keep reaching for your highest peak)!
Disclaimer: I was compensated by Standard Process for this post, but as always, all opinions, words, and thoughts expressed are my own. I truly appreciate all of the brands that support the Sweat Pink community.