Monday, September 12, 2011

Letting go

I’ve been keeping something from everyone.

After I ran the Classic 10k at 19 weeks pregnant, I got an idea in my mind. An idea that I probably should have let go and accepted was not going to pan out this year. An idea that, instead, I’ve tried to make happen and after a lot of tears, accepted that it’s just not.

The Rock N Roll Denver Half Marathon.

I’d formulated a plan and it was going to be marvelous. 13.1 miles at 30 weeks pregnant! It would be a huge accomplishment. But in recent weeks, my knee has been giving me too much trouble, and my growing belly doesn’t want to cooperate for more than a few miles. Despite encouragement from my husband and doctor, I decided on Sunday that it just wasn’t going to happen for me. I cried a few tears, I bargained with myself … maybe I could walk it? Maybe I would be ok… maybe my knee would cooperate and my ligaments would stop hurting and my baby on my bladder wouldn’t force me to stop every few miles. Maybe my worries (irrational, perhaps) about doing something to the baby or going into labor would dissipate. Maybe. Probably not.

I sought advice from other pregnant runners. They assured me my fears of hurting Miss Kate were unwarranted – she would be fine. Cardiovascular-wise, I am still in the best shape I’ve been in… well, ever. It’s not the mileage that’s giving me problems, it’s my body just wanting to spend time doing other things right now, like preparing for birthing another human being. My fellow Running Mamas said the biggest obstacle would be being uncomfortable. And they are right. It’s uncomfortable. Oh, and if I could let go of time and speed, and just focus on finishing. I SAY I can do that. Reality suggests otherwise. I’m still a competitive person with myself and it’s hard to let that go.

After debating with myself, I came to the tearful conclusion that 2011 would not hold a half marathon for me. That’s tough for me to accept. I feel defeated in some ways, and liberated in others. I keep thinking that I place these unrealistic expectations on myself, and sometimes, they’re not always achievable. It dawned on me today that wouldn’t it be nice to not have such a high expectation of myself sometimes? That I could get back to enjoying running for running, by not expecting my body to do something that it doesn’t want to do for the time being? Wouldn’t it be nice to go run for a few miles every week, and not get down on myself when I don’t meet my expectations….and rather rejoice in the fact that I’m still running?

My husband and I then sat down to refocus my exercise for the rest of this pregnancy. I would like to run 2-3 times a week (with one of those times being my running boot camp class) with no expectations of mileage or speed. Pilates is still working for me for the time being, but the moves are getting harder with my growing tummy. There’s always water aerobics and spin class, which I’m very open to doing (and low impact so my knee will thank me). And 5k races? Oh, that’s always on the table. I do have one more 10k in three weeks… it’s going to be a slow one, but a fun one for sure. The husband and I decided I should keep racing 5ks to keep me motivated, but not place such an unrealistic expectation on myself. I think I can do that. But in the meantime, I’ll work on letting go of finishing a half marathon this year. There’s always next year…


Laura705 said...

Sounds like you've thought it all through and made the best decision for you, even if there's some disappointment. I think you're doing so fantastic!!

Karen@WaistingTime said...

I'm sorry you had to let that go, but think you are smart to do so. Now is the time to be extra careful with your ever changing body.

fancy nancy said...

I'm sorry that you had to decide not to do the race but it sounds like the best decision. I promise you....these temporary sacrifices are just that...temporary. Before you know it you will be running half marys and everything else with not problem at all!!!

beerab said...

*hugs* Yes there is definitely next year, I agree this is a good decision you've made :)

Anonymous said...

I think you've made a great decision... and you're still doing great. This by no means you're defeated -- you are SO STRONG!! It's unbelievable.

I've been walking everyday... and it kills with the round ligament pain, so I don't know how you've been running all this time. I'm sure your ligaments have grown to be a lot stronger than mine :) haha...

- food addict

Post a Comment