As I have written previously, I am expecting with my 3rd child. While I am happy to be pregnant and excited at the thought of a sweet newborn to cuddle (and photograph), I miss my relationship with running. One of the first signs that I was pregnant, was how I felt on a run. My body was tiring quickly and I was working harder at things that once came easily. The entire first trimester I was exhausted, and although I was able to go on long runs, running a 10K on St. Patrick’s Day, my pace began to suffer. Needless to say it was frustrating. I was excited to get my energy back at the beginning of my second trimester and I have been able to continue to run and take classes at the Y, but I am not able to do any speed training or really push myself in classes. It was kind of nice at first, not following a schedule and just running however far I felt like running, but now I miss my long runs. There was a time that I would have considered 6 miles or less a short run and if I were to run 3-5 miles it was only for fartlek training. Now, at 24 weeks pregnant, a long run is 5-6 miles and these runs have become few and far between. Watching my body become unable to perform at my pre-pregnancy fitness level has been hard. Finding a balance between feeling like I am doing enough, while cutting myself some slack because I am pregnant has been extremely difficult.
Now that it is the summertime and school is out, another speed bump I have encountered is my own kids. Trying to coordinate their summer activities with working out has been a challenge. Then there is the weather. I live in Southern Texas and it is now 100 plus degrees outside. The lows are in the 80′s! Yes, that means if I were to get up early and run before the sun comes up, it would still be 80 degrees and humid outside. In the first month of the summer I have endured a 3 day long migraine because I did not stay properly hydrated after a run. The following week I came down with a bad cold and was miserable. Being pregnant, all I could take for the cold was Tylenol. After about a week, I started to feel better physically, but I had more obstacles in my path. The summer months are vacation time for many and we had a plethora of family members in town from all over the country & world. My father-in-law’s 90th birthday party was a big weekend celebration, followed by my daughter’s 4th birthday, which included 2 parties and was a week long. While I did get in a few classes and several runs in June, I am way behind my normal amount of activity. And what goes hand in hand with family visiting and lots of parties? Food! That’s right, lot of delicious food that didn’t fall anywhere within the confines of the clean eating I have recently adopted.
I hope I am not coming off as whiny. I am enjoying the time I get to spend with my kids during the summer months, and I consider all the time spent with family to be priceless. I just wanted to share the kinds of things I have been dealing with that I consider to be speed bumps. We all have obstacles in our lives that can get us off track with our nutrition, runs, workouts, etc. So, how do I get past these things? It’s simple. It’s because it is IMPORTANT to me to stay fit and healthy. I make the time to go. When I fall off track, I pick myself up and start the week again new. This week I am back to my routine and already feeling better. Maybe your speed bump is a full time job that has you exhausted at the end of the day. Maybe you have a new baby who keeps you up at night. Maybe you also have the weather working against you. Maybe you are pregnant like me. Maybe you didn’t get enough sleep, maybe your legs hurt, maybe you’ll just go tomorrow… Stop making excuses and start making the choice to live a better life. Make the choice to be a good example of fitness and health to your children. It’s up to you. It’s your choice.
Here are some ways that I find help me stay motivated.
- Have friends who are also into fitness & running and support each other. My friends motivate me daily. I love seeing their runs or workouts posted on Facebook and I always like or comment on their posts to motivate them. In return, they do the same for me.
- I love Pinterest! Sometimes when I need a little motivation, I will check out my own Run Board to get pumped up.
- Workout clothes – having a cute outfit (especially one from Lululemon) always helps motivate me.
- Sign up for a race. Not only are they a fun activity, there are so many different kinds and causes, you are bound to find one you’ll love. I am currently registered to run the Armaco Houston Half Marathon on January 13, 2012. I plan on running the Color Me Rad run in March 2013.
- Another Mother Runner books, blog, podcasts, etc. Sarah & Dimity are such an inspiration. You should check them out if you are a mother runner.