True confession #1: I spent much of yesterday’s sermon thinking about running and how much I miss it.

I never thought I’d miss you, big hill, but there you go.

So that’s what my face looks like without the pregnancy puff …

Don’t get me wrong; a healthy [and pain-free] pregnancy is obviously of much greater importance than running. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t totally suck that I can’t do it. The fatigue — not to mention the emotional exhaustion — I’m experiencing right now are crying out for physical release, and while yoga can help meet that need, I don’t get the same rubbery-legged, exhilarated feeling of accomplishment even the shortest run would leave me with. That’s because my body doesn’t feel good working at that kind of level right now, so even a tough elliptical workout or a hard vinyasa flow won’t fix what ails me. I want to run, and it just seems so unfair that during a time in my life when I need it more than ever — I can’t have it at all.

Even so, every time I feel my boy kicking I remember why I’ve had to stop, and though that doesn’t always immediately make me feel better (true confession #2), it’s always a good reminder that I can’t put myself first in anything anymore. And honestly (true confession #3) that can be a hard thing to accept. Still it’s very important for me to remain aware of my blessings instead of ruminating on the things I’ve had to put aside for now — there are so many people who can’t exercise for much less welcome reasons, and I know that despite how much I loved and needed running to help me work through my grief, there was something else I wanted so much more — so in the grand scheme of things, giving up running for a little while is a very small price to pay. But I do still struggle with it.

So to keep myself from throwing a pity party, I’ve been wondering what running will be like once I have a baby to wrangle. I really have no idea how I will manage everything so I’ve been allowing myself to think it’s going to be really easy — just pop the baby into the jogging stroller and head out the door, right? Bound along on the treadmill while the baby naps? There will be a reality check, I’m sure.

I’m also thinking about how to get back into running again once I don’t have this giant stomach in front of me. I’ll be starting from scratch again! I’m sure it will be discouraging and frustrating at first, but I remember seeing a lot of progress last spring between February and June, starting out at an 11:00 mile and taking over a minute off my average pace during those four months. I’m going to try to stay focused on progress rather than on the fact that I can’t magically run ten miles at a time anymore. Maybe in March 2013!

In the meantime, I’m trying to figure out how to fill the void that running has left while still respecting my body’s new limits. Yoga goes a long way, but they’re completely different things and, I think, address different needs. Maybe I should take the plunge (ha ha) and try swimming …

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