Wednesday, May 18, 2016

March of the Pregnant Lady...similar to a penguin, but much less adorable.

I can remember, though likely not quite as strongly as I'd actually like to, what it felt like at mile 25 of a marathon. The two miles I walked, or waddled rather, around my neighborhood today felt akin to those last 2.2 miles of a marathon. I remember the pain in my quads and hips and entire core. And I may have answered my phone at mile 25 to talk to my brother who was calling to find out if I'd finished yet, and I even told him during that exact phone call that if mile 25 of a marathon felt that bad, there was no way I'd ever be able to have kids. He assured me that he has two kids, and it would be fine. My brother thinks he's pretty clever. Let me tell you, the pain was shifted to slightly different places because being a giant pregnant lady changes how the weight is distributed, but my hips and low back were both still aching, so that was the same. Oh joy! It absolutely baffles me how much pregnancy has changed my body and my ability to do things that should be so simple. It can be frustrating at times, but I am in the homestretch, and I am excited to have my baby on the outside for walking and hopefully running in the not too distant future.

So much shadow for one person...good thing
I'm technically two people.

I am still being surprised at how much earlier different symptoms have set in, even though at this point, you'd think I'd have realized that I don't know anything about being pregnant. I have thought I was huge pretty much ever since the first trimester bloating set in, but every single day I hit a new level of, "holy crap....I'm HUGE." I should have accepted it at this point, but I'm still struggling through it. I just can't imagine how I am going to keep getting bigger. It just doesn't seem physically possible, but then I wake up the next day, and there it even bigger version of myself. At 30 weeks I had officially gained 20 lbs, but my doctor has told me over and over ever since the first appointment that she thinks I will probably end up somewhere around a 35 lbs weight gain. The weight gain seems to be slowing a little. It was almost nonexistent during the first trimester and I actually lost a couple pounds at first, and then it exploded during the second, but it seems a little slower, yet still steady during the third. Baby's gotta pack on that fat, and I'd prefer he does so on his bony, sharp little elbows and knees first because these jabs are quite painful at this point!! I keep expecting to find bruising after prolonged concentrated jabs!

I didn't expect my hips to become so uncomfortable this early. I just sort of figured it wouldn't be until the last few weeks that my hips would start feeling like they were ripping away from my body, but it seems that is as well a process that starts much earlier than I had anticipated. I mean, I've had pretty bad sciatica pretty much the entire time, and I have had issues with sciatica pre-pregnancy, but this is a whole new level of being uncomfortable. The low back pain is something I'm pretty used to with the sciatica and all, but the new pains in my legs from my hips and pretty much everything else on my body shifting is not my idea of fun. I know that things will only get worse...much much worse if you count labor and delivery, before they get better, but I am counting down the weeks!!

Don't forget to follow me on Instagram for more frequent updates and lots of pictures of my four-legged running partner, Lucy!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Runniversary 5 Years Strong

I have made it 5 years as a runner! I started running simply to prove my family wrong. My sister was challenging my brothers to run a half marathon, and when I chimed in that we should make it a family affair, my whole family laughed and said there was no way I could ever run a half marathon. Since then I have become a lifetime Half Fanatic by running three half marathons in 50 days, and I finished a marathon while raising money for ALS research in memory of my grandma.

The races aren't even the best part of my running journey. I have had so many amazing runs in amazing places with amazing people. There have been difficult runs that challenged me mentally and physically, and those runs may not have seemed amazing at the time, but those are the runs that have made me a better person. I have met wonderful people in the running community who will be friends for life no matter the distance or time between us. I have found gratitude and strength through running. I have had the opportunity to contemplate deep philosophical and spiritual questions, and I have had the opportunity to just zone out. I have gained so much from running that I never anticipated when I started this journey.

I usually try to do some special run for my runniversary. I run my favorite route or challenge myself at a time goal for my run that day, or I run with a friend to celebrate. This year was different. I didn't run at all. I walked. Not only did I walk, but I went down to the treadmill in my basement still dressed in my pajamas, bathrobe, and flip flops. Yes. That's the truth. That's how I spent my 5 year runniversary. I am 29 weeks pregnant, tired, and relegated to walking. I didn't want to walk that day, but I dragged myself down to the treadmill to walk, slowly. I didn't really feel like it in my current state, but I did it. That's the thing. There have been times in my life when I didn't want to run, and there have been times like now when I couldn't run for various medical reasons, and in the beginning, I used to take winters off just because it was easier. But despite my groggy and tired days on the treadmill, yes sometimes in my bathrobe and flip flops, I am still looking forward to getting back to running.

I have no clue what my postpartum running journey will be. I have no clue how long it will take me to return to running, and I have no clue what I will be able to expect when it comes to distance or races in the immediate future, but I do know that I want to return to running. I am looking forward to the routine that grounds me, challenges me, opens my eyes to gratitude, builds my self-esteem, and helps me manage stress. I am happy that running will also give me the chance to set an example for my son. I will show him how to set goals, put in hard work even when it's difficult, and follow through until my goals are met. Running has done so much for me, and I know that it will be one way to set a good example for my son. I am excited for my future as a runner even though I can't run right now, and I have no idea what that future will look like, but I am excited to see where it takes me.