Friday afternoon I toured a couple of daycare facilities for Baby P for when I go back to work this winter (sob!) and laid low around the house because Saturday afternoon (after a haircut... my very favorite indulgence) we hosted a cookout and had to get everything prepared and cleaned up for company. Luckily, Sunday was a low key kind of day until I had to work in the evening, so there was enough time to recover before jumping back into the work week, albeit on a Sunday night.
The weekend (extended a touch on both sides to include Friday and Monday) also doled out three solid workouts -- or solid by my current standards being just over 33 weeks pregnant. Friday morning was actually straight up perfect: comfortable... maybe even cool running conditions before work and 3 1/2 miles at a 9:46 average pace. It felt like an effortless, enjoyable jaunt and one of those runs where I would have liked to keep going for forever.
Sunday morning the weather was a bit iffy, forecasters were predicting nasty storm conditions that never really came to fruition, although the sky certainly threatened, so I kept it close to home with a 2 1/2 mile loop. Shockingly (like really and truly shockingly), I somehow managed to maintain a 9:30 pace, with my second mile clocking in at an is-this-really-possible? 9:10 minute mile. Honestly. Flabbergasted. I ruminated that it's really sort of impossible that I'm getting any faster at this stage of pregnancy, so I might just be regaining a little bit of sure-footedness, or confidence. I'm still watching my step (constantly), but perhaps not so obsessively that it's literally slowing down each and every stride.
This morning, after a shoddy night's sleep and waking at 5:30, I rolled out of bed (groaning a bit, I'll admit it) and headed out to move since I have a work event that will keep me late tonight. Unfortunately it was soupy as hell even though the temperature was only in the mid-70's, and I felt each and every step. Truly, it was as though my confidence from Sunday morning was all-out teasing me with each and every step. The humidity and sleepiness had me completely shot, but I made it 3 miles anyhow, so not a bad way to kick off the week.
So, as I alluded to with the name of this post: a really weird thing is happening.
I think that in the last few months I've fallen even more in love with running than ever.
Yup. Even the slower, shorter version. I am thoroughly enjoying it, instead of just having to do it. It's interesting because right now might be the most opportune time to opt out or make excuses (even if some of them might be valid), but instead of skipping workouts I'm making choices to accommodate them by going early in the morning or late at night, or taking a walk when it's too hot or I'm too tired to run. I've cut my mileage to comfortable distances, but skip the negative self-talk about not going further or pushing harder.
In the midst of all of this happiness and optimism, I find myself itching to race, to train "for real", and to log longer miles. I'm craving it. Who knows how possible or likely or desirable that will be come September and later fall, but it's exciting to see how well integrated running has become in my life.
Running throughout pregnancy was a challenge I posed to myself and one I sort of always aspired to... I think I wrote about it as a "someday" thing in my 2013 wrap-up... but it's something I've actually completed for much simpler reasons: it feels good. It makes me happy. I feel empowered. Not a bad way to kick off a week.