the shitty miles

So we’re on Day 4 of “sleep teaching.” I won’t go into it much because if you’re not her mom it is probably boring as fuck subject matter and also it somehow seems less traumatic when I type it out here than it seems at 3 a.m. I will say that things are going a lot better than I expected.

I have this chick Caitlin to thank for recommending The Dream SleeperShe’s got a non-sleeping kid too and we commiserated over them several blog posts ago. I just wish I’d started sooner! Kenzie’s been going to bed at 7:30 instead of 9 or 10 or 11 p.m. and sleeping through the night and it feels like a goddamn miracle. She’s finally getting the sleep she needs and I feel like years have been added onto my life. I know that sounds dramatic after only four days, but holy shit.

Anyway, I know I said I wouldn’t go into it, but last night for instance, our tipsy neighbor showed up with some beer and instead of my husband and I tag-teaming the baby (yeah, that came out wrong) for two hours until she finally fell asleep, we were able to booze on the patio worry-free like normal functioning alcoholic human beings.

Which completely tossed a wrench in my plan to get up and run eight miles at the crack of dawn. A greasy skillet at our local Greek diner seemed much more necessary. But I finally got my shit together and headed out in the heat of the afternoon, finishing in 1:19:16, another PR.

When I ran seven miles last week, I held back and felt suspiciously fine when I finished, so today I tried to be a little ballsier. It was hotter and I felt a little under the weather (but training hungover totally helps condition you for race day!), but I felt appropriately spent when I was done and still managed to keep it just under a 10:00 pace. I know I don’t have to remind you that this is good for me.

I started feeling shitty around mile five and even rationalized that it would be no big deal to just head home and call it a day. But I reminded myself that the shitty miles are really the only miles that count. The shitty miles are going to make the difference between a 2:10 and one more mediocre, unremarkable 2:20. (Not like 2:10 is remarkable either, but shut up. Just let me have this, okay?) I’m never going to be a better runner if I stop whenever things get uncomfortable.

Also no stops off the clock. I screamed out some choice curses at mile 3 when my fingers were too sweaty to rip open my bag of GU, but there were none of those rest breaks for which I became notorious in my pre-Kenzie running days. Just because it’s a training run and not a race doesn’t mean you should fuck around. It’s kind of sad and funny that it took me recovering from a pregnancy and c-section to come to this painfully obvious realization, but there it is. Better late than never.


19 thoughts on “the shitty miles

  1. Wait a minute. You mean to inform us that you’re running PRs this soon after having a kid… hungover… in the heat of the summer? Jerk.

    (But really, how does this happen? Birthing and caring for an infant sort of sounds like bootcamp, what with the sleep deprivation, etc. Maybe it all makes running seem easier by comparison…?)

    • I have some theories, There are studies that show runners are faster after pregnancy, I think something about your joints being all loosey goosey. I also gave up some bad habits the year before I got pregnant, which may have, ahem, contributed to better lung capacity, ahem. I also think running with the stroller has really helped. It’s a beast. And I’ve just become a lot more motivated and ambitious about running. Maybe it’s being a mom, maybe it’s just an irrational fear of getting old and dying? I’d like to have some decent races on the books before it’s too late. Last, I don’t have a real job and I can go running whenever I want. ::ducks::

      • I think the main reason I run better as a mom is that I am much more focused. Time is really limited as a new mom so you don’t have time to fuck around. . .you know how many miles you have to do and you only have a certain amount of time. You can’t put off your run because you may not get another opportunity to do it.

      • Yep, you’re right. I never used to be organized or have a schedule before she was born and now I HAVE to or I’d never get anything done. I feel like I’m always looking at the clock, especially with this new sleep routine which is another point altogether… =)

      • Agreed, agreed, agreed, and concurred. I’m a WAY better runner than I was before Miss Baby came along. It’s all about the hustle–if I don’t plan it doesn’t happen, if I don’t go right after feeding her and mess about I get less time to run AND I could need to feed her before my shower (and I don’t want to knock my baby unconscious from post-run stink, or at least not yet).

  2. I thought of this post when I wanted to give in on this morning’s 6 miles and just do 3 instead. The shitty miles really do count, so thanks. I owe you some kind of high-brow craft brew.

    • WOO! I’m going to go check the porch and see if it’s here yet!

      Good job on the six! Plus it just SOUNDS more impressive than three, amirite??

  3. Hooray sleep! I added that book to my Amazon list, because I know I will need it soon. I am not delusional.

    I am hoping my running improves. So far…no dice. But, I really haven’t had a lot of time to work on it. However, I would agree that I have to run faster and plan better than I did pre-babies. I have to run when I get the chance. Hobbyjogger Moms unite!

  4. Your baby behaves for long enough that you can go out and run the post-four-mile-ish shitty miles!! Congrats, seriously, on being a mile-whomping monster, hangover and all. I’m hoping I get to post-three-milers soon, but the milk truck can only be away for short amounts of time when it’s cool enough in the day to run (hrmph).

  5. Pingback: “It’s all about the hustle.” |

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