I skipped my last post because I was out of the country for two weeks, and now I’m a week late – let’s say it’s due to jet lag.
I’m now about 15 weeks pregnant, and luckily that seems to be going just fine, but I can tell that I am slowing down. When I run, I’m doing more frequent, longer walking intervals, and trying to tell myself that wunning or ralking is still winning and rocking. But from here on out, when I say “run,” you can assume that involves an awful lot of walking. I feel like I’m doing some kind of C25K in reverse – 10k used to feel easy, but now I don’t even know if I could manage that distance. Hell, I’ve been doing so many intervals (in part to avoid overheating) that I don’t know if I can still manage 10 minutes straight. I assume the endgame is that I am going to have to stop running either when I get big enough that it’s not worth the effort, or when it gets icy enough that it’s not worth the risk.
Meanwhile, I am thankful that I managed a few beautiful runs while I was in Dublin and Oxford. This is the first time I have ever run during travel for work, so I was proud of myself for that. And running gave me an opportunity to enjoy and really soak up some unique sights that I otherwise would have overlooked or taken for granted.
The week before and after the trip, though, I was so stressed and swamped that I wasn’t able to manage my usual three-per-week, and I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that if you are really in it for the long haul, these things are going to happen – times of extra stress and busy-ness, travel, and pregnancy! I feel like I’m playing a dangerous game because the less I run now, the sooner I am going to have to give it up. But the fact is that there is more to life than running. There is more to life than weight control. And there are other ways to be active and healthy that I am soon going to have to embrace. The list includes my usual neglected upper body workout, which feels like a legit need because those muscles are really going to help if I end up with another c-section recovery. Walking, which I suppose I’m already incorporating. And swimming or aquafit, which I love, though the logistics of getting to the pool give me a headache. The long haul doesn’t mean run, run, run – it means active, active, active!
As for the food side of things, I am doing ok. I made reasonable decisions on my trip. Unfortunately, groceries and cooking have not been high on the priority list since I got back, and there’s been a time or two that I just haven’t had the mental energy to make good decisions. There’s also the occasional food aversion (bell peppers!) or second breakfast (hungry!). I suppose that this too is going to happen when you’re in it for the long haul.
But the important thing is not to give up or throw in the towel or pretend that my choices don’t matter. I think in my last pregnancy I got confused about the inevitability of weight gain. Last time, that inevitability became an excuse to eat ice cream on a daily basis, though on the plus side, I loved the fact that my big belly (which I always have, pregnant or not) was “normal” for once in my life. This time, I’ve definitely been feeling grouchy about weight gain, and I’m definitely in an awkward I-look-fat-not-pregnant stage. I think it’s time to accept the inevitable, but also to insist that some things are within my control – maybe not how much weight I gain, but what I eat on a day to day basis; maybe not how long I can run, but whether I stay active on a day to day basis. I have to trust that all those tiny choices will add up – because that’s how the long haul works anyway.