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Monday, June 15, 2009

Sob Story

Thank you so much for all the thoughtful and supportive comments for the previous post; I truly appreciate all the encouragement.

I think it's still gonna take me a few days though to come to terms with my frustration and disappointment, but that's just something I'm working through on my own. It may seem silly to spend time feeling guilty and upset over this decision, but what you have to understand is that running is, at this point, part of my identity, and it felt like one of the few parts of "me" that I have been able to hold onto through pregnancy. So, to give it up, albeit temporarily, is painful.

Additionally, I think I'd feel better about this decision if I felt as though I were coming to it because I was truly incapable of going further with the running; instead, I feel like I could keep at it except for my major impediment: the weather. I know, I know, lame to blame things on the weather, but it's largely true in this case. If it were December right now, I think I could plug along for a least a few more weeks, but because it's June and it's broiling out there, running is just that much more difficult.

To give you an idea of June's (and the rest of the summer's) heat: It is currently 4:30 in the afternoon and it's 97 F out, with a dew point of 71 F. Granted, I never run in the summer at 4 pm, but with our constant humidity in the summer, even at o'dark thirty, it's not much cooler than that. And why do I mention dew point? I have discussed dew point many times before, most notably in this post last summer, but in short, dew point is the most accurate indicator of humidity in the air. And dew points that range from 70-75 F are considered extremely uncomfortable for outdoor exercise. (If you're curious about comparing the dew point in your area, just go to weather.com to see the day's forecast in your area; it lists the dew point daily.)

Anyway, I digress. The point is: It's hot out there and lugging around 20 extra lbs of belly doesn't make running easy in such heat.

I know that the weather is out of my control, but I think that's partially why I'm frustrated by it interfering with my running at this point. If it were a factor I could control, I'd be able to alter some pattern of my own in order to better accommodate myself to running right now, but the fact of the matter is that this is largely out of my hands. So, I know I just have to accept my limitations, be proud of how long I was able to run for during my pregnancy, and move on. And I will, but I won't overnight.

And yes, like I said yesterday, I still plan to remain active, primarily by walking, and I have been walking everyday lately. In fact, Scooter and I walked 2 miles earlier today, and he's been in recovery ever since :)

23 comments:

Betsy said...

You know how people tell you that all the trouble you are having sleeping because you are pregnant is good practice for when the baby is born?

It could also be argued that feeling guilty about things that are largely beyond your control is also good practice for when you are a mom.

Amanda said...

Heat and humidity make running SO much harder, that is a very valid factor for taking a break in my opinion.

Wes said...

LOL @ Betsy... ditto... focus on things over which, you have control :-)

HEATHER said...

I know exactly how you feel, especially the "running is part of my identity" part. I had to stop at 20 weeks with my last pregnancy due to complications and I was miserable. But I did take up power walking, and gained a whole new respect for those power walkers at the back of races!! You should be so proud of how far you were able to run through your pregnancy.

Ansley said...

Jess-
I came across your blog a few months back when I googled "blogs" + "pregnancy"+ "running." I've been lurking on here for a bit because I feel like I easily relate to you and your running experiences. I'm 33 weeks pregnant right now and it's been so hard to give up running, but that's something I've also recently done. I can't wait for the day that I'm back out there again, but for now, I know I'm doing the best thing for my baby and body at this point in the pregnancy (as you are too!). Running now is especially hard for those of us living in the humid south (I'm near Hilton Head, SC). I love reading your blog and feeling like someone understands exactly what I'm thinking about running and pregnancy. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

MCM Mama said...

I was coming here to say basically what Betsy said. We all start out motherhood with ideas of how we want/plan things to be. Unfortunately, we don't mother in a vacuum, so things beyond our control end up greatly influencing how things work out. And believe me, there will be times you feel guilty, even if circumstances are out of your control.

FWIW, I'm hating the humidity and I'm further north and only carrying 10 pounds of extra "fluff" rather than a baby. I think the heat and humidity definitely have to be considered when deciding whether to continue running.

