Since announcing my pregnancy, I’ve received a lot of mixed comments whilst continuing to live in the nonstop fashion that I do. My mother-in-law, much to my amusement, told my husband to tell me that I needed to just relax and let myself get fat. My sweet friend Rachel told me that I still looked like a supermodel at five months pregnant. (And when I told her that my uterus was supposed to be bigger than a cantaloupe, she told me that I probably needed to be bigger than a cantaloupe for that to happen.) After telling my friend Cierra that I could meet her for lunch after I got done cleaning and jogging, she let me know that I was the craziest prego woman she’s ever met. (I told her that I would take this as a compliment.) I think my poor mom is relatively certain I’m trying to give her a heart attack.
Amongst many other things in trying to maintain a healthy and adventurous lifestyle, I’ve made the choice to continue my frequent running. My doctor gave me the okay on my first check-up, and that was all that I needed to keep going full swing ahead. My goal for 2013 was to run six races. It’s an interesting combination to be both extremely goal-oriented and rather disorganized. Things often get done at the last minute. Until September, I was only up to two races. I was at three by the beginning of December. I ran two 5ks in a week last week and they were both incredible. On a chilly, beautiful Thanksgiving morning, I ran behind a man fully dressed in a turkey costume at the Turkey 5k. At the Reindeer Run, I ran through a gorgeous, two-miles worth of elaborately displayed Christmas lights on a warm, Saturday evening. It was a breathtaking (and only partly due to jogging) experience, to say the least. I’ve completed a half-marathon before, but two 5ks in a week was still a new accomplishment for me. I’m proud of myself for keeping my fitness level high enough to still be able to run both with ease in my second trimester.
I take in the occasional concerns of loved ones with both an open heart and a grain of salt. It’s been an important lesson to me over the past few years to know that I don’t always have to follow what every friend, family member, message board or random fellow has to say. I’ve learned that it’s often more about listening to what my body, my heart and my mind wants, needs and can handle. Of course, I do take into account the opinions of those who are wiser than I and those who truly want the best for me. It’d be foolish of me not to. But sometimes it turns out that, before any well-wisher or self-help article, I know what’s the very best for me. In this particular case, my body has let me know me that it can definitely do these runs. That it’s doing a swell job of keeping baby perfectly safe in there whilst I jog about. As for heart and mind, they love the exhilaration, endorphins and inspiration that running brings me. It sounds cheesy, but this being in tune with myself before always listening to 9,432,842,930 different incoming sources stuff has been such a good thing for me. I know I would have missed out on a lot of pretty amazing stuff otherwise. Like running behind a giant turkey or jogging through a massively spectacular array of Christmas lights on a perfect, magical December night.
I’m scheduled to finish up my goal of six races for 2013 with one last 5k next weekend. I’m already eagerly anticipating the inspiration of jogging through crisp, morning air with my fellow joggers by my side. I’m still running, and that feels really great.