Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Eat more, move less Part 2.1: move less!

Off the top of my head, I can tell you how many miles I've run in 2014. Zero. I can tell you how many I plan on running in January. Also zero. And February? Almost definitely zero.

Part of my HA recovery is running less. By less, I mean not at all. Why? (once again, I'll disclaimer by saying I am not a doctor, and many other women have written extensively and articulately about HA. Read them too) Because running stresses your body out. No two ways about it. Now, tons of women can run and have their bodies function totally normally, but I am not one of them. At least not now. When you run, particularly long distances and/or at a high intensity, your body sees this as stress and wonders if you're trying to run from something. As I said before, your body doesn't want to put energy into procreating if it's not sure the environment is safe.

I resisted making this change. Everyone else can do it! Famous marathoners run a ton and have a baby while never missing a beat. There are women regularly running 2 or 3 times what my PEAK, only happens 2 weeks a year mileage is. I justified my running in every way possible. Even when the reproductive endocrinologist recommended it to me, I pushed back. When I first saw him it was just before the NCR marathon, and I definitely wasn't going to stop just before my goal race. So I tapered, ran that race, then picked back up. I justified doing this by only running moderate paced runs, never longer than an hour. I never ran more than 4 days a week. That's hardly anything! I thought I was treating my body well. 

It wasn't enough. After reading these super duper helpful forums (Seriously, if you think you might have HA, get a snack, put on some comfy pants, and dig into those forums) that said that anything more than just walking and yoga is no bueno. So now I'm walking. Yeah.... not my favorite form of exercise. But I'm trying to see it positively.

Reason for running #1: gives me an excuse to take a 20 minute long, hot evening shower.
Satisfied by walking?: Yes!

Reason for running #2: provides quality time on the treadmill while watching trashy chick TV? (PS "Don't Trust the B**** in Apartment 23" on Netflix is the BEST THING EVER)
Satisfied by walking?: Oh yes.

Reason for running #3: gives me an hour of veg out time to decompress and process thoughts?
Satisfied by walking?: Definitely

Reason for running #4: allows me to use all my pricey running gear instead of letting it gather dust?
Satisfied by walking?: yes (I actually wore my Garmin 620 indoors a couple times, just so I could say I used it. It felt like overkill so it's been retired for now...) It is also overkill to put on my high impact bra of steel when I'm going for a leisurely stroll, but sports bras are comfy, so you can't stop me. 

Have I wanted to go run? Hell yes. I miss sweating. I miss feeling strong and pushing through the last few minutes of a run or one more interval. I miss good runs, and bad runs, and everything in between. But I can't right now because I want to be able to get pregnant far more than I want to run. I would love to say I'm 100% at peace with this, but I am not. Removing running while I'm trying to be ok with gaining weight and eating more means that running, which had been my healthy outlet for feelings and stress, is off limits. And let me tell you, eating and gaining weight is causing me feelings. Bad feelings. And stress.

I remind myself that this isn't supposed to be easy. I've made running my "thing" for the past several years. It's a big part of my identity. Not only that, I'm an exercise addict (I am not using that term lightly). And breaking an addiction is uncomfortable... hence why I still feel guilt for not running. I actually thought about upping my walking "mileage" because it doesn't feel like I'm doing enough. I'm not ok.

Although I'm not at peace, I just remind myself what the end goal is. That's what keeps me happy during these difficult times, and that's what will get me through to the other side. 

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