Yesterday I went for a long run, 9.5 miles. It was lovely. Unfortunately it was raining in the morning, so my schedule got pushed back. I walked the dog with the baby under an umbrella while the boys ate breakfast. Then I read to them for a while I waited for Elijah to hit his next feeding. A pleasant morning, but I left at 9am and didn't get back till 11. My first meal bar two cups of coffee was at noon after I had already nursed twice and pumped. Despite eating 2900 calories in the afternoon to make up for the deficit, I was out of milk by evening. Elijah had his words bedtime EVER, he would touch neither the breast nor the bottle, and he fell asleep crying in bed with me rubbing his back.
Then he slept for seven hours.
He woke up at 4am and drank a lot. Then I pumped the rest which was 16.5 oz. I don't know if it was milk or teething or tiredness which caused his episode. I don't know if I should eat a shake on Saturday mornings or if I should scrap the workouts all together. I feel like running makes me a better mother, but what if it makes me the worst mother in the world?
In a previous life I had wanted to be a professional athlete, but somewhere in my brain I knew I was never suited for it. I mean, i could do the big moments, the competitions. I could pull myself together under pressure. I am all about game day.
It was the rest of the life I didn't feel I could hack. Waking up every morning obsessed with the meals and the workouts. Carefully tailoring my time at the gym so it's just the right amount of push with the least possibility of injury. I have a terrible fear of injury - wrecking all I've worked for in one stupid moment. And then there are the times not training, the family birthdays where you can't eat cake because your body is an economic product.
No, I said, My body is ME! It will never be a product for someone else!
Ha ha ha.
In pregnancy and early motherhood my body is a different kind of product. Now I'm a nutritional product for the benefit of someone else. One step in the human calorie supply chain. Nursing is beautiful in its shining moments: he's hungry and then the milk lets down and he quiets, satisfied. If he gently drifts to sleep it's like sticking a difficult dismount.
But then there's the day to day training, calories in calories out. Am I eating too much? Too little? Am I preventing injury? (in this case Mastitis.) Is there any part of ME that exists outside of my body and its role and performance? Is it worth it, the careful curation of this body for an endurance event that will never be televised?
Yes. And since I am the only one running I am the only winner. I take home all the prizes. Gold, silver, and bronze.