Saturday’s run went so great that it made Monday’s run seem so hard in comparison. I’ve still been really tired and didn’t really catch up on sleep like I’d hoped over the weekend. I feel much better but still have some congestion and coughing so I decided to sleep in until 6 on Monday and post-pone my run until after work. Tim did the same thing so we ran together. I had 8 on the calendar and honestly was not looking forward to it all day. This is another reason why I prefer to get my run done early in the morning. It was a crips fall evening and pretty dreary and overcast, but not rainy and I was happy to be running with Tim. From the start though it felt “hard” or harder than I would have liked. The pressure in my belly was there, and pretty intense which just made it “uncomfortable” for pretty much the entire 8 miles.
With a couple miles to go I had to go to the bathroom real bad so that made it even worse. We ran at rush hour so there was lots of traffic, not huge shoulders and all together it was just not as great of a run as I had hoped for.
Still, I got through it and I felt good about that. I was thinking though, I run because I enjoy it and runs like that are not all that enjoyable.
Today I had seven on the calendar. I brought my clothes to work and planned to run on my lunch hour. The route was hilly and from the start it was feeling very similar to yesterday’s run…lots of pressure in the belly. I was surprised though when I looked at my watch and saw that before I got the first mile I was running 6:53 pace out of nowhere. I purposely slowed down and told myself to take it easy, but I HAD been taking it easy.
Mile 2 was not so great either and my calf started to bother me again (same one from a couple weeks ago). I stopped and stretched it and realized I really didn’t feel like running. The route I picked was very hilly and the uphills bothered my calf more. During this part of the run I started to feel very frustrated and defeated. I love running, but I don’t love the feeling of being that uncomfortable and I started to wonder if I would reach my goal of running throughout the entire pregnancy. I started to think that after this half marathon I just really need to cut back my miles and focus on shorter runs to “get through” the duration. Then I thought about how I should continue running the longer distances as long as I could since I know that at some point I just won’t be able to. Well, I started to get sad thinking about not running as much as I’d like and how much I missed going for runs that felt great, not even to mention doing workouts. I was disappointed that I was starting to feel the way I was and just wished I felt more comfortable like I had in the earlier weeks of the pregnancy.
Then, as I clicked off the third mile and was mostly done with the hard hills something odd happened. The pressure in my belly “eased up” considerably. I don’t know if the position of the baby is what puts the pressure there and that the baby moved or what was the cause. I just enjoyed it. Instead of thinking about how I was going to “get through” the rest of the run and counting down the miles I was just running again and free to think about other things than my current level of pain/uncomfortable feelings. The next couple miles ticked by and I was surprised to see that my pace was 7:22 for those couple miles without any increase in effort. The last mile I wanted to be done, as usual but it was less about being uncomfortable and more about just finishing and having the run done with so I could get one with my day.
I still don’t know for sure what exactly causes the pressure I feel and why sometimes it just “let’s up”. There are just so many unknowns but I do know that I’m thankful for each run and for each day that I’m able to continue running, even when its mentally hard due to the pressure.
Another thing for me is that I probably need to give up some of my sense of “control” and expectations I put upon myself. I want so badly to keep running decent miles to keep up my endurance for labor. Feeling like I have to hit a “plan” and sticking to my schedule can leave me feeling guilty if I want to cut a run short or take an extra day for rest when really, I should be listening to my body. I think part of it too is a fear that I have of getting horribly out of shape and gaining too much weight during the pregnancy. My weight gain has been on track, but its been very steadily increasing at a fast rate and I wonder how it would be if I wasn’t running. There are other exercises too and I’ve thought about that and strongly think that maybe after this half I will trade in some of my running days for possibly swimming.
I’ve thought about the elliptical too, to try to keep the intensity more similar to a run, but honestly for me, working out indoors is not something I particularly like. It sort of feels like punishment. Swimming is something I enjoy, but at the same time I know its not the same intensity as running so it wouldn’t be quite a 1:1 switch. Still, its nice to keep my options open for maybe a couple months down the road when/if I really just can’t run. And I need to be ok with that too. I have this attitude like because I really want to run up until my due date, I have to. I need to not be quite so hard on myself and allow myself to do what really feels right. This may or may not go according to MY plan.
Strangely enough, I’m so much more easy going about my “birth plan”. I figure that I’m just going to see how the whole thing goes and let myself and the doctors decide what is right for me and the baby when the time comes. I may want drugs, I may not need them…either way, I’m not going to formulate a specific plan because that can lead to disappointments if in reality it goes in a completely different direction. I keep thinking I’m going to deliver about 3 weeks early, but maybe I go two weeks late! I’m also hoping for a speedy delivery but in reality, it could be a couple days and I may be so exhausted at the end that I don’t care WHAT the doctors have to do to get that baby out.
Obviously, I’m strongly hoping against having a c-section, mainly because of the recovery time. However, if that ends up being what is safest for the baby, that’s what will need to be done.