Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.

"That is happiness; to be disolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep." - Willa Cather

Sunday, 29 May 2011

It almost ruined me

The fact that I am about to complain must be proof that normally my life is pretty good. I had a crappy week. Monday was okay because I was riding the high of having run the marathon the day before. But Monday-Thursday consisted of 10-12 hour work days (if you count transportation time and the two cancelled trains) in Copenhagen. And it wasn't even really work. It was a course in sports medicine that I finagled my way into as credit toward my PhD. It was an outstanding course, yet I felt horrible and trapped.

On Monday night, I had time for a swim, which felt glorious. But the rest of the week would consist of my trying to sneak in short runs here and there and realizing I absolutely couldn't run anymore (this meant I actually ate during our luch breaks - yikes!). Normally I can run again without too much trouble two days after a marathon. But most of the marathons I run are on trails, so maybe this was an explanation for why my recovery wasn't going so well. But it was as if I had started some processes in my body; I figured my days of running pregnant were over.

My "runs" were like this:
- start running
- after 2 minutes the first contraction would come
- shortly after the first contraction, my bowels would send me an urgent message, sending me behind dumpsters, trees, you name it, 3-4 times on a 20 minute "run", which was in reality 10 minutes of walking, 5 minutes of hiding and 5 minutes of running.

By Wednesday, I decided there was no point in pushing it and I analyzed my legs, which were huge and swollen with fluid. I finally admitted to myself that it was even uncomfortable to walk. My legs were so heavy. Is this what pregnancy feels like for women who don't exercise, I wondered. Or is this simply my own fault because I ran a marathon so late in pregnancy?

The scale was not my friend either and told me I had gained almost 1.5 kgs since the marathon! Depression. AND our poor kids! Neither SR nor I made it home for dinner any of the nights last week and I had to drop of Christian every day at day care so early that he was still sleeping.

I started drinking diet soda to induce premature labor. Okay, not really. But I started thinking - I can't make it to 40 weeks!!!

To make matters worse, the pocket of cellulite on my right upper thigh, which I monitor at least once daily had returned (it had disappeared after our trip to Mallorca).

But the week of terrors came to an end. It was another longish day Friday, but then I went to a pulse/core class Saturday morning while The Lorax played with cars and hand weights beside me and I felt so fresh and happy. And then SR and I ran for another two hours with The Lorax in the baby jogger. And I could run again! And the swelling was almost gone.

Today I did a bike, swim, run and felt amazing. What a relief! I'm not fast at anything, but I am happy again. And the 1.5 extra kgs are gone. And, as odd as it sounds, the pocket of cellulite is gone again, too. And now just one week until maternity leave begins (which I've chosen to work part time during due to pressures with my PhD - but life will at least be more manageable for a while!). Imagine that SR deals with those kind of hours with his transportation every week! As do perhaps some of the readers of this blog - I feel for you!!!

Sorry if this post sounds trite and superficial - but you do want honesty, right??

Running song of the day: Circuital by My Morning Jacket
Biking song of the day: Desert Island by Architecture in Helsinki
Music I like imagining The Lorax will write some day: Stay the Night by James Blunt (doesn't every mom want their son to grow up and write brilliant, happy melodies?). I can't help loving JB despite kinda lame lyrics.


heather said...

Yikes! You must have REALLY needed a few days off running (and probably off work, too - so the crazy schedule didn't help). No shame in listening to your body when it's screaming at you like that. Great that you're feeling better!

Anonymous said...

Did you seriously joke about inducing premature labor? Disgusting.

mmmonyka said...

I am glad that the not so great week is over and you are feeling good again. Not every week can be awesome, right?

cherelli said...

It's kind of good that you had your days full so you weren't able to push too hard and recognise how much more recovery your body needs at the moment...and it's great that your body came around by the end of the week...keep tuning in to your body, I love your journey so far! (oh and I think Anonymous needs to take a chill pill as plenty of mums joke about wanting their pregnancy to be over once it starts getting uncomfortable, runners or not).

sea legs girl said...

