Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

As much as I try to cherish a moment, I try not to live in the past. I can’t question every decision I make. I can’t over think and over analyze every bit of my life. But, there’s always little things that pop out at me every day. And I wonder “what if?” Or I think “maybe I shouldn’t have?”

Well, today’s biggest “maybe I shouldn’t have done that” is running. It pains me to say this, especially because I actually felt good running this morning (as brief as my 1.5 mile “run” on the treadmill was), but as the day has progressed I have regretted it more and more. The combination of Braxton Hicks contractions (which are pretty much second nature to me at this point, but are increasingly prevalent today) and round ligament pain is making me think that my running days are (temporarily) over. It seems wrong that I could run this morning, but I have a hard time walking down the hallway to the bathroom this afternoon. That’s not right, is it? I haven’t been wearing a support band – but I wonder how much that will really help. No, I’m thinking that this is the end of the road.

A big part of me is worried. I’m worried that postpartum Michelle won’t want to run again. That I won’t remember the highs and the joys associated with this form of torture I’ve grown to love. I’m worried about rebuilding my base and my endurance. I’m worried that I will get frustrated because I won’t have as much time to run, that I will give in and give up too easily. Basically, I worry too much.

At the same time, I’m feeling ready to stop. I’m not going to lie, running at this stage is hard. It’s hard on my joints. It’s hard feeling like an 80 year old with a hip replacement. It’s hard having to pee every 2 minutes. But it’s also hard not pushing myself. It’s hard to take it easy. I see people running fast and I want to keep up with them.

But how do you breaking up with something you love? How do you say goodbye (even for a short time) to something you’ve been consumed with for 3 years?  How do you say – I’ll be back and really mean it? I know, I have all of these race plans, but how do I pick up where I left off? Will I still be a runner? Am I going to have to start over completely? You don’t really think about the progress you’ve made until you have to do it all over again.

It’s also hard to write a running blog when you’re not talking about running. There’s always dreams and goals to consume my posts (and do I have some lofty goals!), and I know I’ve said that this blog is so much more than just about running, but it’s still why I started it in the first place.

I guess what I’m saying is… this is way harder than I thought it would be. You know that feeling when you see someone running and think, “I would give anything to be that person right now!” (even when it’s 95 degrees outside with 120% humidity and you simultaneously think “Why the f*ck is that person running outside??”). That’s how I feel times a million and I never expected it – not about something so temporary. I mean, what’s a few months? Apparently to this runner it’s a lot longer than she expected.

Bear with me. It’s going to be a long 4 (+) months.

Comments

  1. Meg M. says

    I totally empathize. I stopped running at 24 weeks and had always hoped to “make it” further in pregnancy, and while I didn’t know that run was going to be my last when I headed out, I certainly knew when I was 2 miles out and limping along from awful hip/back pain. It was no longer enjoyable and no longer good for me and my body. It doesn’t make it any easier though and whenever I see someone running around here I always wish I could still be doing it.

    I have no doubt you’ll want to run again, and you’ll figure out the post-partum schedule, it will all work out. :) (That’s what I tell myself too!) Running is something you love, you won’t just forget that in 4-5 months. :)

    • says

      I know you are right there with me! Isn’t it especially horrible right now because the weather is so nice and there are gazillion people running??

      You’re right – running is something you love and you can’t forget that love. And we will figure out how to make it work this summer!

    • says

      Thank you – and yes, I am going to concentrate my efforts elsewhere and I really do how I am rejuvenated. If anything – I appreciate not running with a small baby inside of me! How quickly you forget what that feels like.

  2. says

    Right there with ya. I have those exact same fears. It makes me want to cry to see people running at the gym. I think to myself, I used to make it look easy like that, will I ever be there again? Will I be able to reach even my own PRs? Then there is the issue of time. What mom doesn’t worry about time after a baby?

    And about the running blog, I was just thinking today. I wish I had something to write about that was inspiring rather than my pregnancy all of the time. But what more is there at this point? This is our lives, we’re creating life. It’s important that we dedicate everything we have to making these little babies perfect!

