06 March 2014

{Running for Two} Part 2

Well this blog has been a long time coming.

I honestly believed that I would have done a lot more running by this point in my pregnancy, but apparently I have yet to understand that sometimes things just don't go according to plan.

At 22 weeks pregnant, I have run a total of five times since my Veteran's Day 11k run in November.

So what happened?

Well, the first 13 weeks of pregnancy were pure hell. I spent 90% of my day sick and fatigued. Any extra time I had, I slept and if I wasn't sleeping I was miserable  Each week I would lose more and  more weight from lack of appetite, and with no energy going in, there was no energy to be spent.

As my symptoms slowly began to even out at about 14 weeks and (with the help of Zofran) my appetite began to rise I thought for sure my running routine would pick up. However, this is when the excuses began; I was tired, I had no energy, it was too rainy outside, it was too cold, my leg hurt, I didn't have enough time, etc, etc, etc.

It wasn't until last week that I have finally confronted the real reason I have not been running, and the answer is simple; I hate my neighborhood (in regards to running). Since beginning this new sport of recreational running more than two years ago, I have always lived near trails of some sort. Running was easy and convenient. All I had to do was step out of my front door and get lost in the beauty of wooded river/creek trails. The paths were large enough for pushing a double jogger, peaceful, and went on for miles. The run always began and ended at my front door. I truly loved the ease and convenience of it all.

Since moving into our new forever home this past summer, I have discovered my neighborhood truly sucks for long distance running. Now that Kevin and I have opposing schedules, no longer do I have the option of bringing the kids with me; it is now a requirement, which is something I could handle if I had a trail. But there are no trails in my backyard. I am now forced to maneuver a jogging stroller on narrow suburban side walks. And let me tell you, not only is it annoying stopping every block to get the stroller on and off the curb, it is not easy making 90 degree turns with a fixed front wheel. If navigating narrow sidewalks with fixed front wheels on large double strollers isn't difficult enough throw in an entire neighborhood of hills and welcome to my hell.   My neighborhood is literally nothing but hills; if I an not going up one I am coming down one. That means if I am not struggling to push (at walking speeds) 90+lbs of stroller and kids ups hill,while trying to keep a conversation with my chatty 4 year old and dodging garbage cans lining the already narrow sidewalks; then I am sprinting downhill, while trying to to hold back 90+lbs of stroller and kids, dodging garbage cans on my way down and hoping my knees will not give way.

I truly love my home, and I truly love my neighborhood; but it is simply not running friendly.

So, now I am forced to drive. I must pack up the stroller and kids and drive 20 minutes to a trail that will allow this avid long distance runner a decent run. It has stopped being convenient, easy and fun and now it is work. So with this new work came excuses and I have somehow allowed 3 1/2 months to pass without running. I have turned to my elliptical as my means of exercise.

But last week I couldn't do it anymore. I have to accept that is my new normal. Driving is a must if I want to continue to run. I will never give up running, so I choose to drive. For the first time in 3 1/2 months I packed up the stroller and Kaydence and I drove to a local trail. I had a great run, I felt amazing, Kaydence actually napped for the first time in months, and all-in-all it wasn't that bad. I had made such a big deal out of something so small that I have sadly missed out on weeks of running. I have new energy and am excited to run again. At 21 weeks pregnant with a 3 month break, I ran 4 miles and it felt great. I had not pain, breathing was no more difficult and even pushing the stroller didn't seem any harder. I must admit I have slowed down quite a bit, but I knew something would give when running for two. So I accept my slower speed and embrace my extra weight. It feels good to be running again and I can't wait to kick it up a notch as I prepare for next weeks upcoming St. Patty's Day race.

More {Running for Two} segments are soon to come :-)

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