Miles has been sleeping terribly. I have been sleeping terribly, if at all. The external version, which left me battered and bruised, did not work. Today, at my 37-week appointment, I scheduled my second C-section.
There have been other things, too. Things that I can't share here, in such a public place. They aren't life changing or earth shattering but during this week, they felt like it.
And so I've spent most of my waking hours in a mindless fog, teetering on the edge of crying and screaming. Sometimes falling into the pool of emotions, no matter where I may be.
But, on Thursday, I received a gift. It was unexpected. Beautiful. And exactly what I needed.
I wasn't so sure I had another run in me. It had been six weeks since I had been sidelined by piriformis syndrome and as recently as two weeks ago, I couldn't even trot to keep up with Miles on his tricycle. A step with any acceleration triggered the pain in my right glute, and I immediately slowed to a walk.
But on Wednesday, I was trying to cross the street to get to my car after work. The break in traffic was small and, without thinking, I jogged to the opposite sidewalk. I didn't realize what I had done until I was opening my car door. I had ran, in ballet flats, without pain.
Could I do it again?
After a rough night, I knew I needed to do something for me. I dropped off Miles at daycare and headed to the Y. The game plan: Walk a 10-minute warmup on the treadmill and do a version of my favorite workout – 1 minute intervals with 2 minutes rest. I would jog the intervals at 5.0 and walk at 3.0.
I was nervous when I hit the button for the first interval. What would it feel like? Would I be able to do it? Even if it didn't hurt, where was my fitness at?
It seemed like it took forever for the belt to speed up. I needed it to hit a running pace, to see how it would go. And it went ... I mean there was an awareness there but it was tightness from weeks of sitting. It wasn't pain.
I was so focused on mechanics that by the time the clock hit a minute, it barely felt like I had done something. I decided that I would change the interval, at least this time, to 2 minutes running and walk 3 minutes. But a good song was on, and I felt strong. When I saw the display go from 1:58 to 1:59 to 2:00 ... well, I just couldn't stop.
I would at 3 minutes, though, I told myself firmly. I hadn't so much as jogged 30 seconds in 6 weeks and here I am at 37 weeks pregnant. Let's be real – and safe, yo.
I repeated the 3 minutes jogging interval, with 2 minutes rest, four times. My workout was at 30 minutes, and I figured that I could do 40 and sort of make it to work on time. For the fifth interval, I'd jog until I couldn't and then cool down.
But the cool down never came. I just kept running, to quote Forest Gump. The feeling in my butt changed but never grew and my gait never changed. My arms swung, my breath deepened, my gaze turned sharp as I looked through the floor to ceiling windows at the downtown traffic.
At 42 minutes, I pressed stop. I had hit 3 miles, running the last 1.02 or 1.03 – maybe a bit more. I wiped my brow and clumsily reached for my locker key. A sip of Nuun. A deep breath. I steadied my hands on the rails and stepped down.
I waited for the pain but all I could feel was elation. For 42 minutes, I had felt like me. I had found her underneath the belly and the boobs, the bitterness and frustration. She was still there. No matter what happened, and lawd did things happen, I had that to hold onto. To pull me back.