Saturday’s Run and Weekly Recap – Lean, Mean, Running Machine!

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So I’m not at all lean, trucking up that street with my 30+ pounds of pregnancy weight, but for at least half a mile today on my run, I felt just like that  – light and fast, and mean!  More like – “determined, fighter, hard-core” kind of mean 🙂  I woke up this morning nice and late again (yippee!) – always great for a Saturday morning – to find sunshine!!! It was still pretty windy the whole time, keeping it rather cool, but the sun was glorious 🙂  I had a pretty decent 4 mile run today, punctuated by occasional slow spots to run through discomfort, and the awesome fast parts where I felt like I could fly (if 9 minute miles could be considered flying :))  Those few times of feeling just great really make running at this point so worth it, because there is nothing else going on in my life right now that makes me feel that way.  When you deliver a baby, when you finish a race after giving it all you’ve got, performing on stage with crowds on their feet singing and clapping along – all these things bring a sense of euphoria seldom found, and none of them are available to me right now.  But when you can find it on a normal, everyday run, it’s even more welcome, because it sneaks up on you, right there in the middle of the humdrum.  Oddly enough, it was one of my slower songs on the playlist that got me going today – “The Voice of Truth” by Casting Crowns.  Here’s when I picked it up:  ‘But the giant’s calling out my name and he laughs at me, reminding me of all the times I’ve tried before and failed. The giant keeps on telling me time and time again “boy, you’ll never win!” You’ll never win”‘

Then the chorus comes in with “But the voice of truth tells me a different story – the voice of truth says ‘Do not be afraid.’  The voice of truth says, ‘This is for my glory.’  Out of all the voices calling out to me, I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth.”

I think this one really motivated me today because I had just read someone’s blog about her mental struggles with her 10 mile run that day.  Wow, even at 35 weeks, a song can make me go faster than I think I can.  I love music that way 🙂

So the week’s workouts were:

Monday: Walking 5+ miles as quickly as possible around London, with lots of stairs!

Friday: 3.1 mile run at 11:30 pace

Saturday: 4.1 mile run at 11:58 pace

This should hopefully make anyone who’s pregnant and concerned about their weight gain rest easy.  Here I am running enough to do my first half marathon at 24 weeks, and to still be doing 5-6 miles at 30 weeks, 4 miles now at 35 weeks (so I don’t run as much as some ladies, but still, quite a bit) and I STILL have put on 30 pounds.  I’m not sure of my exact weight, but about a week ago it was hovering around 170, and I started out at 140.  The midwives don’t weigh you at your visits here in the UK, so that 140 was just at the intake “you’re pregnant” visit, and the 170 is on my bathroom scale.  Either way, this makes me realize that my body knows what to do, and it will put on whatever weight it needs to in order for me to successfully grow this baby and nurse him for as long as he needs.  That’s what all the extra fat deposits are on upper arms, in the chest, hips, thighs, etc – stored energy for the long months of nursing ahead!  So don’t get down on yourself if you’re putting on more weight than you would like – your body probably has a way that it does pregnancy, and it will continue to operate that way regardless of what you do.  That’s not to say that I haven’t been heavier for previous pregnancies when I wasn’t a runner, but, generally speaking, 20-30 pounds seems to be about what I gain.  Oh well!

Here’s a picture after today’s run to show you the torture device that is the maternity support belt.  Rather an embarrassingly ugly picture of the contraption, but I’m putting it here in case someone wanted to know how it looks when you wear it.

You can see the huge amount of back support, and the smaller band going down around the bottom of the tummy, with that skinny little band on top.  I don’t really like that part but use it rather than cutting it off.

So now I want to get on my soapbox for the day – about someone’s comment on another person’s blog I read yesterday.  I didn’t want to comment back about it because it’s obviously just that person’s opinion, but I found it annoying, so I wanted to talk about it (especially since it was running through my head as I ran today.)  I doubt that the blogger will be reading this, but I am 100% certain the commenter won’t, so I think I won’t offend anyone 🙂  I don’t plan on regularly talking about pregnancy once I’m no longer pregnant, so this is my one chance for this topic to come up 🙂

