How is this lady with the seeing eye dog about to pass me?
She had been gaining on me for a while. She was like a mirage, inspirational and mostly unbelievable. The lady and the dog were running in sync, panting in rhythm and they were quickly gliding right pass me.
I ran my first 5K (3.1 miles) this weekend and although I wasn’t planning on being competitive, I was not letting this lady with the seeing eye dog outrun me.
My Runkeeper app told me I was at the 2.7-mile mark, and I opened up the throttle. I straightened up, threw my shoulders back and let my legs fly underneath me. I felt tears streaming out of my eyes and whip back toward my ears. I literally started to feel like a kid again, running around the playground, trying to achieve a mile run in gym class under 10 minutes.
I felt the roar of applause in my ears as I lengthened my stride and sprinted across the finish line. Was that photographer snapping my picture? Just in case, let me force a sweaty smile. No Tavia. No. They’re applauding the lady with the seeing eye dog who crossed at the same time as you.
In any case, I reached my goal. This race fulfilled my promise to myself to be a fit mom who is healthy and physically and emotionally balanced for my family, but mostly for myself.
And it felt AMAZING! I have been pregnant or nursing for the past three years with no breaks in between. My mid-thirties body has experienced the rigors of pregnancy and childbirth. Twice. So to get to this point of pushing my body to run (mostly) for three miles, 14 months after giving birth, feels like a tremendous accomplishment.
And did I mention that I’m still nursing?
I pumped 10 ounces of milk the morning of the race. I sipped some water but I didn’t want to keep running to the bathroom during the race so I didn’t drink anymore. BAD IDEA. I typically try to guzzle a bottle of water every time I nurse. But common sense didn’t prevail this morning. My legs hurt really bad all day after the race. I was so tired and lethargic I could barely get off the couch. I was super dehydrated.
So tip of the day: Stay hydrated if you’re gonna pump 10 ounces of milk before a 5k. And here’s a few more tips for nursing moms who want to set a goal of running a 5K in the future:
1. Wear a good, supportive sports bra. And take it off as soon as the race is finished. Too much prolonged restriction can actually be painful and restrict the flow of milk.
2. Pump or nurse as close to the start of the race as possible. Empty both breasts.
3. Stay hydrated, particularly after nursing, even if it means you have to go to the bathroom during the race. This race is for you but you are still a nursing mom.
4. Wear comfortable underwear that will fit over that loose baby belly and doesn’t get caught underneath it, where it can rub on a C-Section scar.
5. Have a good nutritious meal afterward to replenish your body or opt for a good post-race smoothie to replenish nutrients and help with recovery.
And then kick back and soak it all in. Cus you’re a boss!