Easier exercise is more enjoyable...
Sunday, June 30, 2013
I'm almost 6 months pregnant with twins now, and I simply cannot exercise at the same level as I could pre-pregnancy. It's taken some getting used to because I always pushed myself during workouts before, and if I try that now, I feel sick at best. At worst, I could hurt the boys.
So I haven't been able to push myself, and the intensity level of my workouts has been gradually dropping. I've noticed this primarily in my running, but today I went for a long bike ride and had to do it more slowly than before just because I didn't feel up to going at my usual pace. I also can't walk as fast, and when I try to speed walk, I've found that recently, I'll get a sharp pain in my abdomen. Not cool.
But what I find interesting is that I end up enjoying myself a bit more while exercising. Today's bike ride, before I got totally overheated at the end and started feeling sick, was a lot more enjoyable because I wasn't continually pushing myself to go faster and feeling like I wasn't doing enough. And the same goes for jogging especially - I am enjoying jogging a lot more now that my pace is so much slower and I can't go as far. I used to run 10 miles at an 8.5 minute/mile pace, and while that isn't terribly fast for Serious Runners perhaps, it was fast for me - I always felt like I was driving myself to go faster and farther - I literally sometimes (unintentionally) got the image of a disembodied whip behind me, driving me faster. I felt good about my runs because they made me feel like a badass, but they weren't fun or relaxing or anything. It was WORK and that was all there was to it. Not a second was enjoyable.
But now that I'm running at more like an 11 minute/mile pace because I just can't go any faster, things are a lot less stressful and a lot more enjoyable. I listen to audiobooks now instead of uptempo music that was meant to keep me moving quickly. So I can listen to interesting and different things every time I run. I've made it through several interesting books and a couple duds on my jogs that I otherwise wouldn't have had the opportunity to hear. With less exertion, I don't hate what I'm doing every second, I'm not wishing I could stop, I'm not avoiding looking at my watch because I'm afraid to see how much time is left before I can call it a day. I no longer jog for an hour and a half at a time, but I still go for 45-60 minutes. I may only cover half the distance (or less) than I used to, but 4 or 5 miles is nothing to sneeze at. It's plenty sufficient to keep me in good shape, right? And I find that I'm not wiped out for the rest of the day afterward, like I used to be.
I tell you what, these babies are really helping me with the exercise compulsion situation because they are forcing me to accept a slower pace for everything, and it seems to me that that's exactly what I need.
So thanks, little guys. :)
**** Okay edited because this morning's jog reminded me that there is one major down side to jogging these days - and that is the unpredictability of certain bodily function-related needs while I'm out jogging and therefore NOT particularly close to any accessible bathrooms. :) Today, for instance, I had to pee after like 10 minutes, and it was getting really uncomfortable so I did have to make a little pit stop about 30 minutes into my jog, in a secluded woodsy sort of area. It's kind of pathetic that I have to plan my runs now so that they either go through a touristy part of town that would have public restrooms, or that there will be some kind of secluded woodsy area where I can go if nature calls. I actually carry toilet paper with me now. Oh well.