I miss running. I stopped somewhat reluctantly around 25 weeks pregnant because it was no longer comfortable. It felt unpleasant and I was always really sore after. I was also getting a lot of advice from smart fitness people to stop due to potential pelvic floor damage. Instead, I’ve been very dedicated to strength training with my personal trainer and indoor cycling, but I always knew it was never going to replace my first love.
Some days, I feel hopeless. I wonder if I’ll ever get back to where I was and the thought of starting from ground zero feels painfully defeating. I’m angry at other runners. Every time I go outside for my daily walks, it seems like they are everywhere, swarming me on all sides. They’re always huffing and panting as they go past, far too close to be observing social distancing rules and it makes me feel angry and resentful. I hear myself saying ridiculous things like, “I hate runners.” It’s like they’re mocking me. Even people who have never entertained running before are now getting in on the action, as if to taunt me. I can tell the new runners by what they’re wearing. Usually some way too heavy hoodie and Converse trainers that are barely built for walking let alone running.
But then, when I’m having a good day, I look forward to returning to running. I think about that first run post-baby and even though it might be slow and short, it will be the beginning of a new chapter of my running life. I sometimes wonder if I’ll come back stronger. I fantasize that my best running days are actually ahead of me. I think about finish lines and long runs. I even let my mind wander into trail races, triathlons and ultras. I look forward to Parkrun when it starts again, and one day, running with a tiny human who might double as a cheerleader. I see those new runners out in the parks and I silently applaud them for their efforts and hope that they stick with it even after the lockdown is over.
I’m on a running-related emotional roller coaster. I blame pregnancy hormones. And Coronavirus.
So bear with me. There will be a return. Hopefully a triumphant one.