At one point today, I was sitting on the floor with a friend’s screaming baby in one arm and a nursing Ruby in the other. I hadn’t slept more than 15 hours in the last three days, and crumbs from the previous night’s midnight tortilla chip eating frenzy were all over the tile floor. From where I sat trapped under the babies, I could see both the dirty dishes in the kitchen sink and the bills and paperwork scattered over my desk. Little D. wailed plaintively into my left ear and wiped snot on my shirt. (Just in case you’re reading S., Ruby had already snotted up the other side of that shirt earlier in the morning.) The little guy’s howling brought back memories of Asa. Asa was a wailer and gnasher of teeth. He certainly could have out-screamed Little D. back in the day, bless his grumpy heart. My chunk o’ daughter slept through D’s displeasure after she finished nursing. (Honestly, that girl could curl up peacefully next to a jet engine most days.)
I considered taking a selfie — but I was out of hands. It goes without saying that I was unshowered and unshaven, right? I started to think about an interview I’d done on Tuesday. The writer had asked if I thought my run at Umstead demonstrated how women run better after pregnancy. He mentioned something about “hormones.” At the time, I just sputtered a lame response. I think I might have said, “That’s crazy talk.” I couldn’t really remember what I’d said sitting there on the floor, half-exposed and zombie-like with Little D. threatening my left ear drum and Ruby’s weight about to cause muscle failure in my right arm.
For the blog record, I do not think there are postpartum hormones that improve running speed or endurance. I do not think postpartum lack of sleep improves running. I also do not think the high levels of stress that go along with small babies improve running. Man, I wish they did! I could have broken Mike Morton’s CR at Umstead if that was the case.
I do think motherhood teaches compassion and bestows grace. And if you learn to find peace and embrace the “full catastrophe” of daily life with small kids, dealing with the challenges that come up during ultramarathons is pretty mundane.
(Secret Postpartum Hormones + Lack of Sleep + Distress + Eustress) + 2x (Supportive Spouse + Training) + (Good Weather + Great Course + Amazing Crew) + (Wearing the RWB Eagle Shirt) = 15:07
PS. Little D. returned to full happiness when his mom returned. He’s a cutie and I am looking forward to him getting used to us.
PPS. This is the view of Ruby a little kitten got the other day.
“I must put you in my mouth little kitten.”