Do the Shuffle

So, I did something a little crazy. Well, not TOO crazy – but sort of exciting and challenging. 

I signed up for a sprint triathlon. It’s November 24, so I’ll have a few weeks to get my act together. It’s a 1/2 swim, 14 mile bike and 4.5 mile run. I could do the swim in my sleep, the bike doesn’t worry me too much, but that run. Oh…that run. 

I am not a land human. I never really have been. I broke my bionic ankle walking, yes…walking. Running does not come naturally to me. I have to work at it, like hard. I always feel a huge sense of accomplishment after a run, but it’s hard earned. 

So, I went on my first post-baby run (read: shuffle) yesterday. The weather was glorious. I would be adventurous and run outside! No running on the dreadmill at the gym for me, I was going to enjoy the real world! 

First, what to wear?

My workout capris are old and sad (read: saggy) I like to call them quitters. Every few strides they start quitting so it’s a constant battle of up/down tugging. I know! I’ll be brave and wear shorts. But the shorts are over ambitious and like to rise to the occasion. Once they start they just keep going. Whatever, I can deal. Hm, now for the containment issue…none of my sports bra’s can meet the challenge that is nursingboobies. I select the least uncomfortable option, but it’s like wearing a string bikini top. The support is humorous. It’s fine, I tell myself. After a few shirt options I decide on an old tech tee, it’s cut a little short for my long torso but I’m more comfortable in it then a few of the other choices I have. Again, I’ll make it work. No one’s going to see me, it’s a Sunday afternoon run around the ‘hood…right?

Second, where to go?

The weather is glorious. The sun is out, the air is cool, there’s a breeze, there’s rainbows and unicorns. I’m a little self conscious about my stride (read: shuffle) so I don’t really want to put my fine athletic self on display for all of the ‘hood so I elect to run to a local park that has a nice dirt loop. There’s never much activity at this park and the route to reach it is relatively secluded. It’ll be perfect. I can get my jog (again, shuffle) on in peace…right?

Third, the reality.

Merfbaby is in the capable care of Merfman. The time has come…I’m out the door and moving along (shuffle, shuffle) and it’s HARD. Well, I knew it was going to be a challenge but I’m gonna stick with it. My shorts are rising to the occasion as expected, my nursingboobies are jumping for joy, and my tech tee is following the lead of my shorts and showing off some nice mama tum-tum. It’s ok, hang in there, you haven’t even seen a soul. There’s no witnesses to what a hot mess you are. I’m well on my way to the park, still confident in my route selection when I round the corner and there it is…200 people and a classic car show. SERIOUSLY?! 

I can’t chicken out now, I’ve been spotted. Must.Keep.Shuffling. I select the least crowded path, make a loop virtually undetected and head toward the exit. I’m a sight I’m sure. I’m so close, almost free of the unforgiving gaze of strangers when it gets better. Lining both sides of the park exit is the entire local football team waiting to cheer on the winners from the classic car show upon their departure. UGH. Head down, arms pumping, shuffle, shuffle. Are we done yet? 

I’m on my return route when I encounter pedestrians, male of course. There’s no sympathy there. Shuffle, shuffle. As I pass I take in the awesomeness that is their elevator eyes. It takes everything good in my soul to not yell…”OH YEA, WELL YOU BIRTH AN ALMOST 9 POUND HUMAN WITHOUT DRUGS AND TELL ME HOW EASY IT IS!!” <– This may become my new running mantra. 

Several shuffles later and I’m back in the safe privacy of my driveway. Labored breathing, shorts up, tummy peaking, and sweaty. I did it. It was painful both physically and emotionally. Today my body and my pride hurt a little, but I know it’s going to get easier. Can it get any harder?! I’m lucky to have my health, and be blessed with a body that can exercise. As difficult as these next few weeks might be I know it’ll be so worth it to cross that finish line, strong, exhausted, happy, and sore. 

It should be noted that I went last night and got properly fitted for a serious sports bra. I dare my nursingboobies to make a move. The woman re-measured me and I’m coming to terms with the fact that I’m pretty far into the alphabet. 

It’s all worth it, but it’s totally not easy. 

Shuffle on…

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