Wednesday, June 04, 2008


Several people have asked me if it's hard for me to be unable to run as fast as I was before. If I would have thought about that before I got pregnant I would have expected a forced slow down to suck. But really, it doesn't at all. In fact, I hardly notice. I am not running workouts or anything and my easy pace is not too far off now that I'm in the swing of pregnancy running. I did run a race, but I never expected to race it. I guess running while pregnant isn't hard. No, it's just different. And mostly in a good way.

It's great to not have the pressure to improve. I think for a while there I was improving so much so quickly, that I just began to expect that kind of curve all the time. It was hard to take down time or just run for fun. Now, that's all I do. Every run is fun. I can run with almost any of my friends--some of them I can only tag along for recovery runs, but others are happy to lope along at my 9 minute miles-ish pace any day. I can run with friends on any run. I don't have a rigid training schedule to work around. I can chat and take a break if I need to. It's nice. And I enjoy running in a way I didn't for a while there. I appreciate it so much more and don't take it for granted. Taking my sweet old time and having fun and still coming in 8th in my age group at that huge race really made me realize how lucky I am to be in good shape and to just be able to hit the trails with peanut and feel good doing it (most days). When I started running again back on August 1, 2004 (yes, I remember the exact day!) I would be thrilled to be able to run two miles straight without hurting for a week! So, really this change in circumstance really puts it all in perpective. As much as I love running and do take it seriously, the point is to be happy and healthy and everything beyond that is gravy. Gotta remember not to get greedy with that gravy!*

What isn't so great is that I feel like a heifer. Heh. Sadly, I've gained 15 lbs since I've become pregnant and I had already gained 8 from my last marathon to that point. So, I weigh a whole heck of a lot! It is mostly belly, but I definitely have a layer everywhere that I didn't have before. My arms bug me the most. I used to have great arm definition and now, not so much. *Sigh* I think I might have to be a bit more careful about how much I'm eating. I want to gain enough to be healthy, but just enough. I don't want to have to lose 50+ pounds! At the same time, I am active and I don't eat that bad if you ignore the ice cream habit I've recently acquired. And I'm craving saurkraut and pepper jack cheese and horseradish mustard. Gravy is not on my craving list. Maybe I could afford to be a little more strict with the diet. But, part of me says this is not the time in my life to worry about gaining weight. Maybe I should just let things happen naturally, let my body dictate what I need to do, and I'll be fine?

Anyway, I've been really running up a storm. Today will be my 8th day in a row and all of my runs have been at least 5 miles. I had a midwife appointment today (got to hear that glorious peanut heart beat again--go peanut!) and got the green light to keep on truckin.' So peanut and I will continue to have fun out there while we can!

*Which reminds me of a story my grandpa tells about his navy days. On a dare he drank an entire pitcher of beef gravy in one sitting. Now THAT's a bit greedy with the gravy! Yuck!


kenyarunb said...

What a great update on running with Peanut :) I am so happy to hear that you are feeling much more energized these days - it has to feel good to get out there and just enjoy running for the simple sake of running.

e-hugs to you and Peanut!


CJ said...

I know I am always happy to lope along with you at a 9 minute mile pace! I just hope I can still run with you after Peanut is born:)

I think it's probably natural to feel like a heifer when you're pregnant, but it's only temporary, and if it's any consolation, you don't look the slightest bit heiferish....just super-fit and expecting!

Adeel said...

After my first marathon, I drank about a cup of gravy on a dare to ingratiate myself to friends who had come out to cheer.

Enjoy the running, don't stress.

GP said...

I don't have anything useful to say, but it always makes me smile when I read that you're enjoying running again.

And I think that your writing about running with Peanut will act as great inspiration to future Peanut-runners. There seems to be a notion, as you've mentioned, that pregnancy limits you to couches, soaps and bon-bons. No matter how many articles Runner's World publishes to the contrary, it resonates better coming from a real runner and a real person.

But time for my bad joke of the day: I think when you and Peanut rock a race like you did last week, you should enter under both your names.

What would that be?

Salty Peanut. (Ba-doom, chi! I'll be here all week!)