There's been a story in the news recently that we're all supposed to be ZOMG SO INSPIRED by. A woman ran the 800m dash in the US track and field championship in 2 and a half minutes (aka fast) at 34 weeks pregnant. I'm supposed to be particularly inspired by this, because I'm pregnant and have been known to enjoy running, although personally I'd take an ultra marathon over a 800m dash any day.
I'm not inspired.
I'm not going to link to the story or anything, because I'm not trying to specifically bash this woman (she's an Olympic athlete and this was actually slow for her). It's more this whole movement. As I've mentioned, I've been following a lot more pregnancy related social media accounts, and it's all over the place. @ionlyeatkale ran a marathon with her unborn baby! @sopregnantandsomuchfitterthanyou just ran her second pregnant half marathon at 36 weeks! Here's an Instagram of my baby bump and running shoes and double digit run that was almost my normal pace, yay! #fitfetus
I'm not trying to say any of these women are being neglectful or putting their babies in danger. I'm not a doctor, I don't know them, and I'm sure they're being safe and putting their unborn child's best interests first. My question is: what's the point?
I guess the answer is obvious - to brag on the internet and have strangers and friends alike compliment you and give you accolades. I'm obviously not above all that - I have a blog after all. I've taken post race medal pictures and proudly displayed PRs. But the #motherrunner attitude is just so foreign to me: in my mind, pregnancy and competitive running are like chocolate and blue cheese - both wonderful things, that should never ever be enjoyed togeher. For me, running races is about training hard and pushing yourself to your limit. Pregnancy is about taking it easy, and getting light exercise if possible to stay healthy. So not compatible. I had my first "running for two" experience within an hour of seeing that beautiful second line, and it already felt like a whole different ballgame.
Anyone can run a half marathon. I don't mean that in a condescending way, I mean that truly, anybody reading this without medical issues and with time on their hands to train, could build up the endurance and run a half marathon. Probably a lot of pregnant women could do it too, provided they are sadists and love pain and misery. I just don't get what's inspiring - yay, you are so addicted to exercise and defining yourself as a "runner" that you can't just give yourself 9 months to take it easy and create a person? Sure, I get that the 9 months can feel much, MUCH longer, and it's really closer to a year off exercise, but in the end, it's a limited and relatively short portion of your life. From what I can tell, races and running shoes aren't going anywhere anytime soon.
I ran a 10k race at 16 weeks because I'd signed up for it pre-pregnancy. It really wasn't that much fun. Seeing my running friends is always great, and I was lucky enough to have one friend kindly run my turtle prego pace with me. But I'm already running much slower, and taking walk breaks, which means running takes a lot longer now. Add in the time to park, get my bib, get back to the car after, etc, etc, and the race ate up my whole morning. And for what? A time that was 25 minutes slower than my 10k PR at the same race the year before?
I've gladly spent plenty of Friday nights going to bed early to race or train, and plenty of Saturday mornings (and afternoons) devoted to running. I knew getting pregnant would change all that, and it has, and I love it. I'm not going to grieve temporarily missing out on something that I gave up voluntarily in order carry a child that we desperately want, unless it's good parmesan cheese, which I just found out is made with raw milk, dammit.
I'll never get to enjoy relaxing during pregnancy like this again - next time around, I'll have this kid to play with! Now I'm spending Friday nights eating ice cream and binge watching TV shows with my husband's hand on my belly waiting for the baby to kick (although still going to bed early). Saturday mornings I relax in bed and read until I feel like getting up. If I decide to run that day, I'll do a run/walk combination on the treadmill for a 43 minute Buffy episode, when I get around to it. Sometimes I'll just take a walk with my husband instead of running, so we can discuss profound ideas like "holy crap, one day we'll have a teenager". Sometimes I'll take a nap instead, because I can. Aren't you ZOMG inspired? I think I'll look back and cherish these times more than paying $95 to hate life while running a 3 hour half marathon.
Personally, I don't get why first time pregnant moms exercising is impressive at all. People say that to me, and I feel like such a fraud. I've been insanely fortunate to have had an easy pregnancy so far (in fact, I'm getting really concerned that it's been too easy and the universe is planning to make it up to me in labor and delivery). I have time on my hands. It doesn't seem that hard to get some low key exercise most days. What does seem pretty hard to me is exercising after the baby arrives. I seriously have no clue how that's going to happen. I gave it a little thought, and after getting him (and me) up and ready and fed in the morning, daycare drop off, working 9-10 hours, picking him up, dinner/feeding/household stuff/preparing for tomorrow, bath, and bedtime.... when does that even leave time for like.... just playing with him and hanging out, much less a workout?
Other random pregnancy thoughts/confessions:
- Today is the last day of my second trimester. How did that happen so fast?
- I cooked dinner last night then left the burner on the entire time I was eating. Genius.
- I bought a $6 wedge of Brie on Saturday and it was gone on Sunday. I suspect that the real reason pregnant women aren't supposed to eat soft cheese is because it's too addicting and easy to waste all the diaper money on.
- My glucose test is tomorrow. I've been prepping with random spoonfuls of Nutella throughout the day, in addition to the Brie - any other advice?