    We will run again, it might take time. I’ve seen moms snap back and I’ve seen them take a little time. It’s terrifying but we can do this. If we can bring life into this world we can run again! I think what will be the hardest for me is those first few weeks after he’s born, when I’m feeling down about my body but I’m still healing and can’t really do much of anything. Like I said though, we can do this!
    Carissa Dukes recently posted..T-Rex Arms

    • says

      Yes to watching the people running with such “ease.” Meanwhile, they are probably hating life or just wishing the run was over — lol!

      It really is for the best and you’re right — we need to focus on these babies. I will say that during those first few weeks with my first two babies the LAST thing on my mind was my body – except for my boobs! It’s amazing how much these little people consume you but also motivate you at the same time. And yep – we CAN do this!

  3. Kelly @ Runmarun says

    Ahhhhh! First, great job this morning! Second, it is SO hard to stop running while preggo. I stopped at 30 weeks with my first pregnancy and felt like a failure, this after lots of little shooting pains and my doc telling me I needed to stop to avoid early contractions.

    I think runners naturally push themselves so stopping cold turkey is very odd. I treadmill walked for the remaining 12 weeks I was pregnant and pushed myself that way. It was still hard and challenging, especially the bigger I got, and I ran postpartum for the first time at 3 weeks…it sucked but I felt so good afterwards! And slooooowly I got back to where I enjoyed it.

    You will definitely get back to running!

    Hope I didn’t sound like a know-it-all, just giving my experience in the hopes of offering a little comfort. :)
    Kelly @ Runmarun recently posted..Sampling Spring

    • says

      Oh, definitely NOT a know-it-all at all! It’s weird because I started running AFTER I had my first two babies so this whole running through pregnancy thing is a new experience for me!

      And YES that is exactly what runners do – we push ourselves (because when are we are *ever* fast enough or completely satisfied??) and this end is coming very abruptly!

      Thank you for your insight – it’s definitely helpful and giving me hope that I won’t loose the love :)

  4. M says

    You’ll get there. Do what is best for your body now. Even if you have to start over from scratch, will that matter two years from now? You’ll get back to where you were if you don’t worry too much about the larger scheme of things. Just focus on each individual day, post about your running accomplishments, and you’ll be back in no time.

    • says

      You’re so right — is this going to matter in 2 years?? Nope. It’s just easy to focus in on the little things sometimes, but really? It’s not life altering the long run. Just temporary!

  5. says

    First thing I thought of is “distance makes the heart grow fonder”. You will never give up on running. Even if it is just 1 time a week that you’re able to run once the baby gets here. Running is your thing. :)
    Ara recently posted..My BMI & Body Fat

  6. Nadia says

    I’m 5 months post-partum today, in fact, and faster than ever. I say that now because I felt exactly like you did a few months ago. I had only recently started running and liking it, and then I found out I was pregnant with my little man. First baby, new runner – basically I had no idea what was going on at any given moment. I continued to run (safely, with the blessing of my doc, etc.) but I “only” made it to 20 weeks. And I was MAD. Also irrational, but that comes with the territory of a) being a runner and b) being pregnant. I went from 7.0 on the treadmill to walking at 4.0, then 3.8, then 3.5, until the very end, when I could barely muster up 2 miles at 2.5 speed (true story – I felt like a great, lumbering dinosaur). Anyway, I tell you all this because I thought it was totally hopeless, I would never run again, I was resigned to a life of mom jeans, The End. And then I had to have a c-section, which hurt my recovery running plans even more. But here’s the thing: Those 6 weeks I had to wait after the little guy was born (full-term, healthy, happy, thank goodness), I was never more excited about getting to run again. And that first run, man, it was the slowest, jiggliest, most awful-looking run of my life. Also the best run of my life. And now I have a new found respect for what my body can do, and it makes me a better person and a better runner. You’ll be just fine. I know it’s easy to feel like that’s just lip service, but seriously. You are a runner. That doesn’t go away just because you have to put your runs on the shelf for what will be but a blip in your timeline. Best of luck for a healthy and happy rest of your pregnancy, and the exciting arrival of your new little one!

  7. says

    I quit running when I found out I was pregnant last January but that was mostly because I was just totally burned out from the sport anyway. Now that I’m a full year past putting running on the shelf, I’m THRILLED to get back to it, but I have a much less competitive view toward it. I used to stick to a plan but now I just run because I love feeling the breeze and getting a little bit sweaty.