So to the story – the blogger was posting about how she was feeling at 33 weeks – uncomfortable, hot all the time, knocking things off counters with her belly, etc. She wasn’t complaining about it, per se, but asked others how they felt in their last months, etc.  Well I’ll tell you straight up – I don’t like being pregnant at all.  I know, I know – there are lots of ladies out there with infertility problems, or who aren’t in a position to be able to have a family and give birth, etc, so obviously I have never walked in their shoes, and they would love being pregnant, but for me, I should still be allowed to say that I don’t like it.  I am not one of those people who embraces her pregnant body, feels all glowing and lovely, and can’t wait to be pregnant when I’m not.  Even when we had been married 2 1/2 years and I was not pregnant, I wasn’t “looking forward” to the way one feels when pregnant.  Since then I’ve had 7 pregnancies and 5 babies (one miscarriage at 16 weeks), and pregnancy and I have made peace, but we’re not friends.  I always wonder who these people are who say they “loved being pregnant – don’t you???” I was talking to a friend the other day who said she liked it, and she told me they had struggled with infertility for a while before they were able to conceive.  I guess, medically and technically speaking, we were “infertile” as well before our first baby was born.  But that is simply ludicrous since we never underwent any sort of infertility regime, and I now am 35 weeks into my 7th pregnancy.  So the medical definition of infertility of actively trying to conceive for a year without achieving pregnancy must be wrong, since we’re clearly not infertile.

Anyway, someone commented back to this blogger saying things I won’t quote directly because that might seem rude – but generally things along this vein: I hated it too when I was in my last months, but now I miss it! You’re going to miss it,too! Treasure the time you have together just as a couple because you’ll miss that once the baby comes (ok maybe this one I’ll say is not that far from the truth). I’m finding myself wishing I were still pregnant because I get sad when I see how much my baby has already grown and how it’s happening so fast! [and finally] – you may only be lucky enough to do this a few times in your life, so cherish the times you get to be pregnant!

Okay, so maybe this girl was feeling that way now that she had delivered and was no longer pregnant, but really people – STOP TELLING WOMEN IN THEIR LAST TRIMESTER THAT THEY ARE GOING TO MISS BEING PREGNANT AND THAT THEY SHOULD JUST TRY TO RELAX AND ENJOY IT!  I think MOST WOMEN will not be sorry to have the baby on the outside of their body, holding it and loving it in a new way.  That kind of encouragement really is not encouraging.  Especially because I think the women are few and far between who really do miss being pregnant.  Who knows, though, maybe I’m just the weird one?? And as far as being lucky enough to only get to do this a few times – ladies, I have news for you. If you want to be pregnant more often, you’ll probably get that chance if infertility is not a concern for you.  You don’t live in China, so there is no one (unless you spouse is adamant) telling you you can’t have more children.  Most women limit their pregnancies by choice, so if you’re sad you won’t get to be pregnant again (because you feel like you didn’t cherish the experience enough the other times) well then – you could probably have another child.  Despite all the reasons people give for limiting their family size, the truth remains that it’s a choice you’ve made – so you’re not lucky for the few times you get to be pregnant (infertility aside) – you’ve made a decision to only do this a few times.  And as a matter of fact, I’m sure that a lot of women make the choice to have a smaller family partially based on how they felt while pregnant – which is to say, not good.  Yes, pregnancy is amazing, and it’s truly astonishing what goes on in the 40 weeks while the baby is growing inside of us, but that doesn’t mean that if I say I don’t like the way I feel when I’m pregnant (really – who likes feeling weaker, heavier, limited, apathetic, nauseous, tired – I could go on) that others should tell me I need to readjust my attitude basically and just love it because it will be over soon and I’ll miss it.  No, I won’t be missing it.  Not at all.  Either way, I think the commenter and the blogger were friends, at least it sounded like that when I read it, so maybe you know your own friends well enough to know when you can say stuff like that.  Well any of my friends and family reading this – you know me well enough NOT to say anything like that, because you know I will give you a dirty look if you do 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Saturday’s Run and Weekly Recap – Lean, Mean, Running Machine!

  1. **Just wanted to note in case anyone is thinking of commenting about the idea that we made a choice to have this many children so I shouldn’t complain about the way pregnancy makes me feel: We also made a choice for my husband to stay in the military as a career, but that doesn’t mean that when things get tough while he’s gone on a 6-month deployment that we can’t occasionally say that Navy life is rough. In the same manner, we made a choice before we were married not to plan our pregnancies, and we are happy with that choice and its results, but that doesn’t mean that some aspects of life resulting from that choice are unpleasant – leading me to occasionally complain 🙂

  2. Corey! I love that song. It has gotten me through many a tough time.

    I love reading about your pregnancy and running and I love that you are so honest and transparent. I can’t imagine being pregnant and chasing so many little ones. You are amazing in my book!

