Know when to push yourself!
Know when to take it easy!
Know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em!
Wait, that's not right - well, you know what I mean!
It's essential while running during pregnancy to pay attention to our bodies. They are changing, growing and super busy creating new life! Running is good for both mommy and baby, but only if mommy knows the limits.
But aren't runners used to pushing limits and testing boundaries? Why yes, I think we are. It's not possible to run 26.2 miles (or more) without going beyond what we think we are capable of achieving. I've found it extremely difficult to rein in my typical running impulses to go faster and go farther.
Every time I step out the door, my mind tells me to, "Go, go go!"
But my body tells me, "Slow, slow, slow!"
After years of running, my mind is accustomed to overriding my body's resistance, so it's hard to not push myself.
Eventually I realized I was fighting a losing battle. Oh, for a while I hung in there and adhered to my pre-pregnancy running routine, but as my pregnancy progressed, I had to accept that I wasn't going to be able to run like I wasn't pregnant. No matter how strong-willed I thought I was (or am), there was no arguing with or overpowering my pregnant body.
If I couldn't beat it, then I was going to have to listen to it. Over the last few months I've been much better about paying attention to little aches and pains. I've tried to do a better job differentiating between simply being tired and needing actual rest and recuperation.
The one thing I'm still struggling with is giving up mileage. It's not easy shortening my 'long runs' once again. But I don't really have a choice. My body is too busy caring for baby to keep up with my desired mileage. It's let me know that with minor pains that could develop into something serious.
Right now the most important thing is the baby's health. I don't want to push my body too hard when it's carrying such precious and amazing cargo. I also don't want to do any significant or permanent damage that would keep me from running after the baby is born.
This is just the first part of my journey. Running after baby is the second part and I'm going to need running as much if not more than ever so if I have to cut miles (again), so be it. Better to run less miles now and more mile later, right? Right. (Now if only I knew who was agreeing - mind or body?)