I should have known that last night’s run was going to be tough…and looking back I think I DID know, but that I was in serious denial because I didn’t want to face it. I hadn’t run since my 13 miler on Sunday. Monday was a scheduled rest day and that afternoon/evening I came down with a migraine (an unfortunate common pregnancy occurrence for me), so Tuesday I was in a fog and just took the day off again.
After two days off from running and any real exercise, I was REALLY looking forward to my Wednesday night track run. All day long though I just felt “off” and as though something simply was not right with me. I did too much and started feeling exhausted from regular daily tasks like carrying the laundry up and down two flights of stairs and cleaning up after my kids’ messes. Around 2pm I needed a nap but never took one and really never even slowed down. When my niece Ellie came over to watch the kids so I could head to the track I was feeling ready for bed….but since that was not an option I decided to go to the track and do what I could. I thought if I just walked that would be better than nothing. It turned out that walking was even hard for me last night though!
The workout started at 6:30pm. It was still sunny and it was 95 degrees. We usually do a 20 minute trail run to warm up before we hit the track, but I wasn’t even up for that. I decided to do my warm-up around the track instead. It just made me feel better to be right there. I ran for about 17 minutes and walked the last three. After that we were supposed to run 3-5 miles around the track and I made it about a half lap before I decided I would walk instead. I think when all was said and done I did about 3 miles total and walked more than half of it. It was depressing at first. I’m at the point in my pregnancy where I officially feel (and look) like I’m carrying a baby around in my belly and I can feel my heart working harder to pump all that extra blood through my veins. Sure, I was proud of myself for being out there, for giving it a shot, but I was also battling my inner demons – negative thoughts and fears about this being “it” for me.
As I was walking around the track last night, being lapped by all the zooming non-pregnant runners training for their next PR, my thoughts and emotions were a roller coaster. I felt happy to be out there, sad I wasn’t moving faster, elated to be around people who shared my passion for the sport, depressed that they were so much faster than I was…and up and down and up and down. What I finally honed in on though and decided to focus on was one simple thing: I love running. I love the freedom, the strength, the peace and the beauty that I connect with when I am doing it. Since becoming a runner I have always said that I want to still be running when I’m in my 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s…I understand that I will be getting slower as I age and that I will have to be ok with that if I am going to stick with it and continue to love the sport. Running pregnant is a good lesson for me…it is teaching me so much about the real reasons why I love this sport, why it makes me happy and why I feel I cannot live without it.
I’m not going to let last night’s run or the fact that this week my mileage is the lowest it’s been in months get to me. Today is another rest day. It’s what my body, and my baby, need. I have always said that I will take each day as it comes and do what feels right. What I’m realizing now though is that I also need to be OK with whatever that is – a rest, a walk, or a run at whatever pace feels right – and remember that each day is a gift and to make the most of it.