Posted by: Ingrid | April 2, 2009

Just between you and me

Sometimes this whole pregnant runner thing can be really hard.

Last night I had my first run where I actually felt some sort of pain and had to quit.  You might expect it to be second nature to stop, but when you run you train yourself to ignore those cues.  When you run you push through and keep going.  Honestly, it was very hard to stop and it made me mad.  I want to be candid because if there are other pregnant runners out there I want to put down the truth of this whole running through pregnancy experience in case you (like I did) are googling all over the place trying to figure out your limits and what you can and can’t do and want to know what it’s like for someone else.  It’s easy to know you have limits.  It’s a lot harder to accept them.

It wasn’t anything bad, just something that felt like a side cramp that wouldn’t go away.  I’d missed my morning run because I needed sleep and had mistakenly thought I could make it up in the evening.  Not a chance.  I made it 1.3 miles before the pain kicked in.  I pushed through until I got to 2 miles and then I stopped, switched to my “angry” music and walked a disgruntled 3 more miles.

I’d like to say that I could serenly accept that my body was telling me to stop but I couldn’t.  I didn’t want to.  I’m afraid that I’m going to lose my running sooner than I want to let it go.  The day before I ran 6.5 miles and I ran another 6.5 this morning, so obviously I’m not done yet, but it’s a hard balance to walk.  As a runner, I don’t stop for a side cramp.  I turn up my music, focus, count cracks in the sidewalk, change my breathing patterns, whatever it takes.  The runner in me got pretty angry last night because, if the weight gain and size difference and slowness weren’t enough, not finishing my run was completely unacceptable.  As a mother, I wasn’t going to take the chance that something might be wrong, that it was more than just a cramp, and I was possibly putting our baby in danger.  Of course I was going to give more credence to the second part of me than the first, but it was harder than I would have thought.  I already know that I’m not a fan of my “mommy body” despite the fact that I know it’s healthy, in good shape, and growing a baby.  I miss my runner’s body and I look forward to getting some form of it back as soon as I possibly can.  The thought of living in a pregnant body for 44 months (when I think about several more kids and throw in some post-partum recovery time) is not very palatable to me.  I’m glad that there are women out there who feel incredibly beautiful and sexy and wish they could be pregnant all time (and if you’re that woman I want to read your blog!), but I don’t know if that will ever be me.  I’m okay if it isn’t.  Sometimes you just have to get through things whether you like them or not, and that’s okay.

It can be a lot of fun to run while you’re pregnant.  It feels like a huge accomplishment to keep going and not quit and to see what your body is capable of doing.  It’s pretty incredible.  As an average runner who takes running seriously (meaning I will never be at the front of the pack but will run faster than slow men and sometimes win my age division) it can also be really hard.  There are a lot of changes that happen (and a lot of changes that I know I can anticipate in the next 18 weeks), goals that won’t be met, and grace that needs to be extended to my hard-working body.  So for those of you out there pregnant and running or just wondering what it might be like when you get there, the reality can be hard to accept.  I think it’s worth it, just don’t expect it to be easy.

But if you’re a runner you know that already, didn’t you? 🙂

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Responses

  1. I can totally empathize with you. I’m very active and an avid runner. Though now that I’m pregnant, I just don’t have it in me. I feel sick almost all of the time(first trimester) and it’s hard for me to get motivated. Ugh. I thought for sure I would be able to push through anything b/c in the past, I have. However, this little embryo inside me begs to differ and isn’t allowing much room for exercising and it’s got me down. I don’t want to accept it, but sadly, I’m beginning too.
    I love reading your blog and you keep me inspired to keep going. Perhaps trimester two will bring on different feelings.

    I must try and try again.

    Good luck tomorrow getting your runs in:) I’ll keep reading!


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