It’s been almost two months since we had Koa. It is unreal that that much time has passed. It’s like a crazy time warp. On one hand, I can’t believe she’s already almost two months old, on the other, I feel like I’ve never been without her.
We’ve come through the initial stage of trying to figure each other out and have entered into a really comfortable time of just enjoying being together. This sense of comfort with where we are has allowed me to start getting back into training and dreaming about what the future holds for the 2013 race season.
Interestingly, I was given the okay to workout by my midwives three days before this years Ironman World Championships. This race in Kona last year was the last triathlon I’ve done. I would be lying if I said this wasn’t emotional for me. It seemed like every step of the process reminded me that I’m not the same athlete I was. My running clothes are snug, I have to Body Glide my thighs to keep from getting chub rub and the Garmin pace data doesn’t lie either. I saw the photos online of friends who were at this years Kona. I remembered standing in the same places and experiencing the same things. It was an interesting flurry of emotions in those first days back to training. Obviously, I am so grateful for where I am in my life right now, but I couldn’t help to mourn a little for the body and fitness that I had worked so hard to achieve.
Triathlon is not something that has come easy to me. I was a mediocre high school athlete, at best. In college, I started running casually, but I wasn’t breaking any speed records. When Ryan suggested we do our first tri in 2007, I hadn’t been on a bike in years and didn’t know how to swim. It wasn’t exactly the makings of a triathlon success story. It’s been a long, hard road. I’m really proud of how far I have come, but I’m also terrified of never getting it back. It’s this fear that made getting back into working out so emotional. Triathlon has become such a huge part of how I identify myself. I’ve been afraid of losing that.
When the morning of Kona dawned, I had prepared myself for an emotional day. I didn’t really know what to expect. I got up and picked up Koa from her crib and hugged her, she snuggled against me and there was nothing but happiness in my heart. No sadness. No regret. Just pure happiness.
Having a daughter has also changed my perspective on fitness and training. When I am tired and really don’t feel like getting a workout in or I’m sore, I realize I’m not just doing it for me anymore. I know I am at my best when I am exercising and fit. Koa deserves that. She deserves a mom who feels good about herself and is proud of her own accomplishments. How else is she going to learn to feel that way for herself as she gets older? I want her to learn these things from me.
So, with a joyful heart and a sense of responsibility, I’ve gotten back into training. The body is an amazing thing. After a few slow workouts under my belt, the fitness started to come back around. My run paces have started to creep down. My wattage on the trainer has been surprisingly solid. My first swim back was slow as hell, so, yeh, back to normal. Ha.
The signs of quick progress have been encouraging and have given me permission to get excited about what the 2013 race season could hold. I’ve reached out to my coach about getting things started again and the race stalking of my competitors is in full swing. So, it appears, I won’t be exactly my old self. I’ll be a better, mommier version.