hanging up my running shoes
Over the past week, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m probably done running for the rest of this pregnancy. It’s not that I can’t run anymore, it’s that I’m simply never looking forward to it. Mostly because of my large belly that now bounces along and takes on a life of its own when I’m running. I thought I could keep going well into the third trimester and read of enough pregnant runners doing that that I didn’t think it too bold of a wish. I even wrote of my plan to run/shuffle in a local 5K this May. And I still get such strong desires to put on my running shoes and hit the trail by my house on warm and sunny days, but what I’m really longing for is to hit the trail with my pre-pregnancy body.
I actually stopped listening to my favorite running podcast (Run.Run.Live, find it on iTunes!) because it reminds me too much of hours spent running last Spring while training for the Salzburg and Vienna half marathons and that feeling of joy and strength that accompanied most of my runs back then.
It’s not that I don’t want to run, it’s just that I don’t feel like running with the extra 19 pounds on my frame, my racing heart, and my big boucing belly. So I’m hanging up my running shoes for the time being.
This makes me sad but I’m also trying to focus on the bright side of things. I was able to keep running into my second trimester and I’m now happily settling into long walks on the trail with my dog. Walking feels good and is easy and gives me a similar sense of enjoying the fresh air and outdoors minus the midsection turbulance.
I also started prenatal yoga, which is keeping me relaxed and focused on stretching, and I’m still enjoying almost daily bike rides around town. Cycling has been wonderful during this pregnancy because it’s been such a forgiving form of excercise for my growing body. I’ve noted this before, but I’ll just say it again: the fact that the bike supports my weight and my belly and my legs just do the work while I’m essentially sitting down has proven a very sustainable form of mobility for me. I bike to campus and home from work and I’ve been using my bike for increasing number of errands and trips around town now that the weather is nicer. I biked to my midwife appointment last Friday, my husband and I biked to dinner and the movie theater recently, and I’m now making plans of how to best bike to the nearby lake where I could spend the day reading and swimming once summer arrives.
Although I’m sad to say goodbye to my running habit for now, having cycling, walking, and yoga to keep me fit does ease the blow. And I’m already looking forward to that first race I’ll train for after the baby arrives, so this is just a temporary sabbatical.