Life On The Outside

Its been 63 days since I stopped being a runner. With today being Easter it reminds me that it has been longer than Lent ! I didn’t come up with something to give up, so God made that decision for me- no running! Lent has just ended but unfortunately my penance is still continuing. My hip injury is still a faint reminder when I give into my urge to “run”- 20 feet from my car into the house or a few steps to chase the kids at the park. It is better but not to the point of being able to handle 20 excess pounds mostly in my protruding belly while coming back from a probable hip stress fracture. I don’t feel like risking it if it could cause any more delays in recovery.

My hope comes from other women who are dominating post-pregnancy. Most notable is Carrie Dimoff. It was less than a year ago I was doing easy runs with her as she was nearing her due date. I saw her at club xc when she was base training. I raced 13 weeks pregnant and happened to have a better day than her. Fast forward to this weekend she comes back with a 15:46 5k on the track! Amazing!!!!!!!!!!!! In one year if I could run a 5k a minute slower I will be happy  🙂

In another countdown, I have reached 75 days til my estimated due date.. so maybe another 25 days after birth to a slow return back into running? Does today mark my 100 days until my return? Is July 17 a reasonable date to look forward to?? All who know the future please say yes.

With nothing to athletically look forward to on the calendar anytime soon, I have a new goal – to have a natural birth and kick ass during the process (is that a realistic thought?) I know many people aspire to this being fully prepared and when the day comes there’s nothing they can do and surgery is the result. I’m aware of this but my hope is I won’t be in that category. I also know I have never given birth and experienced women reading this might laugh and think I have no idea what I’m talking about.

Recently Alan and I changed our plans from the hospital to a new facility called the Birthing Place. I’m really looking forward to the challenge and not afraid of any potential (severe) pain. I’m actually craving something that will push me..(but hopefully not over the edge). That’s why I race. I crave physical challenges and pushing limits. I trust in my body that women are designed for birth, so I’m going to work with it and accept the “pain” that comes and know its leading to something awesome! Better than a PR.. A new mini human!

Looking back to when I was training for my first marathon and attempt to run a Trials qualifier in 2009, I was actually much more anxious and nervous about facing the event than I am to this birth. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to push hard enough through the pain after months of training to get my body to achieve my goal. With pregnancy I know the contractions will not be a choice- they will come and I will deal with it.

So excited to try this outfit on our baby !!

Running is a voluntary process and if you start to psych yourself out you slow down and regret it later. To my knowledge birth does not give you this option. (Exception my midwife told me of a woman who ended up with complications because she kept having a glass of wine to prolong the labor in the week she was overdue because she was so afraid of facing the birth process).

Well I never did get to run my marathon after I contracted Lyme Disease a month prior, so I’ll never know if it compares to childbirth. If I get lucky in the physical category of labor – great. But secretly I want a long, physically grueling endurance event that eventually ends in a victory (with no drugs or surgery). That way I can have a more renewed, fearless mindset going into races. When I’m tempted to give into pain I can look back knowing if I survived the marathon of childbirth, I can do anything for one more mile.


  1. Leah Herlache · · Reply

    Congratulations, Julia! And good for you choosing a natural childbirth. What an amazing feat! I was also preparing for a natural birth, but baby was breech so we didn’t have much choice in the matter after all. If you’d like book recommendations to prepare for the big “event”, I have plenty of them! I also learned one super valuable lesson through my birth experience: release control and let your body do what it is meant to do. Often times we get in the way of ourselves.

    Best wishes in the coming weeks. Pregnancy is an amazing experience — and you have a sweet little girl to look forward to at the end of it all! Take good care!

  2. Kelsey Anne · · Reply

    that’s going to be such a cute outfit! little watermelon baby! and a tutu included, love it 🙂

  3. The Waterboy · · Reply


    I know that the majority of this blog is about you and you want to leave out specifics about Alan’s races or training etc and not have him feel like he’s living with a reporter as you pointed out in an earlier post, but can you at least give a yes or no as to whether or not Alan has been healthy? He dropped out of that indoor 800m race in Virginia which no one really knows why and then he didn’t double back in the 1000m after he was entered in both (injury?) Then he was accepted for USA indoors in the 800m then decided not to run, and then despite only being his first race of the outdoor season this weekend, he probably didn’t run times he was happy with. Has Alan been sick or injured the past few months or has he been healthy? Again, this is not meant to get you to say specifics or races or training, just a question on whether or not he’s been healthy and able to train.

    Thanks, it’s great to see you both being happy and excited about becoming parents for the first time in a couple months

  4. Waterboy-
    I appreciate your comments. I know when I was starting this blog I was hoping to share more about how Alan is progressing, but he prefers to just keep things simple and off the Internet where anyone can pick and pry my words apart. Indoor he pulled out not from actual injury but caution to preventing a hamstring pull. That is 100%. Last weekend was definitely not an indicator of how his training has been going. Unfortunately it wasnt a great start to outdoor but should not something that will define his 2012 season. He is healthy and working well with his new teammate of Robbie. He’ll be back on the track soon enough to move forward and show his true form.

  5. A friend of mine was back jogging a week after she gave birth to her little girl. This was, against the advice of her doc however. She is now well on her way back to full fitness.

  6. Julia, as a former collegiate runner who had a totally natural childbirth, I offer a suggestion: Think of each contraction as a 400 repeat. It’s just Nx400…get through one, get your breathing back to normal, and try to relax until the next one hits. Good luck! Oh, and make sure you give you body time to heal before you take up running. I waited a full six weeks to get back to running and was glad I did.

  7. marathon246 · · Reply

    Hey Julia! Congrats on the baby, and way to go on preparing for a natural birth. Like Katie, I prepped for each contraction by timing it as one lap around the track. It put me in a great mindset and I knew that I had to deal with pretty severe pain for a max of 75-90 seconds and then it would be OVER. You can do this!

    I started running 4 weeks post baby and was able to run a sub 3 marathon 13+ months after birth (with only 12 real weeks of training). Definitely take your time getting back – pregnancy changes things. Your ligaments are loose and I found that I was really prone to injury. It took more time than I envisioned, but things eventually started rolling again. I cannot wait to read your journey as you start your adventures in motherhood and running 🙂

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