I have a confession to make.
My lack of interest in pursuing a third half marathon or a first full marathon really isn't because I've become all zen about running and have lost interest in races.
My inattention to the Garmin results isn't because I'm too cool to care about my speed.
I really don't have a new, laid-back attitude about running that's all about the joy of the ride and not at all about the numbers.
What I do have is a new running partner: My baby.
Honestly, I'm as Type A as ever, but I've had to direct my Type A energies into things other than beating a 9 minute mile pace as all kinds of normal but annoying physical alilments have made it difficult to make every run a test of my personal best.
At my first prenatal appointment, my obstetrician was happy to hear that I was a runner, but she gave me strict orders not to overdo it. I'm not allowed to sprint, for one thing, and I'm not sure I'd want to, anyway, especially lately.
My old "easy" runs have in recent weeks become a challenge. Recovering from my 6 mile Sundays reminds me of how I felt after my 10-12 mile pre-race runs. It's not really the weight gain (I'm bigger, yes, but not so big yet that the weight should have this much of an impact on my running) as it is the shift in the center of my gravity and my breath capacity.
I sweat more. I stink more. I've had to change my routes so I no longer pass McDonald's (blech!) but do have at least one decent restroom on my path, just in case. I also have dropped a few days off my schedule because I truly do need to sleep in more now.
I have new running equipment requirements, too: a big water bottle on even a short run, two sports bras at least one size too small, more mellow music so I won't inadvertantly go faster than I should. (I also cannot locate moisture-wick maternity clothes under $60 anywhere. Apparently most women either don't exercise while they are pregnant or don't mind soaking through cotton tank tops and underbelly shorts.)
But I love it. I still love it. There's still no greater high for me than running outside with a good song playing, cruising down a hill, hugging a curve. It keeps me sane, it keeps me at peace--and it probably helps undo the damage of all the cream cheese I am craving lately.
And I think the baby loves it, too.
I had an ultrasound on Friday and wasn't surprised to see a cute little fetus (with a turned up nose just like his/her big sister) running in place in the womb, little arms waving at me.
What perfect form. And I mean that in more than one way.