Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Zen Running

Since as long as I can remember (ok not that long), running has fostered my Type-A personality.  Work hard, run hard, race hard. Sure, it is a lot of work and sometimes very very painful but "Type A Stephanie" eats this stuff up.  You know - running 12 miles exactly, not 11.98, utilizing my Garmin religiously, and always trying to be better, go faster, push longer.

Serious about running

In the past five months or so that has had to change.  At first, I fought it.  I know I may have told you all that I was ok with that, but I was lying to you and myself.  In mid-February, I was taking Clomid and may or may not have gone out on a 13 mile run even though I knew that was a little overboard.  And I had not yet given up on the idea of a March or May half marathon.  Even after the doctor gave me a stern once over and I stopped running so hard, my mind was not so good at loving this new kind of running and it was extremely difficult to grasp the loss of my Type A runnerself.

But then something miraculous happened,  I got pregnant and began to let go.  Interestingly enough, I began letting go the week before I learned that I was indeed pregnant for the past 5ish weeks.  Since then, the let go spiraled and continued full force.  First trimester pregnancy hit me with a bang and with it came lack of motivation, energy and major sickness all of which made running like a crazy woman at all hours, distances, and speeds one of the least desirable activities possible. Why do that when I can sleep? Clearly.

Sometimes we don't look our best so early... no judgements 

So instead of trying to follow a schedule, to get X amount of workouts in a week, to try to match my food intake with my workouts, and try to control every moment of my running life, I let go.  And guess what?  I did not really care.  Sure you can chalk it up to first trimester sickness but for the first time running was not the top priority of my day.  It was not the thing I worried about doing as soon as I got up in the morning.  Instead, I listened to my body.  I stayed in bed until the last possible second and I began to exercise when and where it was possible.  If I felt good, I might get two miles in on the treadmill in the morning or hit up a 4-5 mile long sloooow run on the weekends or I might just GASP . . . walk.  And you know what? It has been  O.K.  and minus the perpetual sickness it has been better than ok, for me, for right now.  

I could go out running or I could go out for french toast (in the end I ate french toast then went running and was actually at my fastest. Ah the power of french toast).

And, even more of a shocker, for the most part I did not even miss the crazy running.  So I guess this little guy or gal inside of me has taught me a valuable lesson (I am sure the first of many), sometimes it is O.K. and even absolutely necessary to slow down and listen to your body.  I think my body had been telling me for months it was ready for a break from running and I just fought it tooth and nail.  Now that I am here, I am sort of enjoying the other side of things - the stress free, Garmin less running.  So for now, I do not have a plan, I do not have control.  If I wake up and I feel I need and want and can actually run, I do.  I don't necessarily set off with a set plan or distance, I just go and see how it feels, if I need to stop 15 minutes in and give in, I do.  If I feel like I can push another mile just a little faster, I go for it.  And then that's that and I move on with my day.

Can I tell you I am always so "zen" about running?  No.  Sometimes I miss my old running but I know this new way of running is not permanent but a change that probably will continue to evolve overtime.  Sometimes I am scared of running because it is harder and more difficult than ever before.  And sometimes I miss the marathon maniac person I was this Fall and can hardly recognize myself.  Yet, for the most part, I am content.  I know that there will be more times for fast running and marathons and races, but for right now I will enjoy this Type B running and go with the flow!

I may be sorta scared of running, but Wubby is REALLY scared of waves

Are you a Type A or a Type B runner? Do you ever switch it up?


  1. It sounds like you are in a great place with your running Stephanie. Sasha is afraid of waves too. Apparently labs love water not waves, who knew?!

  2. I think you mind is in a good place right now. Running will there waiting for you when you are ready again!! For now, enjoy your pregnancy and spoil yourself!! You have been through a lot and deserve to be happy!!