Ha. Yeah, Cherelli - I think a chill pill is in order here, too. Anon - well, now, you know I am at the point where the baby would survive and be healthy if it were born today. But despite that, I'd of course prefer that it remain in there baking until, you know, say 38 weeks. 38-39 weeks seems just perfect for mom and baby. If you want my honest opinion. 31-32 weeks will give you a baby with increased chance of asthma and ADD. Of course I don't WISH for an unealthy baby in any way. Did I seriously just have to spell that out?

Tough crowd...

sea legs girl said...

One more thing, Anon. It was also a joke about what I have discussed before - that there has appeared a misconception that diet soda increases the risk of premature birth and I discussed why the study that showed that was flawed. So, yeah, drinking diet soda wouldn't induce premature labor anyway (at least according to me).

In fact, what would? Interesting topic. Ha. If something worked, tons of women would be trying it the later along they were. Not that you wanted my opinion, but I wouldn't even be "induced" at 42 weeks. All of this should happen as naturally as possible.

Karen said...

I'm glad you're feeling better after a couple bad days. I would go nuts wondering what happened. Glad you're recovered enough to get back out there.

Horray for maternity leave!! That leaves more time for running, right?

Diana said...

Oh, eek! Sounds like a rather uncomfortable week. I agree that it sounds like your body just needed more time to recover from your marathon. Glad that your leave starts soon and you'll have more time to relax. Don't forget to listen to your body--sometimes all it needs is a little rest.
P.S. I had a Diet Coke on Saturday. I hope I'll be all right! ;)

Iris said...

As you adress the aspect of fluid retention after a marathon I would like to ask you if you are also eperience this when not pregnant. I exercise pretty intensily (running but also heavy weight lifting, kettlebells, circuits etc.) and I have realized that the more intense my routine gets the more the scale goes up (and no, it is not new msucle, I have strength trained for so long now that I am beyond the point where I expect myself to put on some more - I do not have the genetics for this). It is sometimes scary as I also watch my diet and know that I do not eat more calories...When I stop/reduce the intensity (due to sickness or regeneration) I lose up to 5 pounds in 2-3 weeks. I think it is mostly water...Do you (or any of the exercising ladies who use to comment here) experience this as well? I feel it correlates more to intensity than to volume...
Great that the swelling went down! Might be also due to the summer pregnancy...Cnsider support stockings those helped me when I was pregnant - no swelling whatsoevr in the very warm May/June 2009!

sea legs girl said...

Iris- great question and oh boy, DO I have experience with it! When I ran the Trans Alpine race in 2009, I accumulated pitting edem that went up to my hips. It was terrible. If I remember correctly, I had over 3kgs of extra fluid, which I was able to pee away the week following the race. I am really not sure if it is how intense the workout it or how long, but I guess I think it is the overall stress of it on the muscles.

I DID wear compression socks, by the way, and I think they help quite a bit with pregnancy-related swelling. A lot of my swelling seemed to come about 2 days later and I had such a busy week that I couldn't locate the socks until Saturday, but they almost certainly would have helped the fluid go away faster.

sea legs girl said...

Diana - do you think it is too late to pump your stomach to get that Diet Pepsi out? ;)

sea legs girl said...

Iris- I meant I wore the compression socks to the Copenhagen Marathon, not to the Trans-Alpine. In retrospect it would have been good to have them at the Trans-Alpine! Think I laughed at the people who wore them. Some things you just have to try for yourself, I guess.

Anonymous said...

What a crazy week! I'm so glad that you're feeling better now.

I have to say, based on my survey of one, that I found that with marathon training through the first 10 weeks of pregnancy my body was extra sensitive and gained water weight like crazy after all my runs 15-20 miles long. It would go down after a few days but it scared me every time and sent me all over the internet where I determined that it's pretty normal to retain water and have your weight go up after intense training and events. I will try to remember that for next time. Glad you are back to normal in that area as well - you're getting so close! :-)

Kate said...

it doesn't sound trite or superficial to me - everyone's allowed to have a bad week, even if it's always on a relative scale, right?

I have so totally been slacking in the exercise department lately. You'd die if you were me, I know. (Figuratively, of course.) Thanks for the inspiration.

And yeah, my legs feel huge, heavy and rub together at the thighs: SEXY! : P