Tuesday, July 21, 2015

In All Seriousness

In a previous post, I was kidding around about a little bit about what I expected running pregnant to look like and the reality of how it has turned out. But, in all seriousness, I think it's time to come clean with you on how I'm doing and what I've been up to.

As you can tell, I haven't been doing much updating of this running blog. The main reason for this? Let me be totally honest. This runner is no longer running. I wish I had better news for you. As I said in my runner vs. reality post, I really had all of the best intentions. I meant to be a pregnant runner. I really, really did. But here is the ugly, honest truth: running while pregnant just hurts too much. It hurts with every step and as much as I wanted to be one of those tough, badass pregnant runner ladies, I just had to give up. 

Now that that is out of the way, let me go back and fill you in on how it has gone.

I didn't quit running immediately.  In fact, the morning I found out I was pregnant, the very first thing I did was lace up and go for a run.  I remember feeling like it was so cool to go on a run alone with my baby and the secret of my baby.  On that run, I remember looking forward to so many more runs with this little baby in tow. Little did I know what was in store for me. 

The first hit to my running regimen didn't come from the pain, it came from the all day nausea and exhaustion that set in around week 6. I don't even know if I can accurately describe how that first trimester felt. It was all I could do to to drag myself to the office each day for work (and even that didn't happen every day).  Anything beyond that was a real stretch. I remember breaking down into near tears and telling my husband that I felt like I was being told to run a marathon at my usual pace, but with one leg chopped off. And I wasn't even talking about running. Every day of that first trimester felt like a 20 mile run.  I hurt, I was exhausted, and I was starved.  Sure, I ran here and there, but my endurance and motivation were just totally shot.  I would usually average about one medium distance run a week and maybe one interval treadmill run a week.  That first trimester I found myself having to stop every 15 minutes to just breath and rest.  I had nothing in my tank.  Which, made no sense because I was eating like a mad woman for that first trimester.  If this child comes out cheese-colored...well, EZ Mac is to blame!

People always tell you that the second trimester will make everything better and boy, they aren't kidding!  At my second trimester, almost to the day, I immediately felt better.  I had all of my normal energy back and I could finally think of food without wanting to get sick everywhere.  Of course, what also happens (the thing people don't mention so often when they are trying to cheer you up during that miserable first three months) when you start feeling better....you start really getting bigger!  That's when the real running trouble started.  As grew bigger, the pain in my low abs when running just got worse and worse and eventually became unbearable.  I even tried purchasing a support belt that was highly recommended by other runners, but I found it really did no good for me.  After a few weeks of attempting interval runs on the treadmill, I finally had to call uncle on the whole thing.  Running has been put on hold until after the baby. I miss it so much, but after trying and trying to power through, I finally came to the conclusion that running doesn't have to hurt.  Okay, yes, yes, running is hard and hurts sometimes, but not like this.  I run because I love all of the things it brings me, but it shouldn't bring me pain. I am in the process of accepting that running is just on hold for now and that it's okay.  I will get back to it.  And, when I do, I know I will be more appreciative of it.  What is that phrase?  You don't know what you've got until it's gone.

***This is not running related, but something that I really, really want to say and this is the best place I can think to say it:
Being pregnant is hard!  It is physically hard and emotionally hard.  I mean, it is REALLY hard.  See, here's the deal: those of us who have never done it before, we don't know it's hard because we see almost half of the people we know around us doing it, so we assume it can't be that hard.  But, now that I'm doing it, I'm here to tell you, it is hard.  For some reason, not enough people are saying this out loud.  Rumor is you forget how sucky pregnancy is as soon as that little baby is born, so I want to put it out for the world to know now before I forget, and so that I don't forget.  Being pregnant is hard.  You feel sick, you feel stressed, you feel big, it's uncomfortable, it's terrifying, it's isolating, and it's a million other not so great things.  Look, I know that it's all worth it in the end and I'm not trying to say I'm unhappy pregnant or anything like that.  I just want to give credit where credit is due.  If you know anyone who is or ever has been pregnant, as soon as you finish reading this blog, please tell them how impressed you are by them.  Let them know that even if you can't "get" it, you can appreciate it.   

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