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Sunday, June 14, 2009

DNF

In all honesty, I don't know how to begin this post. In fact, I've written about 5 opening sentences, paused, then deleted each one -- none of them have felt like they strike the right opening chord. So, I figure I will just get straight to the point:

I've decided to stop running while pregnant.

It's a decision I've been wrestling with all week, and really if I'm being completely honest, a decision I have been slowly fighting for several weeks. My list of reasons to quit at this point is not necessarily long or particularly compelling, and it can probably be summed up in a few simple words: It has simply become too hard. Hard in the sense that I no longer look forward to it, and it has not been providing me with the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that it long has. Instead, it has begun to feel like a chore, something I dread. So, I know that it is has ceased to provide me with what I need, and usually gain, from running.

Admitting all of this to myself, and to you, is incredibly difficult, and deciding to quit at this point has flooded me with a complexity of emotions; this evening when I sat down to talk it over with Jerry, I literally found myself bawling about how guilty I felt about reaching such a decision. "Why?" he asked me.

"Because I feel like a quitter, like I couldn't finish a race. I feel like a failure."

"What kind of race do you think you're participating in?" he asked. "You're not competing with anyone but yourself, and you have run for 32 weeks of your pregnancy; you're the fittest preggo I know! You should feel proud of yourself for sticking with it as long as you have. There is nothing for you to feel bad about."

I know he's right, and I'm extremely thankful to have such a supportive husband, but I still feel the same mixture of emotions that DNFing a race has left me with in the past: frustrated and disappointed in myself, but also incredibly relieved.

"You're just choosing to take a sabbatical from running," Jerry told me. "In a few months, you'll be back at it. So, you're not quitting; you're just giving yourself a break."

So, I guess he said it best: I've decided to take a running sabbatical. I still plan on remaining active by continuing to walk regularly and keep up with my twice weekly pre-natal yoga, and no fears, I don't plan on taking a blogging sabbatical to go with the running sabbatical.

There. That's that. Just like I didn't know how to begin this post, I really don't know how to end it, and I'm feeling emotionally spent. I guess that means it's time for my book and then bed, and hopefully after a night's rest, I'll feel less conflicted about my decision. Nighty-night.

51 comments:

Ryan said...

When something stops becoming enjoyable, one should stop doing it for a period of time. I stopped enjoying being so sexy about 3 years ago, so I have taken some time off and grew myself a nice beer belly.

Seriously though, you aren't giving up running permanently you are just taking a 2 month break, maybe three if Norah requires you to get stitches....

It is upsetting to stop doing something you love, but if the negatives outweigh the positives a little break will do you good. Who knows, once you get within a week of having Norah, you might just strap your running shoes back on to get things moving!

MCM Mama said...

Don't feel guilty! You've run much longer into pregnancy than most people! Heck, with Jones, I stopped running almost immediately and just did the elliptical and stationary bike. With Shoo, I just chased Jones LOL. Your body is working hard right now and it's getting hot down in FL. I think you are making a really well thought out decision and you'll be back to running in no time.

Glad you will still be blogging!

N.D. said...

You did awesome, 32 weeks of running is FANTASTIC> Many people have to stop much earlier and you have done great. It is hard, because it is out of your control, but this is good to get used to NOW, since everything will be out of your control in 6 to 8 weeks! (but in a good way!) Crosstrain and find things that still feel good. Can you swim? Swimming was great towards the end, you feel weightless. I love the new profile pic - you look great.

d.a.r. said...

You have nothing to be ashamed of!! You have a baby in there, sucking up all of your energy, and I can't imagine that running is all that comfortable right now. Stay healthy and you will be back at it after Norah is born!

Heck, I don't think I could run non-pregnant in that FL heat! I tried in college and wanted to die all of the time!

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

Surely you didn't truly believe that you'd run right up to the day of delivery, did you?!?! You had to stop at some point.

It's quite remarkable, actually, that you ran as long as you did!

Turi said...

Yeah, there had to be a point at which you said enough was enough.. Cheers for sticking it out so long.

