Posted by: Ingrid | May 21, 2009

Thirty at Thirty

Having run 4 days in a row this week (something I generally refuse to do even when not pregnant), I am up to 22 miles.  After my shorter long run (8-9 miles) on Saturday morning I’m fairly sure I’ll be logging 30 miles for the week.

This is not something I anticipated being able to do in my 30th week of pregnancy. 

I have been pleasantly surprised by a lot of things in pregnancy and this is one of them.  I’d envisioned a cumbersome swaying belly that made it difficult to run in a straight line.  In reality, everything is firm enough that I don’t really notice and if it weren’t for people staring at me from their cars I wouldn’t really think about it much.  I figured I would get slower and slower, eventually finding myself “running” 14 minute miles.  In reality, once my pace dropped to the 9 -10 minute mile range early on, I’ve stayed there without getting very much slower.  I thought I would have to stop running more than 20 miles a week after the half marathon but in reality, it’s much more about listening to my body and paying attention to what it needs and what it can do.

I wanted to put artificial parameters up to make sure that my body didn’t disappoint me.  I thought that if I made myself drop my mileage at a certain point I would never feel like my body was letting me down.  Instead, I am learning to listen to my body, to run and enjoy it, to slow down when necessary, and deal with changing when my body tells me to.  Because of that I love running even more and am so proud of my pregnant body and everything that it’s capable of doing.

I expected to be running at this point through gritted teeth and by sheer determination and stubbornness.  I didn’t expect to still love it and enjoy it.

That has been one of the best things about this 30 week running journey.  Pregnancy seemed daunting, such a huge all-encompassing, life-taking-over, plan-derailing sort of thing, so to be able to do something that I love in the middle of all that has been a blessing.  In the midst of changes it has been good to realize that I’m still me, with all the things that I love and hate and struggle with.  Pregnancy hasn’t changed that, it hasn’t overwhelmed who I am and left me virtually unrecognizable to myself.  Running has been one of the best things for teaching me that I am still very much me.  Slower, perhaps.  A bit more tired and a lot more hungry.  But I haven’t get lost in this experience which is something that I was so afraid would happen.  My other pregnancies will certainly look different than this one, but this gives me hope for the future and hope that, even in the middle of parenting and all of those things that will come up, I don’t have to get lost either.

And that feels amazing.  Even better than running 30 miles this week. 🙂

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Responses

  1. I am impressed! You have a great attitude and 30 miles at 30 weeks – good for you. Hope you continue to feel good and enjoy your running and pregnancy.


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