Monday, June 23, 2008

Lost in Translation

I'm sure you've all heard the notion of listening to your body. It sounds like such a great concept: "I con't overdo it as long as I just listen to the ol' bod! My own body won't let me down!" Here's the thing. That only works if you understand your body's language.

I think I spent much of the last couple of years learning how to tell my body to shut up. I mean, part of marathon training is learning to toughen up. Sure, there's an element of balance to good marathon training: know when to tell the body to shut up and when to let the body shut you off. As a beginning runner, I definitely needed to focuse primarily on the former and I think I got quite good at it. I still have some work to do, but I am definitely much tougher than when I started.

Now I'm pregnant and my body is doing bizarre things it's never done before. I mean, everything is different. Every week brings on new feelings. At first there was the weird breathlessness when I ran and then I felt like all my organs were moving around and then my ab muscles permanently slackened and then I all of a sudden I wanted to vomit all the time. That pretty much sums up the first 6 weeks of pregnancy. The next 6 weeks were putting on weight and the continuation of wanting to vomit. And now, things are different again. My belly is rounding out while the rest of my body has debloated a bit. I feel pressure in my belly button. My skin is itchy all the time. My boobs are relatively huge. As of very recently, I can feel the swishy swirly movements of peanut swimming around at night. This is all very concrete stuff.

But sometime last week I started to feel what felt like the occasional uterine cramp. Before that I was ungodly tired and my stomach was all wonky. I just didn't feel right. I blew it off. I thought it was nothing--just the changing landscape of the pregnant body. But then finally my body broke through and put my fingers on the phone. I called my midwife's office just to tell them about the crampy feeling. I thought they'd just tell me it was normal and reassure me. Instead, they told me to come in right away. It turned out to not be an infection or anything and peanut is fine. However, my midwife feels confident it was my body's way of telling me to take it down a notch. I ran two races in one week--one very hot week. Drink more gatorade and take a day off or two here or there. Maybe lay off the races, pregnant lady!

My midwife did say to keep running, just be better about listening to my body. I've been listening this whole time, I swear. I just didn't know what it was trying to tell me. I'm working on finding a pregnant body to english dictionary, don't worry.


TrainingtoTri said...

So glad to hear that it was nothing major, how scary. Give the peanut at pat from me.

katesun said...

i really cut my miles down with my first and only raced twice. With this one I am a little more aggressive but I feel more confident. I hope I didnt encourage you to much . I feel bad. Just do what you can. I am thinking about coming home and doing the Dublin 4 miles in columbus . but we will see

The Salty One said...

Peanut and I are totally fine! It was just too much to do TWO races in one week that was particularly hot and the continuing to push on after I felt bad after all that. I'm learning as I go and I just learned a new limit is all.

I am like a see-saw: one week I'm petrified to leave the house let alone run and the next I'm running 40 miles in the hot sun! Kate-you helped me with the first part now I have to help myself figure out that second part.

Joseph P. Wood said...

My damn computer erased a whole message. The gist: patience is being cultivated and that is good.

CJ said...

Oh my gosh- I'm sorry! I shouldn't have said anything about the second race. I feel really bad now. I hope everything is okay!

Meghan said...

I'm glad to hear all is well.

The thing is, even as non-pregnant people, sometimes we listen to our bodies but we just can't make out what they are saying. Takes a bit to figure it out. Super common, so perhaps this is also normal in the pregnant world?

In one of my women's health classes in college, the prof used to say something like, "Millions of years ago early humans managed to carry bellies, birth infants, and raise babies in primitive environments. This tells you that being pregnant is not a delicate condition, rather a robust one." You pregnant women are tough cookies.

Be well!

kenyarunb said...

Salty - I want to hug you and Peanut! I am so glad that you are both okay :)

I think - as women and as marathon runners - we underestimate our pain/weird body sensations threshold. You are far tougher than you realize, but it sounds like you know exactly when to listen when little Peanut speaks up.(I really do hope you write that dictionary!)

By the way, thank you a million times over for all of your support and encouragement . . . and tell Mr. P that I cannot wait to meet him in the fall!


Miss Adventurous said...

Yeah, Pregnant Lady, cut down on the races there! I'm glad you and P are okay too. I love you both very much. :)