Hey everyone! You might notice some changes around here, and that’s because I’ve got a new blog name! Now that I’m getting back into blogging I’ve decided I want to highlight my new identity as a mom in the mountains and rebrand this blog. I’m really excited about this! Being a hiker and outdoorsy woman is different once you’re a mom, and I fully plan to talk about all my adventures in the mountains and how I was able to make them happen with the addition of a baby in my life. For years I’ve wanted this blog to authentically capture what my life is like, and I think this new name will be perfect for that!
It’s kind of weird to think about, but on August 21 I became a new version of myself – a more tired, happy, busy, and full version of the “old me” than I was before. I think that no matter how much you prepare for the arrival of a baby, there’s nothing you can do to prepare for the arrival of your new identity as a mom. I thought motherhood would just bring a cute little person for me to snuggle with, but I had no idea how much it would also change my heart and my mind. How things I thought mattered don’t feel that important anymore, and how some things got even more important because now I see how meaningful those hobbies and goals are for me and E. Hiking, being active, and exploring the world are some of the things that remained important for me, although in a slightly different way. I’m not into constantly crossing hikes and summits off my list, but more into slowly walking through a forest while baby E stares in wonder at the snow falling around us. Watching him learn to love the things that I love has been amazing!
I feel that during the past six months I’ve embraced this new version of myself pretty well, mostly because it turns out I love being a mom. There have definitely been moments where I look at myself and think, “who am I now and where did the old me go?”, but when I look at E and see the way he looks at me I always feel like this was 110% worth it. The old me hated lazy weekends and always wanted to chase the next adventure, but the new me sometimes doesn’t leave the house for days at a time (it’s so cold and snowy out, and baby E and I love snuggling in our pjs!) and I don’t even mind. This stage of E’s life is so short and sweet, and I’m not trying to put any pressure on myself to go out and do all the things at once when I could be home with him soaking up all the little moments. Plus, if I’m being honest, this has been a tough winter to get outside with a baby, and I’m just going to patiently wait a tiny bit longer until it’s warm enough that we’re both comfortable outside!
If you’ve been a long time reader of this blog, you’ll know that before I lived in Alaska and hiked every weekend I was a runner. I loved training for races, crossing the finish line, and looking for my next race. My favorite thing about running was pushing myself to see how far or fast I could go and reaching new goals. Ever since I injured myself training for my last half marathon in 2015, I’ve been avoiding races. Well, except for one: the Gold Nugget Triathlon. It’s a women’s sprint tri that’s held every May in Anchorage, and it’s AMAZING! Women of all ages (seriously, kids through 80+), body types, and activity level are out there getting it done. I did it for the first time back in 2016 as a way to race without running, and it was a life changing experience for me. I learned how to swim freestyle for the first time, fell in love with biking, and learned that my body is still capable of amazing things even with a running injury (you can read more about that experience in the “Tri Newbie Chronicles” page at the top of my blog).
Last night was the registration for the 2020 GNT, and although I had been telling myself that there’s no way my postpartum body can do this, I ended up signing up! The race sold out in 4 and a half minutes and I’m one of the lucky few ladies that got in! After the initial excitement wore off I realized that I am NOT ready for this and potentially might die training for it. I haven’t swam in years and I’m pretty sure I still can’t run, plus it’s too snowy to bike outside and will be for a while. But I’m excited to bring back part of the old me – the me that used to love training for and running races, working out with friends, and pushing myself to see what I’m capable of doing. I’ve been in a lazy postpartum bubble these last six months because let’s be real, recovering from pregnancy and childbirth is HARD and anyone who just experienced that level of stress on their body deserves to take time to recover and enjoy postpartum life. And it’s been awesome. But I finally feel like I’m ready to see what the new me is capable of, and I’m glad I’ve got something to train for and work towards. I’m going to have to take it slow, but I’m excited to start doing the things I used to love again and fully combine all my favorite versions of me!
How soon postpartum did you start doing tough physical things that you used to love doing before pregnancy? Any tips for new moms to get back into triathlon training?