    I think the break made me a better runner.
    Katy Widrick recently posted..Chasing Her Dream: bama+ry

    • says

      I hope the break makes me a better runner too! If anything it will give me an appreciation for being ABLE to run – although I do think my absence from it will make me feel even more competitive about running. Maybe that’s a good thing though? Gives me the push I’ve been missing for the past few months. Eh, guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.

  8. says

    I feel like I could have written this myself. It was so hard to decide to give up running for the rest of my pregnancy, especially when I felt great WHILE running. But being so sore after running, even after a short, easy run, and so early on in my pregnancy, made me realize it just wasn’t in my best interest to keep pushing myself.

    I’m sure that you’ll get back into it when you’re ready. Maybe you’re goals will change, maybe not, but you’ll find your new running normal and will find your stride. (This is what I keep telling myself!)
    Jen recently posted..Things that surprised me about pregnancy – the first 20 weeks

  9. says

    I was instructed to stop running as soon as I was pregnant and I had a tough time with it on many levels. Not only do I love to run and race, but my running motivates all my other exercise, mainly weights/cross training. And I have barely blogged because my blog is a running and lifestyle blog but again, mostly motivated by running. I just remind myself that I can take a break for this wonderful cause. And I know that after the envy when I see people running when I’m in the car will turn into more races for me when my body is ready!
    Michelle recently posted..Photo shoot with Jill

    • says

      Oh man, that is a huge shift! I guess at least I’ve had that gradual (kinda) shift from “I can still run” to “OMG I can’t do this anymore.” I hope that you do get back to blogging – running or not!

  10. says

    Right there with ya, friend. I’m worried that post-marathon training/injury Melissa won’t run again either. I guess you just have to trust your body to do what’s right for you, but I have a feeling you won’t be out of the game for long. :)
    Melissa recently posted..I’m Not a Runner Anymore

    • says

      Sometimes it’s hard to trust your body though! Argh. I think we will both run again, and run fast! I think we are both still runners. Just runners currently in hibernation :)

  11. says

    I’m sorry Michelle. I know how hard it is to give up something that is such a huge part of yourself…even if it is for the best. The only thing I can compare it to is having to stop running because of an injury (though I’d say pregnancy is a much more positive reason!). You know your body needs it, but it can be so hard to let go…and you wonder if you’ll ever get your speed/endurance/drive back. All I can say is – sometimes a break is good for your body AND your soul. I bet you’re going to come back stronger and more driven than ever! Hang in there!!
    Lauren recently posted..Recap, Run, Read, Repeat

    • says

      I definitely agree that pregnancy is a positive reason to give up running – and it’s funny because I DIDN’T go into this pregnancy expecting to run the whole time – so I don’t know WHAT my problem is!

      I do appreciate your posts that you’ve written about running and injury and recovering from injury. Thank you for being HONEST about much it sucks to not be able to do what you love AND how much it sucks to bounce back. BUT, there is bouncing back and that gives me hope!

  12. says

    Honestly, I’m impressed you made it this far. No WAY would I have made it that far. I would have been afraid that little midget might just get ideas and slip on out sooner than necessary. (Both my kiddos flirted with escaping early, and Addie her arrival would keep me from being upright the last 6 weeks of pregnancy.) I think it’s wise you are listening to your body and stopping now. And look at it this way, I’ll be back there in the back of the pack keeping you company in Chicago. ;)
    Tara @ texasrunnergirl.com recently posted..Race Recap: My second marathon, Chevron Houston Marathon

    • says

      There’s no way I would have made it this far with Braeden or Livie – but this time around I was surprised that I was STILL running at 24 weeks! It’s funny 2 weeks can change you though. Of course, neither of mine have wanted to come out on their own – so early labor has never been an issue for me! Lol.