April & Geoff said...

I think it's awesome that you have run as long as you have! 32 weeks running while pregnant is awesome!! I hope you enjoy the rest of your pregnancy. You will be running again in no time!!

Mrs. K said...

listen that's your body telling you it's almost time for other things...no worries. Don't be so hard on yourself...you done good missy! what about walking? you still have Mr. Scooter!

Alison said...

Before I got pregnant I was extremely active. Unfortunately, due to some complications, I had to stop strenuous exercise around 7 weeks. It definitely hasn't been easy going the past 6 months without "real" workouts and I've gained more weight than I'd have liked, but I know that the most important thing is to keep me and the baby healthy. So trust your instincts! I definitely admire you (and am a jealous!) that you've kept running for so long, but it sounds like you're doing the right thing by stopping. You can start running again this fall with the jogging stroller!

AnthonyP said...

There is nothing wrong with the decision that you made. You have nothing to feel guilty about.

teacherwoman said...

Running has been such a huge part of your life. It only makes sense that this decision was a huge one, let alone very difficult. You are doing it for all the right reasons. Don't be hard on yourself. You will be back at in in a matter of months. Enjoy your sabbatical!

JojaJogger said...

Great job running as long as you did. Jerry was exactly right, do not use the "q" word to describe this well earned break. I'm sure Scooter will still be your walking buddy for the next couple of months.

ThinkerBelle said...

You are still going to be more active than 85% of the population! You aren't bedridden and you are still able to be extremely active. It's amazing you ran this long. I can't imagine it's been very comfortable lately. Right now you have to think of the little munchkin inside you. It's always been about him/her but you luckily had the upper hand. Now the munchkin is starting to get you ready for how you're going to be more flexible. You're going to bounce back as soon as you can. You have to stop being so he'd on yourself. Enjoy the last eight weeks!

ThinkerBelle said...

That was supposed to be "hard" on yourself. Not "he'd" :)

lifestudent said...

There are so many things coming in the next few weeks (including the dreaded final weeks where you feel like a tank and pee yourself spontaneously) that the last thing you should be doing is something that isnt making you happy. You'll be back at it, better than ever. And Norah needs her Mommy to be fit both physically AND mentally - take a break and wait for the fun to begin ;)

AKA Alice said...

I like the notion of "the running sabbatical." Good for Jerry!

I can't imagine you sitting around, eating bon-bons, and at 32 weeks suddenly becoming a blob... Try not to be too disappointed. It's a good decision because it's the right decision for you.

I'm so glad that you're going to keep blogging. I don't know if I could take losing two of my favorite bloggers in a month!

Mel said...

Smile! You are having a baby. It isn't a DNF to get tired toward the end. Take care of yourself and the little one and if you need a break...that is perfectly alright. Don't beat yourself up. There is no medal for running to the end of pregancy, however there is satisfaction in getting there healthy and happy. Listen to your heart it will never lead you wrong. You have been an incredible inspiration to run during pregnancy. Most people I know give up all together in the beginning. So hold your head high we are all proud of you no matter what.

J~Mom said...

32 weeks of running is amazing!! I think I walked three times when pregnant. LOL

Xenia said...

You have absolutely nothing to feel guilty about. You're taking care of yourself and Norah the best way you know how, so it's all good. Also, you have the best husband in the world. :)

Just focus on you and your little one. Running will be there for you when you're ready to come back. No worries.

Jamoosh said...

Knowing "when" to stop is what seperates the intelligentsia from people like me. Good for you. And with some time off, your passion will double after Norah is born.

Erin said...

You knew there was a time when you might have to back off running. I think you have done a tremendous job keeping it up while pregnant. You ran through sickness, rain, and humidity without any injuries. You are healthy and live a healthy lifestyle. Norah is going to thankyou for all these sacrifices. Taking a short break from running will make it more pleasurable when you strap your shoes back on in a few months with or without Norah in tow. The pleasure running gave you will return.

You aren't trading running for surfing channels and eating bon bons. You are just giving your body the extra time it needs to deliver Norah in a healthy state.

