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Getting My Groove Back

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running feetReading Emily Malone’s post on Being Pregnant “Accepting That I Am Not A Pregnant Runner.” really resonated with me. Not that I am anything close to a marathon runner, but it was nice to read that even marathon runners can’t always run when pregnant.

Let me back up. As a youth, I was not so athletic. Memories of being last picked in gym class are abundant, as well as nightmares of being pelted with a ball during Bombardment, a hideous game no one could pronounce, that surely is not allowed in schools today.

I’m proud to admit that as an adult, while I am certainly not good at any ‘sport’ per se, I am far more physically active and interested in fitness. I’ve been doing yoga for almost twenty years, and I have done a large amount of cardiovascular activity, including running at several different times in my life.

The last time I was seriously running (I mean serious for me, no marathon training or anything, just regular jogs several times a week), was when I was in between pregnancies. I started slowly with the couch to 5K plan and finally got my time up to the fastest I’ve ever run a 5K. (Still not fast enough to admit in a public forum). Regardless, I was really enjoying my running up until the time I got pregnant with Fuzz. It became a sort of meditation for me, and also, my only alone time all day. It was empowering.

I had some delusions that I would still be able to run through my pregnancy, or at least for part of it, if I slowed down a bit.

Well, that halted when at about six weeks pregnant I got so physically tired and ill that I was unable to make it 5 minutes without stopping. So, I curbed the running for the duration of my pregnancy, I was bummed, but I couldn’t WAIT to get started again afterwards.

Of course, I wanted to be physically well enough to start without injuring myself, and I had a c-section, so I waited until about 2 or 3 months post partum to begin.

I have to admit, even with the waiting, it’s been a lot rougher this time around. I’ve had a lot of false starts, and sometimes a week or two goes by without a run. I just can’t seem to go as fast or as long as I was going before.  Also, I don’t always get to run alone anymore. I now use the jogging stroller for most runs and only once a week do I get a solo run.

However, I think I just started getting into a groove and I finally finally got to 5K this week.
Am I depressed because my time is a whole lot slower than my fastest time only 20 months ago? Very much so.

But guess what? I’m confident I will improve by that time and it will get easier. Things could be worse. I think about the fact that I didn’t start running after my first pregnancy until Shnook was 10 months-old. Now Fuzz is almost 10 months and I did run 5K (even if a whole lot slower than before). So I’m going to keep plugging away, because the whole point of this running thing is that I like doing it. It’s not about weight loss (although this is a benefit), but more about feeling good about attaining a goal, and there is something to be said for that runner’s high. I’ve only experienced it a few times, but I hope it becomes a regular thing for me.

Did you run during your pregnancy? Have you been able to resume your exercise regimen post baby?

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jordanfischer/

Why I Hated My Pregnant Body (and how I came to love it!)

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