First, I have to say thank you to all of you who responded to my last post. I was overwhelmed with an outpouring of support from old friends, new friends, and those I’ve never met. Being a new mom, I have learned that a strong support network is crucial in order to keep your sanity. It is beyond helpful to hear others’ experiences and know that you’re not alone, that other people understand what you’re going through and that they made it just fine. Though I didn’t find the time to write responses to most of you, your words were so helpful, encouraging and so very much appreciated. Thank you!
With that said, I am the happiest I’ve ever been. I am so madly in love with this little munchkin, and when I’m with her, nothing else in the world matters. Words cannot describe the joy I feel when I hear the playful little noises coming from her room when she wakes up, and I peak my head over her crib to see the sweetest ear-to-ear grin. Things have gotten easier, she’s sleeping longer through the night, and she’s gotten to the really fun stage where she smiles all the time and is communicating with us. I could go on forever about Daisy’s milestones and share the thousands of pictures and videos that we’ve taken of her, but this is a blog about running, and I’m here to share with you my road to recovery or lack thereof.
Pregnancy is clearly very hard on the body. The fact that we have to push a 7-8 lb, 20 in. long BABY out of a very small opening is a miracle in itself, but it’s the other things such as the weight gain, weakened muscles, and loose ligaments that have plagued me since giving birth. The past few months have not been easy for me. I’ve been in a huge slump both physically and mentally as far as fitness is concerned. I tried running 2 or 3 times with no signs of improvement with my pelvis. Even going for a walk made it hurt. I started working again twice a week, and those two nights leave my body feeling broken, like I’m a 90 year old woman. My knees ache, my pelvis hurts even in my sleep, and I still get little twinges here and there from my long lost friend, the achilles.
So what exactly have I been doing these past 3 months? Besides embracing all of the joys of motherhood, I have done absolutely nothing. And I mean nothing. I had given up. I had lost all hope. I’ve had to endure so many months of pain, I don’t even remember what it feels like to be normal. I can count the number of times I’ve been to the gym on one hand. The few times I’ve gone to try to do some cardio either left my pelvis aching or my achilles burning. I’ve completely let myself go because of my “all or nothing” attitude. If I can’t run, I don’t want to do anything. Everything else is so excruciatingly boring or causes me pain. Not being able to run has made me feel empty and broken, and there has been no light at the end of the tunnel…
until yesterday. Months ago, I made an appointment with a specialist who I feel will really be able to help me. I anxiously waited for my appointment, which was supposed to be last week, but due to the nightmare with our healthcare system (thank you, Obama, for this “affordable” new health insurance that is almost twice as much as what we were paying before), we had to change our insurance (again) in order to see the doctors who I need to see. So I had to push my appointment back another two weeks. Having to wait so long to see this doctor is actually one of the reasons why I’ve put off all forms of exercise out of fear that I’ll do even more damage to my pelvis. My appointment is on April 2nd, and I am really looking forward to getting some answers and really starting this recovery.
So back to yesterday….
Tad, Daisy and I went for a walk at the park yesterday, and I probably walked about a mile and didn’t feel any pain. When we got to the car, I put the baby down (I was wearing her in my fabulous ergo baby carrier) and jogged (I hate that word) probably 400 meters with no pain. This. is. HUGE! Yes, things felt weird, my lower abdomen felt funky, and I felt like I had to pee, but I didn’t feel that horrible ache in my pelvis. Progress!!!!
It was kind of a wakeup call for me. There is still hope, and I just can’t give up. I have to snap out of this funk and stop feeling sorry for myself. The longer it takes to heal the harder it’s going to be to come back, but there are little things I should be doing to make it easier for me like strengthening exercises for my achilles, weights, and I just have to grin and bear it and do some cardio in the gym.
I know it’s going to be a long road to recovery, and this whole process has even made me change some of my future plans (stay tuned). I am so far behind my other friends and competitors my age, and every year that passes, I feel more and more anxious like time is running out for me. But in the grand scheme of things, I’ve got fresh legs and another good 10 years of training ahead of me. Deena Kastor is 41 years old and still winning races and making world teams. Kara Goucher is 35 and still making changes in her career and has plenty of room for PRs. The winner of the 2008 Olympic Marathon was 38 years old. I have to remind myself that there is plenty of time, and I just have to be patient. I know my time will come.