I’m changing the site up! We’ll pretend it’s not because GoDaddy/Wordpress lost 8 years of posts, no that didn’t happen at all. I just needed a new vibe as a new mom. Thank goodness for a website called the Wayback Machine that archives websites. I was able to save SO MUCH of my previous writing (if anyone wants a 50 page word document of triathlon race reports or an overly-detailed birth story, just let me know). The best part was being able to look at my site way in 2002. It was a thrill! I posted pictures of myself and called them “self photos.” (I’m not sure why this phrase never caught on.) I had an earthlink e-mail address! And I was blogging about a “huge” house party I was having & inviting all my readers–including my home address. I was also giving away prizes for anyone who would email me. I declared myself an internet celebrity before that was even a thing!
Oh, but fast forward to 2018. I tried to narrow down labels for myself and the site, and I came up with Mom Triathlete. This is hilarious because I’ve only been a mom for 9 months & haven’t done a triathlon in over a year, but what else was I going to call it–“I Love Oprah Like Oprah Loves Bread!” or “Fan of Food Delivery Services?” None of these will help me achieve my main goal–free swag! I figure with my new title and the huge following that will accompany it, I will have potential to get either free mom gear or free triathlete gear–or both!
Seriously, though, it has taken me about 10 months post-baby to really feel up to training and competing again, so I’m hoping this is a space to share the journey. It turns out creating a little human really does a number on you mentally and physically, but here I am! I have done a couple of 5k/8k/etc, but my only goal was to not fall over mid-race. I’m hoping to actually be FAST by the end of this year! I have a 5k scheduled in March and a duathlon (run/bike/run) a couple of months after that–and hopefully by summer I’ll be up for some real competing.
Working out post-baby has been slow for a number of reasons. You can imagine the big ones: pure exhaustion, out-of-shape from pregnancy and finding the time. If you are lacking motivation, my answer to you is get a dog that likes to RUN! Huxley, who will be turning 3 next month, is my constant running buddy. He is much happier if he gets a run everyday. He is also much less prone to eat all the baby’s toys. On days when I just am not feeling it (sooo many of the days,) he motivates me to get out there. We are now consistently running 5 days a week! Hooray! Most of these are done with the baby in a jogging stroller. We still don’t go far–30 minutes to 45 minutes right now.
What is it like running with a dog, a baby & a stroller? You are asking the person that LOVES no added weight or stress for her runs–so much so that I still carry an ipod shuffle because the phone just WEIGHS ME DOWN. Well, this is all totally changed when I have to run with so much gear. On the plus side, there is so much storage for even more gear! Water bottles for myself an the dog, phone blaring a Spotify mix, poop bags, sweatshirts, etc. The down side is that we take up so much space on the road! In the country, this probably isn’t a hassle, but I’m in L.A. On our way to the bike path, we annoy at least a dozen people. I’m an expert now at steering my baby and the dog, and so far no one has been terribly injured. Finally, that stroller is heavy. This is most noticeable when you are trying to go up any sort of a hill or incline. WOW. I hope this is building some kind of muscle.
Also, I thought I had mastered my baby’s time in the stroller. Ever since she was a tiny lil newborn, she would quietly lie/sit there without even a peep. She must love the outdoors! If she was ever bored, she just chewed on her seatbelt/strap, which I’m sure is totally fine. Fast forward to my 9 month old huge baby. I never know what I’m going to get when I set out on the run. On the best days, she is fairly quiet–just banging her legs on the edge of the stroller to let me know how BORING this is. On the worst days, she is screaming bloody murder as we run. In order to prevent this, I have turned the front of her stroller into Disneyland with toys, rattles, pacifiers, etc. I give her a sippy cup canteen, and she drinks as if she has run 10+ miles, guzzling it down & also soaking her shirt in the process. But she will STILL continue to scream. I’ve tried picking her up, which is fine until you realize you have to put her back again. I’ve discovered the ONLY thing that shuts her up–the dog’s poop bag. Not a used poop bag–a brand new one. But yes, I know–it’s a PLASTIC BAG. I’m a horrible mom! But she is sooo quiet. And I watch her to make sure she doesn’t start choking. Now hanging with all the other stroller toys are a variety of poop bags, pieces of parchment paper, etc. Yesterday she screamed no matter what I did, so we just ran faster.
So, no, the workouts with baby aren’t exactly perfect, but they are pretty guilt free (and inexpensive!). I also invested in a stationary bike that’s outside, which I haven’t made much use of–but it’s part of the guilt-free plan. I had a dream ride a couple of weeks ago–out on Pacific Coast Highway, right next to the ocean–perfect weather, not much traffic…a reminder of why I love to ride. I’m making it a goal to get on the bike at least once a week–whether it’s in the yard or out in the world.
That’s where I’m at right now. I’m working out consistently 5 days a week, and now I feel like I’m in a place to increase the length of those workouts or to add a few bike/weights sessions in there. Maybe even a swim.
Mommy-wise, I’m realizing it has taken me quite awhile to feel normal again. I thought it was just a couple of months where I felt completely crazy, but it’s been a slow slow crawl to normalcy. I pretended a lot because what else are you going to do? There are just things that happen that no one warns you about. Like so much of my hair fell out–and now it’s growing back, which means I’m hiding these tiny bangs under my regular bangs & I think, “Wow, in a few more months I will have legit bangs again.” There are so many things like this. I felt so weak & was so low on iron the first months that my nails all got bruised & some turned black. So I had to paint them for months before they were back to normal. I grew like 3 stomachs when I had the baby, and I keep looking in the mirror congratulating myself for sucking in with all my might & it looking slightly normal again. That one will take a little more time! Also who knows what is happening with those hormones, but I don’t wish those moods on anyone.
I keep trying to “get back to normal” as I realize that there is no going back. There is always going to be this little human looking up at me, needing my attention. I am lucky to have this really happy baby that lights up every time she sees me. She makes me laugh & motivates me to be more attentive, more present & light-hearted. She wants my time, as does everything else–so the balancing act begins. At first, I had NO IDEA how this worked. Slowly, though, I realized she is asleep by 8pm and there are maybe 3 precious hours to do mindless things! I can drink wine, watch the Olympics, brush my teeth. In the daytime, she still takes TWO naps, and I enjoy every minute of those. Nap when my baby naps? Are you kidding? I’ve got to get my work done.
Going to end this with some major feelings of thanks and gratitude for the opportunity to be both a mom and a triathlete. I am so appreciative to have my health & to be able to swim,bike,run,birth a baby. Being outside in motion, or being in front of my baby & watching her observe the world–I’ve found a life that brings me so many gifts everyday. Thank you for reading & going along with me on this new journey! Contact me if you have free swag for me to review–bonus points for poop bags!!!