      I definitely think it’s good for my body to stop – I just wish my brain agreed :(

  13. says

    I read your blog and truly enjoy reading it because you are so truthful and real! I have never been pregnant but I hope to be one day and I always wonder if I can keep running. I have read a lot of other blogs where the girls are beast, they are pregnant and work out everyday with what seems like ease. I am NOT pregnant and I have a tough time going to the gym some days so I always figured I would be a hopeless case when it came to working out while pregnant. Your blog has changed that and made me realize that it is not always easy and roses, it can be hard but you listen to your body and do what is best for it. I think it is awesome that you are able to say “yep we are done for now” I know it is difficult but it is real and that is why I love Crazy Running Legs! Thank you!
    Melissa recently posted..My Running Cry

    • says

      This is possibly the sweetest comment ever! Thank you!!

      There is never single day where I work out with ease – but there ARE days that I’m more excited about working out (and feel better afterwards). Those are the days that keep me going back for more!

      That said, I do think listening to my body is most important and right now it’s saying “Do other stuff!”

  14. says

    First off, you’re an incredible runner! I mean…hello! You just ran a half marathon while pregnant! Part of being an incredible runner is being a smart runner. You’re being smart and listening to your body so you can have a healthy pregnancy and a long term relationship with running! THAT makes you an incredible runner in my book.

    And second, do not be silly! You will not forget the high of running. You are so immersed in the fitness world, that you will have that baby and want to be back enjoying those highs that you’ve experienced and that you read about on other people’s blogs. You will work hard for it and you will earn it and you will cross the finish line of your next race feeling prouder than ever! I’m sure of it, sister! :)

    Sending lots of positive thoughts your way for the next 4 months! I hope they go by quick and you are able to enjoy the rest period!
    Ashley@cupcakesncrunches recently posted..Sunshine Award

    • says

      Man, I hope they go fast too – but not too fast! ha ha.

      And you are so right — I worked hard for it before and if anything that’s going to make me work even HARDER when I come back. Sometimes I just need a reality check.

      Thanks so much for the kind words and support!

  15. Jen says

    You’ve done awesome for running as far along as you are! You are being so smart to listen to your body. I’m pretty sure the old Michelle will eventually return and will love being tortured on runs again :)
    Jen recently posted..To the beginner

  16. jen says

    I feel ya. Im on a brief running hiatus due to a wonderful sinus infection. I feel kinda lost and very sad because ive been runnin in the zone lately and i hope i can get back to that im scared its gone. It shouldnt be but anyway i understand. I also had the same thing happen after my first pregnancy.

    Good luck momma and youll get back into it because its important to you

  17. says

    Awwww I totally feel for you in this post. I stopped running about 1/2 way through my pregnancy because it did not feel good. By that point I was no longer a runner like I had been in the past, but it’s funny how much you want to do something when you know you can’t/shouldn’t. ;-)

    It sounds like you are feeling great in general so maybe you can use this as a time to focus on different workouts like cross training or strength training and even just enjoying some down time with walks. I know…easier said than done….but I did really start to love walking towards the end of my pregnancy!!
    Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength recently posted..Generosity

    • says

      You always want what you can’t have, right??

      I am definitely concentrating on other aspects of fitness. I usually quit strength training halfway through and this time I’m committed to “squatting till the end.” Lol. I plan on doing a lot more spin and trying to finds ways to avoid the elliptical (I would definitely rather walk!).

  18. says

    Everything in moderation, right? There’s lots of healthy exercises that can keep you in shape without feeling miserable or feeling like a 80yo lady :) You are growing a baby, mothering two, and working. You are doing wonderful!!
    Christy recently posted..Counting blessings

    • says

      Yes, definitely everything in moderation! I have been phasing out the running, but it was a little bit of a reality check to admit that I’m done until my 6 week postpartum check up. I really do feel lucky that I’ve been able to run this long!

  19. says

    You’ll be back! I know you will! You are very smart to listen to your body and stop running until after your pregnancy if that is what you think is best for you and your baby. You will have those familar challenges once you start back, but you’ll just take it one day and one run at a time.

  20. says

    I feel for you! I’m at 24 weeks and the past 2 runs I’ve done have given me bad cramps in my lower abs. I really don’t want this to be it, but it might be the end for now. But we’ll get back out there!

    • says

      Yes – the cramps in the lower abs and then the pelvic pain after did me in :( We will most definitely get back out there. Even if it’s in the middle of the summer – lol!

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