|Longest plank time of the week.|
I am finally starting to feel like I'm getting back to my normal self. Except for when I consider how much harder everything is right now. That's why I want to talk about starting over and swallowing my pride.
When I first found out I was pregnant. I was only a few weeks along and I continued to feel totally normal. I kept going to 5:30 a.m. boot camp for the first week or two. Around 5 or 6 weeks pregnant, I went from feeling like myself to feeling like I had been hit by a high speed train. I was exhausted, I was nauseous, my head hurt, and I couldn't fathom getting out of end early to workout or going to the gym after 9 hours at the office. I was lucky to get in a few dog walks most of those early weeks. Around 8 weeks, I started feeling well enough to crank out one or two slow runs a week. Finally, gloriously, around 11 weeks I felt almost normal and was able to hit the gym four times. Two weeks in a row of four workouts has me hoping that I'm back on track, at least for the second trimester. I plan to enjoy it!
But getting back on track doesn't come easy. When you take some significant time off from routine, it would be nice to think you can pick up where you left off, but that is rarely the case. Pregnancy aside, I know this is true. When you take a hiatus from running or strength training (or both) you have to take a few steps backwards in order to start again. And to an athlete (and yes, I believe we are all athletes) I can't think of much more frustrating than being forced to regress. Especially if you're in a vulnerable place with trying to start over. What do I mean by vulnerable? As in, I took a month off from running after my last half marathon to "recover" and I ate all the food and suddenly I'm up five pounds and now I want to start over but I still feel burned out and boy this is hard...what do you mean I can't run an 11 minute mile anymore? Yeah, that kind of vulnerability. And yes, that totally happened to me this fall.
All of that aside, this is where swallowing your pride comes in. For some people, swallowing their pride is easy. I'm not one of those people. I am, above all else, competitive with myself, always striving for improvement. Regression is not the name of the game. I have been having an internal struggle with this for the past two weeks. Pregnant or not, seeing how much slower I have to run now is hard. Seeing how much harder it is to bust out certain strength training moves is frustrating.
But at the end of the day, I think we all have to live in the present and be proud of what we can do in that moment. Instead of being mad that I'm now run/walking a 14 minute mile instead of a 12 minute one, I need to be grateful that I am able to run at all. I need to challenge myself but I also need to respect where I am today. I need to love my body for what it is capable of accomplishing in this moment. I should feel proud for getting out there and getting it done. That's called swallowing my pride.
So for anyone who has taken some time off from their routine and is struggling to get back to their prime, remember not to beat yourself up. Love yourself for where you are now, respect the journey, and know that sooner or later, you'll find yourself back where you want to be. But starting again, no matter how slow, is the only way to get there.