Back somewhere around the third month of my pregnancy, I reluctantly admitted to Gallowaying (which to me felt suspiciously like giving up), after the strain of constant running simply became too much. (Sidenote: for a lot of jerks who go into their pregnancy in better shape, this doesn’t happen. But I wasn’t what you’d call skinny even before I was knocked up, and didn’t really even have a decent base of mileage to carry me through. More about that later.)
I started out doing a 3:1 ratio of running to walking, and could carry on like that for 4-5 miles. After a while I went down to a 2:2, then a 1:3. Now I walk for four minutes followed by 10 or 20 seconds of jogging at a 15:00 pace. I imagine it’s a little what dying must feel like: the reverse of progress.
Last night, just for old time’s sake, I dragged out le Garmin (all juiced up with the new charger I had to buy after breaking the clip on the old one. Hmphmphmph) and went for a roughly 1:12 run-walk around my neighborhood.
Please humor me:
Oh, and it’s been so long since I’ve used the damn thing, I apparently forgot you have to shut it off when you’re done, which is why the last .8 took 2 hours and 16 minutes. I’m pathetic you guys, but not that pathetic.
I probably would have been fine to round it out at three miles, but since it gets dark in the middle of the afternoon now, I decided to call it quits. I feel so clumsy and vulnerable trudging around with this big pregnant belly; I’m a sitting duck for ankle-nipping dogs and violent degenerates.
I think a couple of things I did early in the pregnancy kind of hindered my ability to continue to run (better, faster, more, whatever) later on, but I think the biggest one was not having that base mileage.
I’m not going to tell you any of that “how pregnancy is like running a marathon” horseshit, but I will say that just like your base mileage carries you the last 6.2 miles of the marathon, it also stands to carry you through the toughest parts of running while pregnant: if you have to take a week or two off for debilitating nausea, you don’t lose everything.
In my case, I took a week or two off for debilitating nausea and lost everything. (And I just want to clarify that debilitating nausea does not necessarily equate to puking your brains out; I felt like death every day for three months and never threw up once.) I ran the hardest 15k of my life, followed by the hardest 12 miles of my life and then I threw in the towel and skipped my half marathon. By the time I was ready to pick it back up again, my ass gave me the z-snap and was like, “nuh-uh!”
Another thing: I gained weight. (NO DOY?) Yep, it happened. Remember how I joked a long time ago that as soon as I glanced at the positive pregnancy test, the button popped off my jeans? I was only exaggerating a little bit. I got thick, people. And it’s hard to run when you’re in a thick way. (I am glad to report that the weight gain has slowed significantly, and the diabolical pregnancy books say that I might not even gain any more weight at all! I’ll believe it when I see it.)
Last, I had fits and spurts of energy at all the wrong times. If you have a job that allows you flexibility in your schedule, congratulations. I THOUGHT I had that kind of job: during the interview process and first few weeks, my boss told me he was agreeable to lunchtime runs, coming in early so I could leave before dark, etc. But when I actually tried to put that into practice, yeah…not so much. So, like most people, the best part of my day was wasted at work. I feel like I could have been a lot more successful in my running if I’d had the freedom to head out for a mid-morning run a few days a week, instead of having to wait until I was tearfully exhausted–and famished–at the end of the day.
But, as they say, c’est la vie. Soon, operation Occupy Marie’s Uterus will be over, I’ll have an adorable BEBE FRIEND to play with, and all will be right with the world.