Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Adjusted expectations.

Anyone who has ever had to deal with injuries, an illness, or anything that has kept them from running knows the power of adjusted expectations. To that list, I will add the pregnant woman. Specifically, the pregnant runner.

Adjusted expectations are the pregnant runner's friend. They are certainly my friend.

I started out running strong. I set a goal of running 17-20 miles a week and set my sights on a few races, and with training the new running group. No problem. I ran and ran and felt great -- some days better than others, but that's the case whether you're pregnant or not. Some days just rot. Others rock. That's the way it is.

So, I ran and ran. And then I started to fade. The weather got to me and I'm not foolish enough to push it in 90*+ temperatures, at least not while I'm carrying such precious cargo. I adjusted and, when I could, I ran at night when the heat and humidity had tailed off a bit. I also replaced more of my runs with cross training: lots of squats, plies and lunges; tons of push-ups and enough arm exercises to make them feel like cooked spaghetti.

The bottom line is that, recently, 17-20 miles a week of running has no longer been a possibility.

I've adjusted my expectations. Now, I'm happy with about 10 miles a week. My 2.5 and 3 mile runs make me feel like I'm still in the game. When I bust out a 4-miler, I feel like I'm on top of the world. And let me tell you, feeling awesome about a 4-miler sure beats feeling disappointed over a missed run or because my weekly mileage is getting lower and lower!

Adjusted expectations will likely be a big part of my running up until I give birth and probably for a good while afterward. I'm ready.

What about you? Have you had to adjust your expectations recently? Have you felt better after doing so? I really do think it makes a big difference!

~ Felice

19 comments:

Suzy said...

I think you have the exact right attitude for running while pregnant. 4 miles is a long ways for the majority of people and you are occasionally doing it while pregnant. You should feel like you are on top of the world!

Lisa said...

I love your attitude! Getting out there for 10 miles a week is great, especially in this crazy heat!

I've had to adjust expectations while my foot injury takes longer to heal. But, I'm on a comeback and I'm going to be smart about it. I think that's always the most important thing - to just be smart about how we push ourselves!

Have a great day!

Indi said...

Hey the non pregnant me is only doing about 15 now with this heat, so I think you are being very smart and safe and thinking about your baby first:) Its awesome that you are still running girl!

Katie H said...

It's really neat to follow along in your adventures in running while pregnant. You are doing fantastic. When my husband and I start a family in a few years I'm definitely going to look back on these posts for advice on running while pregnant!

ajh said...

You are doing great!

Michelle said...

I sometimes get really down on myself and beat myself up if I have plans of doing a certain number of miles and fall short. I have started adopting the attitude that my body will tell me when it's time to stop and so I've been trying to pay more attention to that instead of a certain number of miles on a calender.

Marlene said...

Great post! I think this is something important to remember for all of us - sometimes you just have to adjust your expectations. Glad it's going well for you - you're doing awesome!

Denise said...

that is such a great attitude. i just think it's harder to adjust when you're injured b/c it wasn't by choice and nothing wonderful (baby) is coming from it. but you're right, it's what we gotta do and it will help get through it.

J said...

You really are doing great! Running while pregnant is an adjustment but I think you are doing a great job and really are inspiring! It is so nice to follow you through all this!

joyRuN said...

I need to take a page from your book - I'm assuming my running will be a rude surprise once I get off this boot ;)

GoddessLibrarian said...

You know you're awesome.

So many women look at pregnancy as an excuse to pig out and eat unhealthy and sit on the couch and do nothing. 10 miles a week is fantastic! I would say ANY miles a week is fantastic, especially this late in the game.

I've stopped comparing myself to other runners and worrying about mileage and time and all that. If I can only get a mile or 2 run in because of the 3 kids I have to take care of, well, then so be it... I'm just trying to make sure I do it a lot! I've been reminding myself lately that the 8 miles a week or whatever I can do, is more than the no miles I did for 30+ years. :-)

Tracy said...

Excellent post! You have a great attitude about unexpected changes!

busyrunningmama said...

I have been adjusting for 9 months ( coincidence, no pregnancy here) just 2 surgeries.I got really excited about a run that was 5 minutes the other day.... After no runs for 9 months, it felt amazing.... Keep adjusting, u are doing great!,,

Lara said...

Yup, adjusted expectations is the mantra of my life, and I'm not even pregnant! I just got over a 36 hr flu that laid me flat and had me wondering if I would ever recover. Seriously. Life goes on, and if you get to play, then it's all the sweeter. Happy running, momma.

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onelittletrigirl said...

Honestly, I never thought my injury would force me to constantly readjust. I thought once I was "better" everything would be good to go.

I think you are doing great- I love seeing pregnant women working out and running and etc...you are going to bounce back great after the baby is born!

Libby Jones said...

Felice,
I understand. I am 20 weeks pregnant. Luckily, I'm doing 25-27 miles a week, if I include my handful of elliptical miles, which I think is fair when the alternative is ALL miles in Texas summer heat. :-) I think at 29 weeks, you have run longer than most as many miles as you were. I hope I'm still doing as well as you are when I get to 29 weeks!

Libby

Erin said...

I admire you for keeping up with running! I'm 32 weeks pregnant and definitely finding it to be a challenge for my mind to realize the limits of the bod!

Quix said...

Great attitude! It's totally not the same, but instead of getting (completely) heartbroken after training so hard for 3 months for my half and then coming down with a horrible chest cold the week of, I just set a goal to finish.

There will be other races, no need to get all upset over this one.

Soon, you'll be back to your old self, I'm sure. I'm glad you're feeling awesome (as you should for staying so active this far in)!

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