Or, the post that was entitled, “Hanging Up My Running Shoes.”

I had a tough experience the other day; I went out for a run and 2 minutes into it, my round ligaments started to feel sore.  I’m pretty in touch with my body these days and I’ve been really good during my pregnancy at listening to it more.  (Note to self: hang on to this habit once the baby is born!)  So of course I quit running and walked instead.  And it was a great walk with a friend, about 4 miles or so in the warm sunshine.  Good company, moving my body, sun on my face…what more could I ask?

Instead of enjoying that, though, I started to throw a little big-ass pity party for myself when I got home.  Did this mean that I was going to have to give up running for the rest of my pregnancy?  How can I call myself a runner if that’s true?  What would people think?!?

Screeching halt.  What would people think?!  What do I care what people think?!  And why was I turning a one-time experience into an end-of-the-world scenario instead of just treating it like what it was – a run that wasn’t meant to be?

Oh, yeah.  Pregnancy.  Hormones.  Fatigue.  As unaffected – mood-wise, I mean – as I mostly feel by being pregnant, I’m not.  Unaffected, that is.  And that’s okay.  And it’s okay that I didn’t run.  It’s even okay if I don’t run again for the rest of my pregnancy.

I’m not saying I won’t run again for the next three months; I’ll give it another try or two and see how my body responds.  And it might be just fine for me to keep running until…well, until.  Until my body says “stop.”  Or the other day might have been my body’s way of saying “no more, hon…give it a break” until the baby is born.  We’ll just see.

You know what else?  Whether I run or not for the duration of this pregnancy doesn’t make me a runner…or not.  What other people think of me doesn’t make me a runner…or not.  Being a runner isn’t about speed, or distance, or how often you do it or whether you need to take walk breaks or anything else.

Being a runner, for me?  It’s about loving it.  And missing it when I can’t, regardless of the reason.  And knowing that running will be a part of your my life for as long as I want it to be.  And also understanding that as life changes and evolves, so can running.  How you do it, when you fit it in, what it means to you…running is the least-static thing on the planet, which is a good thing because life?  So not static.

So what makes you a runner?  And how do you keep from turning one bad run into the end of the world?