What I really wanted to call this post: Run down, tired, and no, I DON’T want to exercise today…
November and December were interesting months for me, to say the least. In November, I was planning to run my half marathon, had just finished my last long run before my half when injury hit and I was unable to run – and just barely able to walk – for a solid three weeks.
Three days after I was supposed to run my half marathon, I found out I was pregnant, which accounted for a lot of the exhaustion I had felt for the past couple of weeks – and had just attributed to my upped mileage.
However, after I found out about the pregnancy, I got the itch to run even more.
When I was pregnant with my first child three years ago, I had probably the easiest pregnancy in all existence. Sure, there was a little nausea at night, but it lasted about two weeks – same with the exhaustion. Oh, about two weeks. I kept up my same running schedule, running throughout my pregnancy, even up until the day before I gave birth. I went into labor naturally at 37 ½ weeks, was admitted into the hospital around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 27 and gave birth at 4:14 p.m.
I attribute a lot of my ease with that pregnancy to running. I had been running half marathons once a year for three years and running four to five times a week before I got pregnant, so my doctor said it shouldn’t be any trouble to continue running, as long as I didn’t push myself too hard. No problem – I’m actually not one to push myself too much anyway.
I’ve always advised friends who got pregnant and who exercised before they got pregnant to continue their exercise. “It’ll make everything so much easier,” I assured them. “Just get in a three-miler a few times a week. It’ll be worth it, I promise.”
I wonder if they wanted to punch me then, because when I think about that calm advice now, I kind of want to go back and punch myself.
This time, pregnancy is a bit rougher. Not as rough as I could have it (that award goes to my friend Rindy, who threw up multiple times a day throughout the entirety of her pregnancy), but it’s certainly much harder this go-round. Maybe it’s because I have a toddler now and can’t rest as much as before or maybe it’s because I did have to take a month hiatus from running, but running is so much harder right now.
First, let’s take the exhaustion. Y’all. I could sleep all day and still be exhausted. At 8 p.m., I’m ready to cut out the lights and go to bed. My kid’s barely asleep at that point. And the idea of waking up at 5 a.m. to run just absolutely hurts.
Then, of course, we have the nausea, which basically will come up any time throughout the day. And possibly make me find a toilet, a bush, or a trashcan ASAP. Running exhausted and feeling like I’m about to puke my guts up does not make for a happy runner.
But I’m doing it. Somehow, by the grace of God, I’m doing it. I’m not running as much as I was before, nor as early as before, but I’m running. Some mornings, I have great success. Some mornings I wake up feeling like I did in September and October – eager to start the day, watch my shows on the treadmill or talk to my girlfriends outside, and check off four or five miles in the morning.
Most mornings, though, I just tell myself to get through 30 minutes and that it won’t be so bad.
If that’s where you are now – pregnant or not! – and you just feel exhausted and worn out and have no energy to run, I feel your pain. I really do. It’s not fun. Sometimes, you’ve got to start small. Last year, I did the Runner’s World Run Streak, where you just ran every day, even if it wasn’t very much – for me, my lowest run that I would count was a mile. That’s about 10 minutes of running. Ten minutes of exercise. That’s it. And a lot of times, it was inconvenient. It was inconvenient when I had to run with a stroller around an outdoor mall in Dallas while on vacation. It was inconvenient when I had to get out of my PJs and get on the treadmill because I had almost forgotten to run that day. It was inconvenient to run in the pouring rain.
But during that time, I never regretted going on a run.
So let’s join together for this new year – whether it’s a run streak or just determining that you will exercise this year. We can do this together. Solidarity, sisters. We will make this year better physically and emotionally for us, whether we’re tired, run down, and exhausted.
We can do this together.
(If you are pregnant, or planning to become pregnant, please check with your medial doctor before starting or continuing an exercise program.)
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