Saturday, February 09, 2013

In My Opinion

I have been known to stick my foot in my mouth.  I used to have no filter, but as I've grown up I've been able to pull back on what I should say versus not saying anything at all.  With social media I have been able to keep my mouth shut even more as I can roll my eyes with no one seeing it and then just move on without saying anything.  However, because social media is all done by the written word, not always is what you say interpreted the way you actually said it.  This got me in trouble yesterday.  A friend had posed a question on her Facebook profile.  Now, if you're doing that, you are inviting opinion - opinion that you may not want.  The question was regarding running and pregnancy.  I chimed in and even quantified my statement by saying, "for me..." as in, "this is my opinion".  I don't think what I said came across as my opinion because the recipient became a little defensive in her response.  In the end, I just deleted my comment as I didn't want to start anything.  That was never my intent.  So, I thought I would take it to my blog and give my opinion regarding MY running and MY pregnancy.

There are a lot of reasons why I waited until I was 34/35 to have my first (and only) child.  One, I just wasn't ready.  I never was the girl growing up who said, "When I grow up I want to be a mom."  I wanted to be a career woman.  To this day, I'm struggling with being someone's mom.  It's just not my nature.  Two, I had things I wanted to do.  I wanted a career and I worked a "career" job for 7 years only to find out I absolutely HATED being a career woman.  Now I enjoy just having a simple job.  I wanted to travel.  I wanted to do races like marathons and ironman.  If you didn't notice the urgency in NEEDING to finish my last ironman, you likely weren't paying that much attention.  Three, and mostly, I just wanted to really live while I was young.  Once I did not finish my last ironman attempt, I knew it was time to move on.  I was not getting any younger and I knew it could take a long time to get pregnant as this wasn't our first time trying. 

I wasn't wrong about this either as my internal plumbing wasn't working the same way this time when I went off the pill.  Things were irregular and a bit frustrating.  I was taking my basal temperature, using ovulation predictor kits, etc. and we still were not getting pregnant.  Dave and I agreed long ago that we did not want to use any intervention methods to try to get pregnant, so we decided to just go on with our lives and just not focus on it.  Hence, that's why I signed up for a marathon last September and why we agreed to move to the Bay area.  And of course, that's exactly when we got pregnant.

Where the hell am I going with this?

Oh yes, running and pregnancy.  When I found out I was pregnant I was almost done with my marathon training.  I had made it through three or four 20 milers with only one to go.  I had run a 20 miler two days prior and raced a 10K the day before I found out I was pregnant.  Yet, as soon as I found out I was pregnant I completely shut down the running.  Firstly, I was pretty nauseous in my first trimester and all I could manage was walking.  But mostly, there wasn't any reason for me to continue running as far or as fast as I was.  I wasn't training for anything.  I knew I couldn't race at the same level until after the baby was born.  So, I decided to just run a few miles here or there just to keep in shape and keep the extra weight off.  Although I didn't wear a watch (and still haven't since getting pregnant), I knew I was running somewhere in the 10-11 min/mile range.  Sure I did races, but I did them just to finish and just jogged my way and enjoyed the people and scenery.  Even now at 32+ weeks, I running very minimally.  Mostly because the weight of the belly has made it hard to breathe and the fact that ligaments have stretched making it difficult to maintain the same gait.  I mix all my running with more time spent walking and what running I'm doing is at a 15 min/mile or slower.  Honestly, I can't do any faster nor do I want to.

See for me, it's just not worth the risk.  I'm an older first time mother.  I've waited a long time to have a baby.  We tried really hard to get pregnant.  You never know what could happen while you're exercising.  You could become too dehydrated or get overheated or whatever and all of this can happen in an instant and in an instant that child could be gone.  Yes, I know that my baby is well protected inside and most likely safe, but I've done the running and racing thing.  I've waited patiently for 8 months to unleash the beast inside.  And I will continue to patiently wait at least 15ish more weeks until I can really run again. 

I know there are people out there who disagree with me.  I've read the blogs of people who were running 30-40 miles a week during their entire pregnancy.  Good for them.  But, I don't want to.  I don't need to.  Running will come back, but I may only get one shot at a child. 


Colleen said...

This is a great, honest post Meredith! I love that you are doing what works for you. You shouldn't have to answer to anyone, nor defend yourself to anyone. I get frustrated with the "why are you still working out" questions, as well as the "well so-and-so ran a marathon at 24 weeks and you are only doing 4 miles" comments. Everyone is so different and I'm glad that you are listening to your body, caring for your baby and know that you'll be back to your old self (probably even faster) in no time flat! :)

Anne said...

Even as a "young" mom, I stopped running during my pregnancies. The way my doctor put it, if something were to go wrong, even if it was unrelated, I would always wonder if it was something I had done. If I were to have another child, I am not sure what I would do this go round, but I can tell you, that I got in the best shape of my life after my kids! :)

..:danielle:.. said...

i love this! and im so glad i read this today... i was having a mental struggle this morning on my "run"... as i have been for the past few weeks. and youre right, its ok. its not worth trying to push it if it doesnt feel right. there will be a time to run again, and it doesnt have to be now.

Melissa C said...

This is a great post. I am so glad you are not feeling pressured and can do what YOU want to do. :)

XLMIC said...

I had my first at 36. I wanted to live life my way first, too. It's worked out really well FOR ME :) I ended up having a total of 4...the last when I was 46. I wish you the very best :)

Oh, and also in the Bay Area :)