Perhaps a better title for this post would be "Lack of Winter Running in Chicago."
I was doing so well with my goal of getting back into running before the holidays hit, and then we got nailed with a truly terrible Chicago winter. I've never seen such a cold winter before, and it really hurt my running. When you're already sleep-deprived, going running outside in sub-zero weather, on icy sidewalks, seems foolhardy, and maybe even a little dangerous.
I only ran once in January, and then not for very long or very far. Mostly, I was just glad to be outside, and to have some time to clear my head, but I wasn't going to push my luck. I've already wiped out on the ice once this winter, and the thought of doing it while running (and not wearing a huge down coat to cushion the fall) was enough to keep my running careful. I'm really hoping that the weather improves soon, so that I can get back to really running. I've missed it a lot, and now that the days are getting longer again, I'm ready to get back to it!
One of the things I hadn't really wrapped my head around before getting pregnant with twins is that not all pregnancies are created equal. I had big plans for being active all through my pregnancy: I was going to keep running, maybe do some prenatal yoga, swimming...I wanted to do it ALL! Then, we found out there were two babies in there and we had to have "the talk" with my doctor. Basically, he said "Yeah, that's not gonna happen." He told me I could do light exercise (being careful not to let my heart rate get too high), but that once I hit 25 weeks, I'd have to go on partial bed rest.
Admittedly, I kind of ignored him at first. At eight weeks pregnant, I ran a half marathon with my BFF (read more about our race here)...not the smartest thing I've ever done. In retrospect, I'm not sure I'd make that choice again. Of course it all ended up just fine, but it was really hard, and I'm not sure the anxiety at the end was worth it. After that race, I realized that my doctor may just know what he was talking about. I took the rest of my pregnancy easy (and boy was he right about bed rest!), and the end result was two happy, healthy babies, and a pregnancy with no complications and no trips to the hospital (other than D-Day).
I will say that, by then end of my pregnancy, I took to yelling at anyone I saw running (either in my head, or from the safety of our car--not actually out loud), because I was just so jealous of them! Here I was: bigger than a beached whale, and unable to manage anything faster than a slow shuffle; and there they went: running along, with the wind in their hair, moving at speeds I could only dream of. I totally hated them!
It really seems like a cruel twist of fate that I was barely allowed to start running again before we got bitch-slapped by winter. But, I think just maybe I can see the tail end of this. I think we're getting close to the point where you can be outside for longer than five minutes without running the risk of losing toes to frostbite. And, when we're there: look out! I've barely run at all yet this year, but I've got big plans, and I can't wait to get started!