I have an 8 month old nephew, Jaggar, that I've spent quite a bit of time with lately. The more time I spend with him the more I notice the similarities between his lifestyle and mine. I've often thought that the tail end of training for a race, where you're getting big miles, is similar to when you are the mother of a newborn. I know when my boys were born I walked around in a fog of fatigue for weeks. I'm the same way when I'm running a lot. I'm just so tired I can't focus on anything. I didn't realize before just how much ultrarunners are really like giant newborns though.
Here are the ways in which I think ultrarunners and infants are similar:
1. Frequent naps-Perhaps I'm just a wimp and extra tired, but I take naps a lot these days. I get up at 4:30 or 5 on the weekdays to run. Weekends are even earlier. By the time afternoon rolls around I'm just done. I need a quick nap. When I'm with Jaggar, our napping schedules tend to be similar. In fact, I love it when he's at my house or I'm with him because he likes to have someone lay down with him to go to sleep. I quickly volunteer myself for that duty. Last Saturday we camped and I took two naps with him. I had gotten up at 3:30 and put in 20 miles before heading to the lake, so I was ready for some sleep.
2. Frequent meals-Like our napping schedule, Jaggar and I also tend to eat on the same schedule. Every few hours we need a snack of some sort. His comes in liquid form, which doesn't seem like a lot of fun. I eat whatever I can get my hands on. I'm starving all the time. I'm trying not to eat everything I see as I've been fat, didn't like it, and don't really want to go back.
3. Excessive Laundry-both Jaggar and I tend to generate quite a bit of laundry. A lot of it is wet and stinky. My sister Keli does his laundry, but sadly I'm left to do mine by myself. One time I asked Rick to wash my running clothes and he was so grossed out that I think he almost left me, so I guess I'm on my own with laundry.
4. Schedules-You know how when you have a baby your entire life revolves around their schedule? When they need to eat, nap, etc, affects when you can go places. Sadly, that's what my family is experiencing right now. Want to go camping this weekend? Yay! But first I need to run 20 miles. And by the way, I'll be going to bed early so I can get up and run again the next day. Right now my training schedule takes priority. Obviously some things would come first, but I'm doing my best to stick to it.
I'm sure I could think of many other similarities, but right now I'm tired and hungry. Also, there is a huge pile of stinky and wet clothes on my bathroom floor that need washed.
Here is a picture of me with the cutest 8 month old ever. Notice I'm in running clothes. I think I got him all wet when I held him.
Small brag: Three weeks in a row of 50+ miles! My training is kicking butt. I'm happy. 100 miles here I come!