Friday, August 19, 2011

Finding the mind to taper

One thing I’ve never been good at is slowing down.

When my midwives gently told me it was time to think about tapering my exercise regime, I nodded in agreement. On the inside, however, I was wondering how I’d turn this recommendation into reality.

You see, I’m the multitasking type. It’s a trait that suits me well both professionally and in my personal life. (I’ll refrain here from sharing the — mostly — mundane duties of mothering and keeping up a household) And exercising, is no exception. While out for a run I’ll organize to-do lists, brainstorm writing ideas and hash out problems. It’s rare my mind is at rest.

Hence, the thought of slowing down wasn’t exactly a welcome one.

So, I went for a run.

The day was cool as the thick tongue of the Perseverance Trail lolled out before me. Sun filtered through the cloud cover high above and cast golden reflections off newly discarded cottonwood leaves. They danced along the ground on an invisible breeze.

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I hadn’t noticed the silent arrival of fall. It had slipped in like an unseen roommate and hunkered down on Southeast’s doorstep, seemingly overnight.

A tinge of sadness and excitement filled me as I wound my way next to the rocky cliffs above Gold Creek. Summer was ending. But winter, with it’s own unique opportunities, was just around the corner.

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I realized it’s not always easy to let go of the things we’ve come to embrace, the habits that form as a result and, perhaps above all, the slow, forward march of time.

But it’s inevitable.

For me, it’s a matter of balancing the logical with the desirable — a feat not easily done for most, I think.

Certainly, exercise is a good thing. But, as my midwives reminded me, the third and final trimester of pregnancy is a time for slowing down, for preparation and relaxation. The logical side of me understands this, but my other side desires to push forward, to continue running as long as possible; there is something satisfying about being able to say “yes” to all those “are you still running?” questions.

Like the leaves that will continue to slowly fade from lime green to golden, it’s not something that has to happen overnight. But I realized it does — and will — continue to do so. Personally, I too have to accept change. A slower pace will benefit not only myself, but also my baby.

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The next day, as if the governing forces had reached a unanimous agreement, my mind was made up for me. I rolled out of bed with aching hips and newly sore muscles.

“That’s weird,” I thought. “I haven’t done any new exercises. Why would I suddenly be so sore?”

Outside, the sun of the day before had disappeared. In its place was a torrential downpour so thick it obscured the neighboring homes as if they were draped in fog.

The rain lasted for days. And the soreness, as it turns out, was a result of my hip bones beginning to slightly spread — medically, it’s termed diastasis symphysis. While not serious in my case, I was informed it’s not something to aggravate.

In the meantime, my hip sensitivity has hung around with the rainfall.

It seems my body and Mother Nature felt the need to seal the deal; slowing down was no longer a question, it was a reality.

Despite this, I’m still getting out. Running is rare, for any extended length of time, at least. Instead, I’m hiking and walking (my husband so cleverly calls it the “wike” — some of you may remember the “rike”?) And, I’ve decided to let the weather dictate my schedule. With rain dominating the forecast, I’m certain to get more than a few days of recovery time.

•••

Week-by-week:

This week's mileage: 13.21 miles.
Outings: 3.
Pregnancy stage: 36 weeks.

3 comments:

Antonella Leone said...

I like a lot your blog and your photo they are really beautiful

lynneajean said...

Abby, glad to hear you are resting a bit... I bet it is so hard though, but hips in pain are no fun :( Love this post! Miss you all, too!

Gonzalo D. said...

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