    And I agree with what you said about the comment. I think people just assume everyone feels the same way they do. I’m one of those weird ones that loved being pregnant. Every minute of it. That being said, I know most people don’t feel that way and I would never say that to someone. I get equally annoyed though when people tell me that it’s awesome that I got to adopt my kids because at least I didn’t have to be pregnant. Of course they don’t know how my first pregnancy ended usually or that I would give anything to be able to be pregnant. I just think people need to think more before they give advice about stuff like that. 🙂

    • Wow Cathy! I can’t imagine someone saying the thing “it’s awesome that you got to adopt your kids because at least you didn’t have to be pregnant.” That just sounds so insensitive!!! It also doesn’t take into account the fact that many women aren’t in a relationship where getting pregnant is feasible (ie as in your case, you’re a Christian and not married, and you have strong beliefs about whether or not you should be pregnant in that situation, or in the case of others, they may be dealing with infertility or have a spouse who is in a wheelchair or whatever) – That reminds me of when people say things like, “You should be happy you don’t have kids because they’re so much work” or “oh your parents aren’t living anymore? Just be glad you don’t have to take care of them like I do mine” etc etc – you know that their comments are probably coming out of 1)a desire to try to put you at ease with your current situation (admirable) or 2)their own bitterness and dissatisfaction with their own lot (sad). I notice something over here in England, though, and in certain parts of the states — people seem to keep their opinions to themselves a lot more and therefore don’t go around saying as many insensitive things to people they don’t know at all or don’t know well enough to know their situation, etc. It seems like in the deep south, Texas included, telling other people how to live their lives – either directly or through veiled insults or fake compliments – is rather more common. I can give you an example of two instances- 30 years apart, but the same – of what I mean — I was in a store with Patience when she was a baby in Virginia, and this older lady came up with a sweet smile and sugary voice and said – “what a little cutie pie! Oh WHERE are that baby’s SHOES??” (and of course shoes had two syllables in it to drag it out.) And it was her way of saying, “You should always put shoes on your child when you take it out, and you’re being a bad parent if you don’t.” Oddly enough, this SAME thing happened to my mom (who is quicker on her feet than me) 30 years earlier, also in Virginia. She managed to say, “Her feet are deformed so we can’t put any shoes on her” before walking away. Hahahahaha. Anyway, We could probably all be a little more sensitive to other people’s feelings and situations – I mean, really, we all probably talk too much already! “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” Proverbs 10:19

  3. It took two years and four pregnancies for us to have our first baby. SO you better believe I soaked in all of that pregnancy and really savored the adventure. No, it wasn’t always comfortable, but my situation gave me a perhaps different perspective on the journey, and I was more tolerant of the not-so-great aspects, because, well, they’re still part of pregnancy, and I felt very fortunate to be experiencing it.

    This time around, I’m a little less tolerant. 🙂 But hyperemesis hit me hard for 4 months. Being essentially bedridden and unable to care for my toddler — and also still nursing — was quite a challenge. I was just grateful then to be successfully avoiding the ER, successfully staying hydrated and not *losing* weight. And now I’m big. The novelty has worn off.

    So yes, it’s more of a slog. But I still have with me my past and the struggles and devastation from that two years. So even though it’s hard sometimes. Even though MY ANKLES ARE ALREADY DISAPPEARING ARG! And even though I still throw up virtually every day, I feel so lucky to be growing a baby. And I savor even the hard parts, because they are part of the journey, too, and I know I will want to look back and remember it all.

    I think what the commenter was trying to convey is essentially how children are on this ever-moving continuum — from conception really, when their story begins. They change so quickly that we may feel wistful when we recall what it was like when they were tiny — or, in this case, when pregnant. I get that. I crave the smell of a newborn head, and I know I’ll miss it after that first bath. I recall fondly interacting with Little Tiger as he shifted in my belly. I think back to how I wondered what he would be like: his personality, his features, his talents. Virtually none of the blanks had been filled in yet, an there was an excitement about that — and you only get to experience that once for each kid. So I think it should be embraced and acknowledged. Along with that comes the self-reflection: How will I do it? Preparing the mind and body for birth. The sacrifices or things we must go without during pregnancy and how that 9 month fast affects us.

    Probably by Kid 6, a lot of this just wears off, and you’re left with a big tummy, fatigue and 50 loaves of bread to bake. 😉 I get that, too. 🙂 I mean, I don’t get it from firsthand experience, but I can see how one’s perspective would change.

    But I would say that it’s good to retain some of that wonder with each new life, even the 7th time around. 🙂 I have seen how unique each of your kids is, and I bet each pregnancy had many unique aspects, too, positive and not-so-positive. Those little stand-out blips are what imprint upon us, becoming part of our identities.

    At least this is my way of looking at things. But I’m from the south, and I’m a glass-half-full person. So I’m totally going to try and blow rose petals up in your business. You’ll just have to forgive me, I guess. Or tell me to take those rose petals and blow em up my own business.

