This title is misleading, I know.
Anyone who really knows me knows that I love running and I have run my entire life for some reason or another.
Suddenly, however, I find myself in this strange, exhausting new season of raising a toddler and running hasn’t come so easily for me. Not. At. All.
I can only blame myself, really. No one can make me run… except my dad. And my high school track coach. And a rabid dog.
I always admired those elite marathon runners who would have babies and 6 months later be winning races, but I have not been one of those women. Haven’t even tried, really.
My best excuse so far has been, “I had a C-section, so I’m taking it slow.” That only worked for about a month. Now, 25 months later, I don’t have a very good excuse.
Until yesterday… when I woke up at 5:30am to go for a walk (the precursor to running).
As a “runner” my whole life, walking is kind of a cop out, but when you live in a hilly area like I do, the thought of going out for your first real exercise in a year that didn’t involve chasing a toddler across a parking lot and running up enormous hills at 5:30 am in 90% humidity… is not appealing. I don’t want to do it. So I walk. And I figure the hills balance it out. Walking 2 miles in hills is like running 1 on a flat surface, right?
But yesterday I remembered why I don’t like to run.
I don’t like to run because I don’t like to shower.
When you’re a mom, showering has a million implications. Too many for me to think about when I just want to sit in peace with a cup of coffee and stare at the wall.
Showering means I have to take all my clothes off. Turn on the light next to my daughter’s room (assuming she’s asleep). Turn on the water of the faucet that is connected to the wall right next to said sleeping daughter’s room. I have to use a towel (assuming I have a clean one). And I don’t know about you, but I can never just “rinse off.” If I’m committed to a shower, I’m committed to the whole thing. Body wash, shampoo AND condition, let the conditioner sit (even though that myth has been debunked, I still do it), face wash, back and neck massage, occasional shave. A shower for me is NOT a quick thing. And If my kid is awake, you’d better just shelve it until daddy gets home. Last time I showered while she was awake she ate a whole box of malted milk balls.
And then I have to get dressed! That means clean underclothes. Clean sweatpants. That’s tricky, since I only have two pair and in my post-birth body, sweatpant capris have become my exercise uniform. And my grocery shopping uniform. And my playdate uniform. So if I wore one pair walking (soon to be running) then I have to hope that the other pair is clean or I’m screwed! And finally I’ll need a t-shirt. I’ve been growing my stash of “nice” t-shirts recently. So that’s usually ok. Until they’re all dirty and I have to find something else.
At that point, when I’m hunting through my closet for something comfortable but semi-flattering, it’s usually a good reminder why I started walking (running!) in the first place.
But I digress. I hate showering and all it involves. So you can imagine my frustration the past 48 hours.
The night before last, I showered. I was clean. I felt good. I was ready for work the next day. And then I got this ridiculous idea in my head that I wanted to wake up at 5:30am before the rest of my house so I could walk.
Which meant I had to shower. Again. That’s TWO showers in less than 12 hours. And then, after a busy day at work, playing outside with sticky toddlers, then playing some more at home with my own sticky toddler, all I wanted was a shower before bed. That would have been THREE showers in one day.
So I told my husband last night, “I know this may be gross, but I’m not showering tonight. I know that I’m going to wake up and walk in the morning and I’ll just have to shower again.”
He said, “Yeah. That’s gross.”
So here I am, proud of myself for walking (almost running) on hills in 90% humidity at 5:30 in the morning TWO days in a row…
and I’m still putting off that next shower.
Because if I wake up tomorrow and walk again, I’ll just have to shower then. So…
It’s a vicious cycle.
That’s why I don’t run.
Why don’t you run?