We are all proud of you and really hope that after a good night's sleep this decision doesn't feel like a DNF. (good night's sleep and pregnancy...there's a conflict of words)

RazZDoodle said...

1000% agree with everyone else. You're not quitting. You, Jerry and the rest of us won't allow it. Take the sabbatical. YOU'VE EARNED IT!

Debbi said...

You and Norah will get just as many benefits from walking as you would have from running, and you're reducing the chance of injury. Win-win! Bless Jerry for reframing your decision as a sabbatical, for that's exactly what it is.

I have a teensy pre-baby gift for you, if you could send me your address. "E" me at shrinkingknitter@citynet.net.

Oz Runner said...

sabbaticals are good and healthy...good for you...i don't know how you've kept running this long during your pregnancy...i would have switched to walking long ago...

Amy said...

DNF? I don't think so. More like, "I hit the finish line of my 10k and decided I didn't need a break, I'd just run a marathon."

You're awesome Jess!

Just so you know, you're what pops up when you google "running while pregnant" and you've been my one and only inspiration to keep pounding (and I seriously mean pounding) the pavement at 24 weeks.

No go eat some Oreos.

D10 said...

Jess, you definitely should not feel guilty about taking a break from running. Enjoy the last 8 weeks of your pregnancy. Your body will thank you for the extra downtime you are giving it. Walking Scooter will be jsut as enjoyable.

Plus, you need to make the right decisions for both you and the baby.

Marlene said...

Jerry is exactly right! I hope you're feeling better about this tough decision - you know what's right for you.

RunningLaur said...

Don't feel guilty one bit - you've done amazing things so far in your pregnacy. Both you and baby Nora will reap the benefits. You're making the right decision.

Wes said...

LOL... Jess, you have been incredible. I applaud both this decision and the timing. My sister ran a marathon six weeks after having her baby. You enjoy your taper!!! Da baby is coming. Nothing else matters!

Krissy said...

Ok I know EXACTLY how you feel! I stopped just over a month ago from running. I am 31 1/2 weeks preggers now & at the time when I made my decision running was not feeling right & it actually got me stressed out.

I have since been able to challenge myself very equally to my running exercises by replacing it with other things. To be honest I am having harder workouts than the running because it is a change in activity for me, new muscles being used and all that.

Keep yourself positive in knowing that your body can only do so much, you are building a baby in that belly! Not to mention you living in the summer heat of Florida which is no easy thing while pregnant!

It took me a good 2 weeks to feel right with my decision for my "running hiatus" but I know you will feel better as time passes.

Take care & don't stress over it :)

-Kristine

Betsy said...

I was a DNS (did not start) with regards to running while pregnant, so you kicked my butt.

Jerry is right that you are on a sabatical from running - you did not quit. You should also consider that right now, it's not that you're not running - you are cross training. And your cross training consists of using your body to grow a tiny human. And that is amazing.

kristen said...

Hey girl, don't feel bad about this. If it isn't working for you there is no shame in taking a break. You'll be back -- as a matter of fact, you'll probably come back stronger!

X-Country2 said...

You've been my pregnancy role model from the first day you announced you were having a baby, and 32 weeks of running is a great accomplishment. I only hope I make it 32 weeks when I'm pregnant some day. :o)

sRod said...

Don't label a post DNF while you're pregnant! I was really worried until I got to paragraph two.

No reason to feel bad about hitting pause on the running. You're about eight months in. You don't want to go into labor while running around the 'hood, do you?

Run For Life said...

I agree with everyone else. You've definitely been an inspiration for other women to be active while they're pregnant! You're listening to your body and that's what you need to do in order for both you and Norah to be the healthiest you can. So for now, enjoy your walks and yoga but don't look at it as giving up because it's anything BUT that!

Lily on the Road said...

Oh Sweetpea, you are NOT quitting, and *Jerry is just so correct, you ARE the fittest preggo I've ever (virtually) met.

