Hello, world! First, thank you all so much for your supportive and kind responses to my last post. I had no idea it would resonate with so many people but I’m glad it does – I know there are a lot of women out there who have gone through what I have, and I hope it helped you feel less alone, at least for a little while.
Anyway. Remember this?
Well, I am sad to report that those days are officially on hiatus.
Remember how optimistic I was when I left the osteopath on Friday? After a weekend of dutifully stretching and experiencing much-anticipated relief from my SI joint pain, I decided to test my luck on the treadmill. I started out walking as a warmup, and after a minute or two I started feeling that familiar twinge in my lower back. Hoping it wouldn’t get any worse, I started my running intervals.
Surprisingly, I felt great running – better, in fact, than I did while walking! I had no pain while I was running. It was when I was walking, though, that things got more and more uncomfortable. By the time I finished 25 minutes later, my back was in a lot of pain and I felt really sore and achy both there and across my lower abdomen. I hobbled home, threw myself on the couch with a heating pad, and ruefully admitted that my treadmill days were over, and my cheery dreams of late-autumn walks up the Monticello Trail and wintry runs up and down the Greenbelt were dead.
I’m so sad.
The good news is, though, that my gamble did not result in more ongoing back pain; I am feeling much better today after a good stretch in yoga last night. And obviously, I plan to get my running clothes on (almost) as soon as I’m able to once the baby arrives, so it’s not like I’m never going to be able to run again in my life. But I am really disappointed that I’m unable to run now, for the simple reason that running is one of the few things that always, without fail, makes me feel better emotionally. No matter how awful I feel when I lace up my sneakers, how heartbroken and lost, I always feel better when I’m done. Nothing in my life has changed, obviously; my circumstances are still the same and my mom is still gone and I am still heartbroken and lost, but — it’s almost as though those feelings are muted a bit. It gives me a break from the grief.
And now I don’t have that outlet. I’ve tried; the elliptical doesn’t have nearly the same effect. My yoga instructor* has suggested swimming, and despite being intimidated by the saltwater pools at my swanky gym, I think I might give that a try. I hear it has magical effects on pregnant women. And I do still have yoga! I realized a few weeks ago that yoga is one of the other very few things that always makes me feel better, so I’m either going to incorporate a home prenatal class once a week or so in addition to my usual class, or I’ll modify a basic multi-level class to suit my abilities. I’m really glad I do still have some form of physical outlet for my sadness, even if it’s not running — I really do need it.
So until May or so, if you’re a runner, consider yourself running for two! As for me, the 2012 women’s four miler better get ready.
* I think my next career will be Prenatal Yoga Instructor.