    • Hahahaha Summer – yeah you take some of those petals and blow them…no just kidding 🙂 I think like I mentioned in the post – that dealing with infertility, not being something that I’ve experience, is a whole new ballgame, and I can’t speak at all to how someone must feel if that has been the case with them. I honestly can’t remember liking pregnancy ANY of the times I have been pregnant, but I think for me (and people who feel like me) a lot of that has to do with hormones, and the fact that said hormones may be depressing us a bit, or in my case making me feel apathetic about stuff a lot (when I’m usually pretty bubbly and go-get-em) – which seems like lower spirits compared to normal “fun” me. So these feelings then apply to all the things to do with pregnancy and this normally glass-half-full person turns into a “which kid drank half my water!?!” person 🙂 But not having an experience with trying to get pregnant and not being able to (even in the 2 1/2 years before we got pregnant the first time, we didn’t focus on “trying” – it was just a “whatever happens” sort of attitude, and I was still in the Navy so I wasn’t too concerned about starting a family yet), I really can’t even begin to put myself in the shoes of someone who has dealt with it, other than to say, that I can totally see why pregnancy would be something you would cherish. That said, though, I think there is a general “elevation” of the importance of pregnancy and birth nowadays – promoting it to almost an idol to a lot of people – where the pregnancy and the child are in a sense “worshiped” – but if you think back about 200 years when people had farms and homes to run in the midst of having babies year after year – I think they more or less just thought of it as an everyday part of life. It’d be nice if there could be a happy medium reestablished in which pregnancy is appreciated for the wonder that it is but people didn’t treat it like something to stop time over. This reminds me of big weddings in our culture too (a tangent I know) – they have just become such a cultural “thing” – like this big white wedding you “need” to have – and then the focus of so much time, energy, and money, for usually over a year, is on making this big “thing” perfect, and then afterwards – bam! reality hits, and marriage is hard. But really, a marriage is a normal part of life, something to celebrate yes, but not something to break the bank over! And I think a lot of people treat pregnancy/infancy in the same way (not you Summer, I’m just saying, in general) – focusing all their time and energy on it – because a lot of people in our country in this day and age can afford to do that with their extra time and money. Think about the pregnant teller at WalMart, on her feet all day til she delivers and then with just 6 weeks maternity leave – I’m thinking she’s not quite as thrilled with pregnancy issues as a stay-at-home-mom might be 🙂 OH, and I didn’t know you had that thing you mentioned that kept you on bedrest for so long. What is it exactly? What is the cause of it? Just curious 🙂 I had better get dressed now – have to get them all to the dentist today for an appointment for Patience’s cavity…

  4. I read Corey’s blog for the first time last Sat morning – saw the pic of her sportin the maternity belt/contraption on Facebook and had to read on. I love that she’s open enough to share exactly how she’s lookin that day, big belly and all, AND exactly how she’s feelin.

    Happened to see her soapbox post here re others offering their opinions about how grand it is to be pregnant – especially to women in the last trimester. I laughed and laughed at this. As I was headed out the door for a refresher birthing class at 37 weeks, this blog absolutely made my day. Even as I reread it now, I couldn’t agree more with Corey’s stand. I love my children as much as any caring mother does and wouldn’t change a thing about them, but seriously, being pregnant, sucks. It takes over your life. Yes, you can embrace all the wonderfully remarkable kicks and punches inside your tummy and relish every sweet kiss your kids give your bellybutton . . . . BUT . . . those moments last less than a few minutes, and you’re still stuck feeling huge and uncomfortable. It’s easy to remember the “good times” of pregnancy after you’ve had your baby, maybe. Not really for me ’cause all 4 of my pregnancies have been difficult (one miscarriage), but for others it may be easy. And they see you and your huge about-to-give-birth belly and feel compelled to give their two cents of what they feel is an empathetic gesture of advice. Like, “enjoy every moment”, “just relax”, etc etc, as Corey pointed out. It’s incredible they can’t remember how annoying those comments must have felt to them when they were 8-9 months pregnant?! Here on Maui I’ve got lots of “Earthy-Crunchy” friends who enjoyed absolutely every moment of pregnancy – were never nauseous, never uncomfortable, didn’t experience mood swings or any of that. They gave birth naturally at home or out in the wilderness and couldn’t have had a better experience. I LOVE those friends dearly and am humbled by their joy and positive pregnant passion. But I don’t get it. I feel every symptom in the book and more. And now, I’m tired of hearing the ol’ standby “enjoy every moment” ’cause I’m over it, totally over it. Ready to get back to life – back to my bands, back to bagpiping. I guess what it really boils down to is this: we’re very pregnant, hormones a-ragin’, body from another planet, aches and pains unlike any other life experience. And no, I’m not gonna miss it.”

    Go Corey!! Thanks for this hilarious editorial. You’re a star and you know it. Shine on girl.

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