Happy belated Mother's Day! Being a mom in modern times means always being on the go, right? So this Mother's Day, I started my day much like any other: running! Though quite literally: the Jenny's Light annual 5/ 10k & Kids 1k Run through Vasona Park, along with my two Littles and mama-friends Michelle and Belinda (and their Littles, too). Jenny's Light is an organization with a mission near and dear to my heart: "to improve and save lives by increasing awareness of all perinatal mood disorders including postpartum depression." This is the third time I have participated in their run. (The first time I walked the course with baby Maceo in an Ergo- that may have been tougher than running!)
Running is not exactly my favorite thing, but I keep at it for my health (ok, I run so I can eat a little extra ice cream without it showing...too much). And I do love the feeling of crossing the finish line. But for those 20 to 30 minutes I'm actually running, I have to dig deep and use all of those mental endurance tricks I recommend for labor. You can do anything for one minute...over and over and over.... Just get to that corner, just get one more block, just past that tree (much like taking labor one contraction at a time). Focus on the breath, feel the sensations in the body without judgment, resistance, or attachment to it being different. Let go and accept all that is in this moment.
Often times while I run, I reflect on how challenging labor is- and how easy I have it, comparatively speaking, running just a few miles. Today I gave it my all for the moms who have endured the extreme challenges of postpartum depression, anxiety, and psychosis. My pace was about half a minute per mile better than it has been lately and a 5k is a little further than I run on an average maintenance day. (You real runners out there, don't laugh! Mad props to those of you who do 10ks, half and full marathons like it's no thing!) No matter how hard I worked to cross that finish line, it's nothing compared to the struggle that many face when they become mothers. I can't think of a more appropriate way to spend Mother's Day than to participate in a racing event that raises money and awareness to support new moms struggling with postpartum mood disorders. Thank you to everyone at Jenny's Light for this wonderful event and all of the life-saving work you do!
So...it wouldn't be a complete blog post without the race results: Maceo left me in his dust, coming in third in his age division with a chip time of 23:57. (Not a typo! That's a 7:43 minute per mile pace and he's only 8! I'm still in awe, myself!!!) His pace improved by a full minute per mile since the Santa Run in December (in which he still beat me by a long shot!) Arya ran her first race, running the entire Kids' 1K without stopping- a huge improvement from her usual half-a-block-without-stopping when we run our neighborhood together. Belinda's 3-year-old completed her first 1K, with only a little help from her mama. Belinda and I came in together- she claims I set the pace, but the truth is that I was struggling to keep up with her the first half...and she gave birth just a few months ago. (What's my excuse!?) And Michelle crossed the finish line strong pushing her toddler in the jogging stroller, which adds a giant layer of challenge, if you didn't know. All in all, it was a great turnout for all of us today. The only "fail"? We forgot a finish line group selfie. Gives us something to aspire to next year!
Please take a moment to check out Jenny's Light, and all of the resources they have to support new families. If you are struggling with motherhood, you are not alone and there is help! Please reach out!