I just finished a draft of my second OS&F article and it's fitting the topic is trail running. Strangely, for the first time ever this winter I've been digging the trails. Every other winter the trails scared me. Besides being afraid I wouldn't be able to tell where they were with all the snow, when I could see them they looked like trampled down ice sheets. They just screamed injury to me. Plus, they'd be slow as hell. That's probably the real reason--I didn't have the patience to get in my miles at 9:00 plus pace (if not 10:00 plus) when I could do the same run under 8:00 pace on the roads. But now that I'm slow as hell anyway, what's there to lose? As long as they aren't dangerously slippery, just tough to slog through I'm good. And loving it!
It's weird. I feel like I can put out a more intense effort on the trails. My legs are still strong, it's my aerobic system that's really being taxed by the pregnancy. So, I can run close to the same pace I run on the roads and my legs work a lot harder, yet my heart rate feels about the same. It feels so good to work hard!
I've discussed this before, but I so miss real training this pregnancy. I long for the track, a tempo and fast-finish long run. The trail running is almost a fix. But I want to NEED an ice bath. I want to fall asleep at the dinner table, not because my body is producing a brand new human being, but because I ran so damn much (sorry for the salty language. I'm just in the mood, I guess). Don't get me wrong, I am so excited for #2. I guess that's why I'm bothering to write about this. The conflicted feeling is strange. I've been trying to channel it into getting psyched up about my next comeback. But then I worry I'm going to get disappointed when I can't train to the level I'd like with two babies. Yes, maybe that's it. I miss training because I'm afraid it's absence is permanent. And even if it is I can't really be mad about it because it's for a good reason. Such a good reason that I would never regret it's absence, but the absence would still leave a big part of me feeling pretty sad.
On that trail run, I met a really nice girl and we got to talking about how underappreciated athletics is in our country, particularly for women. We both agreed that athletics is a really important part of a healthy balanced life. I highly doubt I'd have to give up running completely. I think it's a permanent part of me, like my arm at this point. But I'm not sure the type-A in me could be satisfied with fitness level running and not athlete level running.
Oh, I'm being silly. Just because I'm afraid to get attached to the idea doesn't mean I have to brace for the opposite calamitous result. No, I can hope for the best and cross all bridges as I come to them. That seems much more sensible. And I like hanging onto the hope of one day running fast again.