I’ll start with a few belly shots from this morning. Jeff took the first one, Currie took the second. I think Currie’s pic is more flattering, actually!
Let’s get down to business. I can easily say the feeling I have most when pregnant is fear. Things that never bother me usually can really get me panicked during these 9 months.
I worry about running on my everyday routes:
- “Is someone hiding in the bushes on the trails, ready to snatch me up?”
- “Will a car come around the curve on a country road and hit me?”
- “Am I going to find a place to pee where no one will see me?”
I worry about my daily choices:
- “Did I get enough sleep last night to provide for my little guy?”
- “Is that cup of coffee a day going to hurt him, give me a horrible sleeper, etc?”
- “If I let Currie have the iPad for 45 minutes while I nap, am I ruining her?”
I worry about the baby’s development:
- “Is he growing the right amount?”
- “Is he healthy?”
- “Will he make it full-term?”
- “Is my diet providing enough nutrients for him?”
I worry about petty things:
- “Can I escape stretch marks, varicose veins, and other pregnancy woes?”
- “Will I have a quick labor?”
- “Will I be able to deliver without drugs?” (I don’t care either way. Had an epidural with Currie and would gladly do that again, but would like to try without too.)
And of course, I worry about future running. I worry about my life after having the baby. With Jeff starting a new job, I wonder if I will have time to do all the training I want to do. Will I have the energy with a toddler and a newborn? Will I have the motivation? Will I have the speed?
Most of the time, I think I will come back faster and stronger than ever. But some of the time, I let doubt enter my mind. I just read a Runner’s World interview with Desi Davila and they asked if she ever lost faith about coming back while she was healing from her stress fracture. Her response was basically that yes, she lost a little faith when there was so much uncertainty. Now she’s getting ready to toe the line for her first race since the Olympic Marathon and she’s super excited. Pregnancy is definitely a blessing and not an injury, but my running life changes a lot, just like during a long, painful injury. Speed is a thing of the past, aches and pains are a daily occurrence, center of gravity is off and I just feel really clumsy. It’s easy to feel really far removed from my former running self.
I think it’s good and healthy to have doubts, have the tools to squash those doubts and put them in their place. I CAN say that my first real speed session after having Currie was the best run of my life. I still remember, 3 years later, so many details about the run. I felt so free, so fast, like I was truly flying. The pain of the run felt so real and so right. And I knew I was going to do something special with it. Every time I wonder if I can do it, I think of how far I’ve come, all I still want to do and all the improvements I know I can make.
How do you handle fear?
Do you experience fear during down time from running: injury, pregnancy, forced time off?