Time now to walk, take the Scootermister with you, or go swimming, catch up on your sleep (you'll need it when Nora arrives) and revel in the fact you ran for an entire eight months with Nora on board and you should be so VERY PROUD OF YOURSELF!

Just don't stop blogging! ;)

* way to go Jerry, very well put

Adam said...

I can't believe that you've continued to run in the heat preggers or not! Kuddos for sticking it out this long.

Jennifer said...

When I got pregnant I took 9 months off running so you did sooooo much better than I did. I hope wiht my next pregnancy to make it as long as you did.

Enjoy yourself and get ready for the baby to come.

Heather said...

I agree with Jerry. One of the great things that running teaches us is how to listen to our bodies. Listening to yours right now telling you to take a break from running is the best thing. You have done an awesome job of running and have nothing to feel guilty for - any other pregger out there would be completely inspired by you.

kelsalynn said...

Oh MY GOSH!! Are you kidding me? Don't feel bad!! Don't beat yourself up! Stop it right now... instead, stop, and be SO PROUD OF YOURSELF for listening to your body and knowing to stop when necessary. You have run for so much longer than a lot of people are capable of. You are AMAZING- running or not! By golly, you're FRICKEN PREGGERS and you could pop at any time realistically. Take care of yourself whether that means running or sitting or walking.

Jess, you are an inspiration to me and I only hope that when I'm pregnant, I'm at smart and body-conscious as you.
Oh, but just b/c you're not running, doesn't mean you're exempt from BLOGGING! :)

Amanda said...

I am with Jerry on this one, no way are you quitting...just taking an extremely well deserved break. Once baby Norah is here and you're feeling better, I'm sure you'll be excited and looking forward to adding running back to your life. I commend you for how much you have run thus far!

Carolina John said...

it's ok, jess. You'll be back in the miles by labor day. it will feel better, and you'll feel repurposed with running. Sometimes taking a new approach is a nice thing.

TNTcoach Ken said...

You lasted longer than I thought you should have. There is always tomorrow, so get that jogging stroller ready!

Marcy said...

Dang girl you kept at it longer than most people. It's not like you're leaving forever :-) Plus once that kid starts walking you'll MORE than make up for it ;-) Everything balances out in the end.

Caroline said...

I did the same thing, but much, much earlier in my pregnancies. I had read about high body temp possibly being bad for the baby and just couldn't risk it, even though there is compelling evidence that it's okay.

Anyhow, my point was going to be that I ended up back to it just a few months after having c-sections, and so I'm sure you'll be back in no time being way fitter than I was.

I like the idea of it being a sabattical, and now you'll have something to look forward to for yourself when you'll be so focused on being a new mommy.

You're such an inspiration, so please don't feel like you've let yourself down. The amazing thing about running, is how it's always there for you, no matter what. It'll still be there for you :)

aron said...

oh girl, i think you are amazing!! running until 32 weeks pregnant is NOT an easy task and it sounds like this is the perfect decision for you. we all have zero doubt that you will be back out there running as soon as you can after norah arrives. definitely just a break, and a VERY deserved one.

AmyAnne said...

Hey you are rocking it! And who said walking and yoga is giving up? Anyway, I stopped running about 32 weeks also and what I found happened was when I went out for my walks I found myself running "just a little bit" here and there mostly to see people's eyes bulge as they saw me wadle-jogging by.
No beating up on self allowed.

Viper said...

I know I'm a bit late to the party here, but ...

Just think of all the fun you'll have when you finally pop! A return to drinking AND running. And don't think of it as a DNF. It's a DNB. Cheers!

Stuart said...

Sounds like you picked just the right time to stop; when it's a chore, you'll be back for sure!

Agate Lake Girl said...

That's 32 weeks longer than I ran. :) Enjoy your sabbatical - you deserve it.

Clare said...

ok, i know this is WAY late and you've had the baby...but i just found your blog. i ran through most of my pregnancy too and had the same conflicted feelings toward the end. i COULD run more, i just didn't want to. i WANTED to want to though! post partum running has been better...although i don't WANT to run the distances i used to, so there's guilt there too. but a good post to read, even after the fact for me!