My mileage has dropped considerably. I think I have managed 13 miles in the past three weeks. I am feeling the withdrawals in every aspect in my life. I miss my balance.
I have a laundry list of excuses. After my half marathon, I gave myself a few days of rest. Then I was struck by the flu. Then Mike was on the road for work for a couple weeks. Then I was sick again, vomiting so severely I nearly had to go to the hospital. Then Mike was sick. Then Zoe was sick.
And did I mention the first trimester nausea, puking, and exhaustion? The pills that keep me from puking my brains out are part sleeping pill, so I have been sleeping through my workout time (and nearly work) every morning. Then I’m usually nauseous and sucking on popsicles to keep from hurling all evening.
I used to have no excuses.
I don’t feel like myself.
My body feels weak, tired, and largely useless (yes, I know I’m growing a human). I’m crazy as shit (yes, I know I’m an extra storm of hormones). I feel the deficit of endorphins, of the road, of the clarity. I just feel burned the fuck out.
I have no balance.
On the plus side, the knots in my shoulders have vanished; my feet are blister free; and my callouses are receding. Hardly seems worth it though.
The minimal running I have accomplished has been a mess too. The first three miles are miserable like I can’t describe; all I want to do is stop and say FUCK IT. I cannot breathe; I feel like I’m running in water; my heat spikes and with it my nausea; I’m so pathetically slow I might as well walk.
The only reason I push through this shit is (blatant stubbornness and refusal to let the fetus win and) that one random instant where it breaks and it all feels like running again. When it’s not all striving and suffering. When the endorphins flow and I may even be lucky enough to float.
When it feels worth it.
I use outlets to achieve any measure of sanity. Physical outlets are especially effective due to the brain chemistry involved. I had dance, but I lost that when we left Tennessee. Now I feel like I’m losing running at a time when I’m made additionally emotionally vulnerable by pregnancy. This child is negating most of my physical options by pinning me down under this relentless sickness.
And I’m over it. I feel trapped in my own body, and my frustration is mounting.
I ran tonight. Only a 5k, but at this point, miles are miles. I decided this time at run club that we should try walking the first epic hill. The past couple weeks it has completely wiped me, leaving my legs numb and my heart knocking on my chest as I gasped for air. After that, I am worthless for a long stretch. Walking it helped. I started the route, granted the easier 5K rather than the 10K, more refreshed and feeling more normal.
I realized something on this run. It’s the hills again. On the flats and the declines, I’m myself again; I feel like I can jog comfortably. Yet on the hills, I am DYING, like an elephant is on my chest, like lead is packing into my calves. It’s like when I moved up to altitude all over again, which has me wondering… will I adjust if I keep doing it again? Or will it get worse and harder the longer I gestate?
But overall, the run felt good. Just getting out there felt good. Moving felt good. Ignoring how badly I wanted to stop or throw up felt good. I need the challenge now; I need to push myself to keep from feeling lazy and worthless.
Then I went home and threw up my dinner.
I know this is not a time for running to be a priority, but we are talking about something I use to keep myself sane and functional, about watching years of work and pain being undone in a matter of weeks. I could run a half marathon at the beginning on the month; now, I struggle to get off the couch.
I didn’t run in my last pregnancy (instead, I danced incessantly), but I do remember feeling this way. Feeling not like myself, feeling trapped in the more miserable parts. I need to remember this too shall pass; this will move into something better. Eventually.
For now, I just keep trying to run.