The routine

I’m sitting on the couch.

I’m tired.  Worn down.  Emotionally exhausted.

I feed the baby.  She falls asleep.

I don’t feel like getting up.

I pass the baby to Jason anyway.

I put on my running tights.  I’m still ten pounds heavier than I used to be, and they cut into my stomach.

I trade my nursing bra in for a sports bra, and put on a quick dry tee.

I realize I forgot to put on my heart rate monitor and do it all again.

I grab my iPod and the headband I wear to keep my earbuds from falling out.

I change watches.

I lace up my Newtons.  I remember when I thought pink running shoes were blog worthy.  It seems so ridiculous now.

I head out.

It’s hot.  Hotter than Northern California’s supposed to be.

And windy since we live near the water.

I’m so much slower than I used to be.

My heart rate tops out, and I stop to walk.  I have to walk up almost every hill, even the ones that aren’t really hills.

But I continue to place one foot in front of the other.  That’s all I can do.

Just keep moving.  It’s the only mantra that’s ever really worked for me during a tough run.

I think about how that’s symbolic of my life right now.

My feet slide forward on the downhills, and my toes slam into the top of my stupid, pink shoes.

My feet must have grown while I was pregnant.

The new Jason Mraz single starts to play.

I turn the corner into my neighborhood and let myself pick up the pace.

My breath is heavy by the time I reach my driveaway.

I walk to the front door, through the overgrown rose bushes that frame the walkway.

The baby is crying, already hungry again.

I quickly change out of my workout gear, and wash the allergies off my face.

I blow my nose fifty times.

I wipe the sweat off my chest, and put on a nursing top.

I grab an orange soda because I always crave one while I’m running, and I’ve decided that I get to have one every time.

The baby’s still crying and I go to her.

Right now I want to hold her.  Kiss her head.  Whisper it will be okay in her ear.

This is the best I will feel all day.

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15 thoughts on “The routine

  1. This is a really lovely post. As a mother to a four-month-old, I totally relate. You’ve also made me realize that it is time to stop using the baby as an excuse and to start running again. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks for stopping by the blog, and thank you so much for such a nice compliment! Getting out to run with a baby certainly is challenging. But (at least for me) essential for maintaining my sanity

  2. It looks like you have a pretty nice routine there! 🙂 And as Ruby gets older and has a more set schedule, it’s only going to get easier. And if it makes you feel any better, my running/walking/stopping runs and higher weight are exactly the same as yours, and I don’t have a baby to come home too. So, hang on in there. You are doing amazing 🙂

  3. I love this post. Very visual. There’s nothing better than a break (out of the house) to make you miss your baby. And if she cries for an hour that’s ok because you’re sane and you want to comfort her (not throw her at the wall.) I’m glad you got out.

    • Thanks Kari! Getting out definitely helps. Too bad you and Elsha don’t live down the street. That would be an even better outing!

    • Ha! I have a good friend named Nisha, and when I saw this comment I thought it was from her. Only she doesn’t have kids so I was very confused. And then I figured it out. Thanks for the encouragement!

  4. Funny how, like an old family dog, running always gets put into perspective by major life events.

    And just like the dog, running is always waiting for you at the front door when you’re ready.

    Glad you, Jason and the pink shoes are finding your way down the road …

  5. It is tough being a new mom—I remember when I was struggling with reconnecting with myself—like who am I and where did I go…to really focusing on just keeping myself moving because it was all I could do…and at the same time going back to my son, and being so happy and exhausted that he needed me again…and yet I had no idea why I felt this way, when every one else seemed to be okay with all that they were facing as new moms. (I didn’t get that I had postpartum depression). Its amazing what strength we find in ourselves to keep moving, and that the love we have for our children is so deep that it keeps us surviving even when we are so utterly tired. Now my son’s almost 3 and I look back at that time and realize I wish I could have asked for help when I really needed to. But that deep within, I have an incredible strength to live and love, as you do. Blessings on your journey, and congratulations on the wonderful gift of your child, Erin, Bella Bleue

    • Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and leaving such a thoughtful comment. I’m so sorry to hear that you suffered through postpartum depression and that you had to do it alone. You clearly do have strength for coming out on the other side with such a positive attitude.

  6. Ah, you’re in such a tough place right now. I’m so glad you ARE going outside and running…I think that will help tremendously each day. And this is an awesome post that all mamas of newborns should read–very relatable.

    I laughed about your dream about the dentist, btw! Can’t say I’ve ever had thoughts of delving into that field, but I guess I can play one in dreams!

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