I have joked with other moms that races should have a separate awards category for sleep-deprived parents. We are toeing the line with people who have obvious advantages. "And 2nd place in My-Kid-Was-Up-All-Night-Barfing category is..."
But despite all that, I still want to race. These days, though, I understand that finding a parking spot and the portapotty aren't my only pre-race concerns.
On Sunday my husband and I ran the Twin Cities 10 Mile. After he parked the car, like every other runner, he dashed off to find a bathroom. Me? I had one other pre-race task: pump breastmilk.
My advice to other nursing mothers who race: allow yourself plenty of time to poop and pump. This is not like at home where you can nurse a baby on the John. (Don't make a face, we've all been there.) Can you imagine lugging the breast pump into the portapotty? For those of you unfamiliar with the machinery, it's like a heart/lung bypass machine with horns.
So there I sat in the car, the whirring of the pump, the tangle of tubes, the drip drip drip of milk and an imminent start time. More input for nursing moms: this is why they make nursing sports bras. Wear it on race day if you'll need to pump before and/or after running.
Anyone else feeling the urge to moo?
At last, I reduced my bra cup to a runable size, a size that wouldn't require me to use my elbows as extra fortification, and --joy!-- even remembered a lid for the bottle and an extra storage bag, which I used for the milk I pumped after the race (that's my final tip for nursing racers--don't forget you'll need to store that milk!)
Fortunately I had just enough time to find a bathroom and make it to the start on time. Perhaps it's true. Since becoming a mother I can manage to doo doo it all.