Monday, January 25, 2010

Like My Arm

Between peanut, my class, my contracting job, my OS&F column and (oh yeah) pregnancy, I am a useless lump by the end of the day. I don't even know why I am bothering to attempt to post. I've attempted to post something three times since my last post only to get sidetracked and abandon the draft. Not to mention who knows if this will be coherent if I finish it!

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.


jessica said...

If you could train the way you wanted with one baby, you can definitely still do it with two! Once we settled in, everything has seemed smoother with two. I guess there's no choice but to be regimental. But, how people manage 3, I have no idea!

Trisaratops said...

Ohhhhhhhhhhh sister do I know this all too well. Just explained to Bridget and Jen at yoga my recent 37 week meltdowns that OMGOMGOMGI'MGOINGTOHAVETWOKIDS!
I feel like I am afraid that I'll have time for everything--being a good mommy, teaching, and especially training. Trying to remind myself that it's all possible, just with a little wiggle room and a lot of help.

Hang in there--too bad I can't join you on the trails, but 9-10/min is my normal trail pace....maybe this spring? :)

Laura said...

Hang in there it's possible....I have a 1 year old and a two year old...that are barely a year apart...I'm not going to say it's easy...but if you want it you will find a way! I'm slowly realizing that it's ok to not be perfect and not feel what everyone thinks that you should feel all the time...(not easy for a fellow type A girl!).

Katie said...

You are making me wish that I knew of some trails to hit near Chicago! I've never really given trail running a chance (except for the annual Dances with Dirt Relay near Ann Arbor) but it sounds like just what I need.

I am hating running on the treadmill these days--being pregnant I hate seeing the slow pace and feeling like it's taking SO LONG just to run a reasonable distance. Running outside works--as long as it's not too icy or too cold (I'm wimpy these days) or too dark. Unfortunately, January in Chicago means it's usually two out of three of the above.

I am looking forward to getting back into marathon shape (I wasn't in marathon shape when I got pregnant) and fear of a really, really difficult road back to BQs is what keeps me exercising these days since I'm just not getting my normal enjoyment out of it. One of these weekends though I'll have to hunt out some trail running.

How is the class going?

DC Running Mama said...

I run with three moms of three that still find a way to make it work and fit in the running. If you want it to be a priority, it will be. This being won't be easy! I'm sure I'll feel the same way, though, if/when I get pregnant!