Carolina John said...

hang in there jess. Norah will be here soon, and you'll be out logging miles as a method of purposed temporary abandonment for sanity as much as for fun and lifestyle. embrace the break while you have it. you are in for a lot of other adjustments soon enough.

runner26 said...

it sounds like a hard decision, but probably a good one. esp you're not really enjoying running at this point. and like jerry said, you can certainly return to running after the baby is born. heat and humidity is killer--and this break might end up being a good thing. hang in there!

xo

Nicole said...

Look you're my hero. I couldn't run even at 5 weeks preggo because I was so nauseated. That fact that you have been running in amazing. Enjoy your last 8 weeks and you and Norah will be running in no time.

Erin said...

You could always use a treadmill which you hate more than the humidity...

I know what you mean though about giving up "you." I realize in hindsight it's not what you give up (believe me, you will never be you again) but you will be you with other greatness. It sounds corny but pregnancy and Norah will change you in a way you can't imagine (for the better).

Hang in there and keep your chin up. I figure it's about time you stop running because with the rain and your walking/running skills, you are due for a trip. No one wants Norah birth pictures to included your bruised chin. :)

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

humidity is enough to do me in and i'm not even pregnant!

you've really done an outstanding job with the whole running while pregnant thing.

chin up :-)

runsarah said...

I give you major props for running in that kind of heat even without pregnant, I am finding it hard to run here and our temp and humidity arent even close to that high. I know this must have been hard for you but you will be back on the road in no time!

Carly said...

I am just catching up with you and I completely understand your disappointment and frustration about taking a running break. The weather is a huge factor and with the heat it can be down right dangerous...even when you are not pregnant.

This has probably been brought up already, but have you considered aqua jogging? I had summer babies and I did it to stay active. Not the same but I still had some activity to keep me moving and it kept me cool.

raulgonemobile said...

So, I've been lurking here for a long, long time. Your posts during your pregnancy have been interesting, because my wife is about as far along as you are.

She's not a runner, but I am, so it's been interesting reading your perspectives on everything. Seeing how she's been struggling these last few weeks, I can't imagine putting running on top of it.

I applaud you for sticking with it for so long, and fear not, you'll be back at it soon.

Natalie D said...

Maybe every now and then you can jog/walk indoors on a treadmill if you have access. It is way too hot to be running outside! You have a perfect career for raising children, I was thinking about teaching at universities while my kid(s) are little and I'm applying to positions for part time.

AKA Alice said...

Lots of good comments here already about how being a mom changes us in ways we don't anticipate and how parenting teaches us, ever so thoroughly, that there are many things outside our control (like when baby drops the sippy cup off the highchair tray 72 times in a row, just to see what will happen...and learns that it falls to the floor 72 times in a row, and that mommy will pick it up...72 times in a row...Now who has control over THAT?)

Good times :-)

Marlene said...

Preggo or not, I could not run in your heat and humidity. Period!

NoMeatAthlete said...

My wife has been wondering a lot recently about if she'll be able to run when she's pregnant; she'll be very interested to read your recent posts. Sorry to hear that you won't be able to do it anymore, but it sounds like you've done it for a lot of your pregnancy so you should be happy about it!

X-Country2 said...

I don't want to get off the couch when it's that hot! You'll be back and running as one of those hot mamas with the baby stroller in no time.

aron said...

ha i would not be out there running without a baby in my belly... that is just TOO hot! definitely blame it on the weather :)

Jess said...

I'm sorry to hear about your break from running, but you're right, it is just a break and you can still be active and healthy for the remainder of your pregnancy. Don't feel guilty about the weather. It's not something you can control. You've got to do what makes you happy and if that's not running right now, then that's OK!

AmyAnne said...

I periodically give up swimming because I just can't stand that it messes up my hair EVERY SINGLE TIME. You just can't hop in the pool and hop out and it sometimes I want the CHANCE of having a good hair day.

Now, hair, THAT is an excuse that is lame. Weather conditions actually do take down the best of 'em.

Jamoosh said...

Running in the HEAT can also put you at a higher risk of injury. You are making the right choice.