This last weekend was the running of the BigHorn 100 miler in the Bighorn mountains of WY. This was the setting of my first 100 mile attempt and finish in 2012. I had no pacer. I had no crew. I had a log worth of miles and giant pile of determination built up in my soul.
I should back up.... I have asthma and am going to have another baby in about 3 short months. Asthma, pregnancy and my body all hate each other. Generally I can make two of them get along, body + asthma OR body + pregnancy BUT, not all three. It's such a balancing act and it feels so ridiculous. Asthma is one of those things that I can't muscle through. Believe me, I've tried. From wheezing all night, to a resting heart rate of 142 in the doctor's office because of an asthma exacerbation...I hate asthma. It has been fairly well controlled up until this last January when I got pregnant. Since this is not my first rodeo with pregnancy, I knew fairly early and stopped taking all allergy and asthma meds since I had no clue what was safe and what wasn't. So of course I've gained weight. Hello, that's what you do when there's another person growing in your belly. I have run less and less and the harder I try, the more I wheeze and end up back on stronger meds. What a ridiculous struggle and cycle this has been.
Where am I now? I have three months til I have another sweet cutie pot to love for the rest of my life. I cherish this gift and I don't want anything I say about running or my future goals to ever give a different impression. Nonetheless, I have a drive and hellishly stubborn determination that cannot be ignored and it's really rearing it's head lately. As the Pickled Feet 24 run passed by this last March.....I placed 2nd overall female for the last two years and didn't even participate this year. I was a co-RD this year for the race but my RD partner and I had discussed me running during the preparation for this event. Last March I ran my most recent 100 miler, so now I'm officially a year out from running 100....my beloved distance. An now, I won't get to do one in 2014 at all. Yes, I know that there are more important things in life and this is temporary and will not last forever, etc. "Look at the big picture AMY!" is what I hear from EVERYONE. I recognize I'm whining and complaining.
But on a serious note, as I look to the future and have been counting down the days til I can hold my cutie in my arms and take back control of some things in my life, like breathing (proper asthma medication that has been on the shelf during pregnancy), I ponder things like....how long before I will run again? Will I have to struggle to just run two miles again? That's where I started in 2008. Do I have to start all the way back there? Can I nurse a babe and run an ultra? I only ran half maries last time I was nursing. I never tried to go any further. So what if I can only run the 13.1? As I watched all the posts about BH, I wondered if maybe I could do this 100 as a "re-entry" into my ultra life again....in 2015? I mean that would logistically look like me training heavy for six months in 2015 (assuming I take two months off from Oct - Dec 2014 to recover and drop some weight, stabilize lactation and babe, etc.). I don't think it can happen. It's too much, too fast. I'm not 20 or even 30. I'll be 39 in Aug and pregnancy is not as easy when you're this age....in case anyone had that burning question in their mind, I'll be the first to tell you...it's easier when you're younger.
I love my babe and I wouldn't change a thing. But I do wonder and am beginning to realize that my ultrarunning may have to wait a bit longer than the three months I've been telling myself. I probably won't be capable of training at the level needed to do a hundo in 2015. Hmmmm.....we will see. I can say that I've had some pretty good mental training through this last year. At least I have THAT going for me. Plus I have a person in my life that is super supportive of me running and training. My children are in a MUCH better place than I've ever known them to be. Whose to say this isn't going to be the best running season yet...2015 that is? I could strive for a half marathon PR! or just go for a new weight goal. How often do you get to burn some extra cals during the day just by being alive (lactation)? I can make this work for me. Not that it's all about me, but I mean really.... I need goals and things to look forward to. I don't have to attain every single goal in my life, but I do want to have something to work for.
Okay, enough babbling...carry on and happy running people. :)