Tuesday, May 8, 2007

My loyal running buddy

The Bean and I are logging some miles together...

I won't say we're breaking any distance or speed records. We are getting a good share of stares as we lumber along heavily. I've long lost the lite spring in my step.

I think Bean has a good time when we're out in the evening. We try to avoid the hot hours of the day, we only go for 30 minutes on most days, maybe 40 if we get inspired or lost in thoughts.

Dr. H tells us that exercise for someone of pre-pregnancy marathon fitness like me, is perfectly safe into the third trimester...In fact he invites it.

Everything I have read so far assumes a direct correlation between better labor and good overall fitness. I'm encouraged by that...although sometimes I wonder if people who see me waddling down the road want to call me in for pre-natal abuse...shaken baby syndrome comes to mind...However, the fluid that surrounds Bean acts as the perfect buffer, keeping it all soft and smooth and full of stimuli for him.

The only things I have to watch out for are overheating, over-exertion, dehydration and damage I might do to my knees and hips since my ligaments are looser and I'm carrying around all that extra weight.

So we take it easy. We stop when we get to hot, and someday soon, we'll start walking on the inclines because I will be breathing too hard. I will consider swimming soon too. I have started to pick level running routes, preferably along several public bathrooms or construction site port-o-potties (my newest discovery during a recent run in full-bladder inflicted desperation.)

Easy used to be a frowned upon word in my vocabulary. I used to equate trying hard and tireless discipline with success. I have never been a fast runner. But I can be steady and go the distance.....or used to anyway. Now I think back to those precious moments when I would take inventory and everything would come back smooth and working...and I would suddenly be aware that I wasn't even breathing beyond my normal resting rate - those were sweet moments of gratification...all that discipline was paying off.

...now I breathe hard no matter what. It feels like a funnel is inserted in my lungs and sucks out about half of what I inhale to an unknown place...I feel like I'm trying to skip up Mount Everest. My pace has slowed to accommodate that - I'm running loops that used to take me 25 minutes in 32 or 33 minutes now....along with endurance my other main motivation for running - weight control and body image issues - have gone by the wayside.

At 124 lbs, I don't have much control over anything with exercise alone (although Dr. H keeps mentioning 130-135 lbs as the top-out weight). And body issue - well, without a waistline I wouldn't know what issues to start with.

I look bulbous any day, no more fat days, all my days are pregnant days.

Now me and The Bean head out for other reasons. I have to remind myself that this is bonding time, prayer time, thinking time, this is one thing I can do to work toward an easier time in labor. This will help me bounce back post-partum. I don't look smooth or fast, but I'm keeping up my strength. I still pack on the pounds, but with the right diet, the are the nourishing kinds of pounds.

And if nothing else, without fail, five times a week, I get my fair share of stares...as I hitch up my running shorts over my big belly and keep going...

1 comment:

maia said...

Well, I haven't read it all yet, but I look forward to some leisurely reading over the next few days! Your thoughts are lovely and honest - as always. And by the way you look fabulous and you can't have gained an ounce!

OX - MCL in CO