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Monday, July 8, 2013

The indignities of pregnancy: POWER WALKING


You guys, I will put up with a lot.

I will happily put up with the frequent peeing and the gums that apparently bleed every time I use my water pick (which is every. single. morning). I will put up with the decaf coffee and rapidly-shallowing bellybutton and the daily shea butter regimen.

But this, this is just too much. I have to write a blog post about it.

I have been running for about nine years now. I love it, and I'm pretty serious about it. When I got pregnant, I knew that the running would suffer a bit. But at the same time, I heard stories of women continuing to run right up until the days before they gave birth, and I figured that as a strong and dedicated runner, that would totally be me too.

This, but in slow motion while "You're the Best Around" plays.

What I failed to consider was that sometimes, things like that aren't just a matter of willpower and not using pregnancy as an excuse to quit. No, no, no; sometimes even the best of intentions are thwarted by a body that just doesn't cooperate. You see, pregnancy actually changes the shape of your pelvis a little. Things get stretchier and things get wider, hoping to make room for the giant watermelon that's going to have to pass through there in a few months. And for some people -- people like me -- that changing pelvic shape means that your stride changes when you run. And for some even luckier people -- people like me -- that changing stride means lotsa lotsa pain both during and for days after running even a short distance.

And when you're pregnant, if something you're doing is causing you lotsa lotsa pain both during and for days afterwards, F**KING STOP DOING IT YOU DUMBASS HELL THERE'S A BABY IN THERE THAT YOU ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU SELFISH PIG.

Apparently not, though. Go figure.

So, no more running for me. Time of death: 5 1/2 months pregnant. 2-3 months shy of when I had *hoped* to stop running.

Any runner who has been forced to stop, whether it be by injury or pregnancy or what-have-you, will tell you that it is a hard pill to swallow. In fact, it's downright depressing. Runners love to run, man. You can feel the wind in your hair, work up a savage sweat and wear yourself out to exhaustion in just half an hour. Run far enough and fast enough and you'll be that good kind of sore for days. It clears your mind and gives you that awesome endorphin high everyone talks about. Running is just the best.

So when you can't run anymore, you need to find a replacement activity. Simply sitting in a chair and listening to yourself get fat isn't an option. But what to do?? Pregnancy is not the time to take up brand new activities that you've never done before, so no Parkour for me. Plus, those same pelvic changes that make running so painful are also a factor in various other activities, like the elliptical machine or a step workout ... so the list of potential exercise activities gets shorter and shorter until there are just a few left. And the one I've settled on to keep me in good health for the next three months? Power walking.

Prepare yourselves for a rant about how power walking is among the most undignified and stupid activities I could ever imagine.

First of all, as a runner, I am used to getting my heart rate and sweat rate up rapidly. I am also in excellent cardiovascular shape, so getting my heart rate and sweat rate up at all is no easy task. Walking f**king sucks at it. So what do I do to improve things? I wear weights and walk as fast as I can, of course.

This, but in slow motion while a trombone goes "wamp womp womp wooommmmmmp"

The problem is, I am a pretty shitty power walker. I don't know how people can walk so goddamned fast. Any speed above, say, 4.2 or 4.3 mph and I have to break into a jog to keep up with the treadmill or I'll fall off. So I practice my power walking outside, and I'm getting a little faster. The trick, you see, is to pump your arms as fast as you want your little leggies to move, and you'll be able to walk faster without having to jog.

Let me just keep painting this picture for you. My belly is pretty large. I mean, it's a lot smaller than other people's bellies at six months pregnant, because I'm tall so there's lots of room for baby in there ... but it's still no small belly. And it weighs a good 15 pounds, and it hangs all off the front of me. This is hard on the back, so ... I have to wear a nice sturdy back brace when I plan to spend a long time on my feet. Like when I go walking, for example.

Hey sexy, what are YOU doing later??

And then there's the music situation to think of. Walking, that cursed stupid activity, takes for-f**king-ever. Even while pregnant, I could still run a 5k in about half an hour. But do you know how long it takes me to WALK a 5k? Like a billion years. Over 45 minutes. And it's such an unimpressive workout that I end up deciding to walk farther than that, which means I'll be out for over an hour. Oh, and also because it's such a shitty workout, I have decided that instead of working out three days a week, I need to work out five days a week. So I went from three thirty-minute runs per week to five one-hour walks per week. This requires a lot more music to get through. The iPod Shuffle won't cut it -- I need to use Mother iPod herself. Oh, but those are kind of bulky and hard to carry, so ... I have to wear a little fanny pack to hold it.

Mine's not THIS awesome, but if anyone's looking for good gift ideas ... *wink wink*

Is the picture coming in yet? I was going to post an actual photo of me after my 4-miler yesterday, but after looking at myself in the mirror, I was honestly too embarrassed to put a picture like that on the Internet. Let me just spell it out for you, from the bottom up:

-- brightly-colored running shoes, because serious runners f**king love to wear bright shoes for some reason. We are drawn to them like moths to the light.
Shut up. I love them.

-- 5-pound weights strapped to each ankle

-- knee socks to protect my poor ankle skin from the big mean ankle weights

-- tennis skirt, tank top and sports bra that don't match because f**k it, I already look like an idiot so why bother trying to match colors?

-- heavy black back brace supporting large round belly. Reminiscent of the movers who emptied out Grandma's house in Happy Gilmore

I look most like the guy on the far left.

-- small fanny pack attached over back brace to hold pedometer and iPod. Headphone cord runs from fanny pack up to ears

-- weights strapped to wrists, with awesome 80's sweat bands underneath them. You can't see them from the outside, but they're there.

-- Hair in low bun with stupid bright white Annapolis Half Marathon hat (it's the best hat, seriously. It's made for running so it's really light and breathes well and it has an extra-long brim to keep the sun out of my face. It's also ugly as sin)

Dressed in this level of stupid, I head off out the door, pumping my arms as hard as I can to get my legs to walk a little faster. Yesterday, someone in a big white rapist van gave me a thumbs-up as I chugged down the road. It was the most demoralizing thing, I swear.

I do a lot of walking on the treadmill at home so that I can blast the incline and get a little more calorie-burning bang for my buck, but if I didn't get some good outside time I'd go crazy. Plus, it's really hard to do anything on a treadmill for longer than half an hour. That's too much time staring at the same paint chip on the wall. So, the Patent's Patented F**king Idiotic Walking Routine will be an ongoing affair right up until this damn baby gets out and my pelvis can return to normal.

That's still three months from now.

Maybe I should take up Prancercise instead. You know, for variety.

Honestly isn't much worse than my current regimen. And look, she's wearing wrist weights too!!!



  1. You could always get an armband for your ipod instead of the fanny pack!

    Also, I laughed...a lot. I know how active you are and how miserable you seem. But, I got a laugh. I think it's because I picked up running... I don't know. I do, however, commend you on staying active during your pregnantcy! More power to ya! AND only 3 months left!!

    1. Haha honestly I think the fanny pack is the least of my worries. If I got an iPod armband I'd just get a tan line from it and look stupid all the time instead of only while I'm out on the trail :-P Looking cool while power walking is just a lost cause!