Lately I’ve been thinking about how racing is different for me this year compared to previous years. I know my experience is mine and doesn’t apply to everyone who just had a baby, but I’m sure some of you can relate.
Motivation – I just don’t have that “killer instinct” right now. I was chatting about this with Becky at Nelson Bay pre-race (like, a minute or two pre-race) that I’d been in Mommy Mode, then Social Mode, but somehow was missing Race Mode. It was like “Oh, they’re saying GO so I should go and yeah, I should go hard.” It worked out fine, but if it came down to a close race, I’d probably be too busy waving and smiling to fight to the end. Sure, I try to speed up towards the finishes, but that’s because the sooner I get there, the sooner I can stop, which is only important because it’s hurting pretty good by that point. Maybe it’s the nursing hormones and I’ll be back into the ring again once we’re done with that. Or not. Maybe I’ve just done enough that if I’m never the same athlete again it won’t matter all that much. Priorities and all.
Weight - I don’t have a scale and it’s probably for the best, but the weight loss seems to be stabilizing and I’m definitely not back at fighting weight. The extra is all around the middle and chest area. Speaking of…I needed an extra bra during Nelson Bay. That “shelf bra” in the tri suit doesn’t count. Or shouldn’t. These girls need TWO real jog bras.
Speed – This, I’m pretty sure, is partly related to weight and the fact that I don’t train as much as I did before. Admittedly, I’m running a little more mileage more consistently, but it’s mostly slow. The slow is a little less slow than it was a few months ago, unless I’m rolling the baby stroller. I just can’t get myself to push hard when I’m lugging that thing around. I think 9:15 pace is my record. I jogged with it Monday and averaged 10 minute miles and that’s a lot more typical than I’d care to admit. Well I’m admitting it and I don’t really care all that much. My biking is a little closer to the mark and the lower swim power has nothing to do with the pregnancy. It has everything to do with the very small amount of swimming I did between November 2007 and this past April. Yes, I’m talking about last month. Now I’m on a whopping 1-2 swim sessions per week. Usually one. Sure Nelson Bay came out pretty good, but then I had on a wetsuit and drafted off someone without one. Legal? Yes. Honorable and impressive? No.
Originally, I figured that I’d be back in fighting shape by August-September, which is when Tri Nats and Du Worlds are. Now, I’m beginning to wonder. I’m sure that the rest of the weight will drop right off once I’m not breastfeeding any more and that this will have a positive impact on my performance, but no way am I weaning my child before he’s ready just so I can race faster. I would like it if he were less reliant on breastmilk for his calorie intake by then, but that may not be the case. I’m sure things will work out fine. Alicia in Social Mode will enjoy those two events regardless of speed.