After a few more weeks of pure baby devotion, I slowly went back to running. Once I could rest, I saw that I wasn't completely starting over. My legs felt sore, but my lungs hung in pretty well.
I sputtered along as Emily's half-hearted, second-rate running partner though our schedules were different now. Emily needed to run in the afternoon, the worst time of day for a baby. I couldn't keep up while pushing the baby jogger, and I refused to dump a cranky infant on my husband the minute he walked through the door. Emily was my friend and it hurt to see the close of our era. We met to run here and there, but in the end, I casually drifted away.
For awhile I didn't do much but gawk at my baby. I couldn't be with him enough. I had no idea he would take over my heart, no my very being, with such ferocity. If I planned to do anything for myself it would not be at his expense. I hated to give up running, but in comparison, I really didn't care.
Was there someone else as devoted to her babies as I was? Someone willing to run at odd times on low-energy, maybe even wearing mashed bananas on her shorts? To stick with it, I needed a different breed of woman. Someone whose legs only took her as far as two tiny arms could reach.
I needed another Running Mama.
I mentioned my hope to a few friends at church, and through a friend of a friend, I met my running soul-mate. When I found her, heaven itself burst into song and unfurled the rainbow of joy over my snot-crusted shoulders. Her name was Jerri, disciplined runner and mother of two.
I said "Can you be up by 6:00?"
She said "How about 5:15?"
I said, "I will cancel last minute if my baby is sick."
She said, "Me too. Times two."
I said, "Do you run fast?"
She said, "Let's just stay together."
Cue tears of jubilation.
6 days ago