Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Pregnant Pause

Not a goodbye; simply a see you later.

Still battling the day-long nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, I long to be out running again.  I see runners dart past my house, and I mentally cheer them on, wishing that I could jump in alongside them. However, this is a time of pause for me.  There is no way my unstable stomach could handle the constant jostling of a run; some days, I can barely manage a speed walk to the bathroom!

I expect this miserable state of pregnancy to end in early December, which is, admittedly, a terrible time for me to restart a running program.  I'm also unsure how my body will respond to running after so many weeks on the sidelines.  But I hope I take the chance to try.  Running does wonders for my mental health and gives me a sense of identity, which I sincerely miss.  I know I am still a runner, but my body and my brain ache to prove that by hitting the road again.

In the meantime, this blog may lie silent for a while.  I've meant to post so many times over the past few weeks, but my energy level is low, and it seems a bit pointless to post in a running blog when not running.  I'll be back, I promise.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Because I am a Mother Runner...

Because I am a mother runner, I can survive early pregnancy all-day sickness (anyone who says that morning sickness is restricted to pre-noon hours is lying).  As with my other pregnancies, morning sickness kicked in at exactly 6 weeks, and if history repeats itself, it will last until 16 weeks.  So I will survive the next 10 weeks using all the skills I've acquired as a mother runner:

1.  Break the day up into manageable pieces.  On a long run, I break the distance down into non-threatening increments.  A mile sounds easy, so I just run a mile.  And then another.  And then another...But each mile feels manageable because it's only a mile.  Likewise, I break up my long days of nausea into micro pieces that I can handle: fix one snack, read one story, assemble one puzzle...

2.  Remember to breathe.  A deep, cleansing breath can work wonders to clear my head, both during a run and in my daily life as a pregnant mama.

3.  Focus on this moment; do not think about what comes next.  This goes hand-in-hand with #1 above.  I start to feel overwhelmed on a run if I think about the whole distance, but I can handle it if I stay in the moment, stay in the current mile.  Similarly, I focus on one task at a time to make it through these difficult days.  At 11:00am, the thought of surviving until my husband gets home at 5:30 seems impossible, but if I stay in the moment, I can survive 10 minutes at a time.  Before I know it, he's home and I can clock out for a while.

4.  Just pray.  When a run feels tough or unfinishable, I start stringing together some Our Fathers or Hail Marys.  The repetitive prayers help break the I-can't-do-this thought pattern and bring me a sense of peace.

Though I wish I was out on the roads running, I know that my body can't handle it right now.  I'm comforted knowing that I'm still putting my mother runner skills to use - just off the road.  I'll get back to running, but in the meantime I'll keep honing my survival skills.

Just like Gloria Gaynor, I will survive.