Yes I’m still running!
I’ve read plenty over the years about running or exercise in general during pregnancy. I know its OK to keep doing what you’ve been doing, i.e. running. I know that now is not the time to start training for a full marathon, but since I was running the mileage for a half marathon, I could do that. I also knew that I would get slower and that I’d have to listen to my body and make sure to stay hydrated, which I’ve done. I knew that it may be difficult to keep it up in the first trimester but I should be able to pick it back up once I feel better. I know that my doctor is OK with me running if I choose to.
But I was still a bit nervous about running. In July when I found out, we were in the midst of an incredible stretch of hot weather. Previously I’d run outside whenever I could, even when the temperature was a bit out of my comfort zone as I hate running on the treadmill. The week before I got my positive pregnancy test I’d had a run in crazy humidity and it had gotten so hard I had to walk a few times. Well that weekend it dawned on my why I’d been so short on energy that day (actually in the week before I found out, I’d had two bad runs). I realized I’d have to be more careful about when I needed to stay inside. As the sun is coming up later in the morning as we move closer to fall, I will have to decide if I will run in the dark using my light or if I’d feel safer moving inside.
I ran 9 miles the morning I found out I’m pregnant. That was also the week of my highest weekly mileage for the year at 27.5. The following week I ran 24.1 miles. Then the reflux started and my energy drained. It got hard. I kept going though. I had a couple off weeks, but overall have maintained 12-19 miles per week in four runs instead of five. I’ve adopted a run/walk interval of 12 minutes running and 3 minutes walking. That has served me well. I couldn’t slow myself down enough to run without walk breaks. And my legs don’t do well with hills right now. So the intervals have helped me keep it up.
Of course, I’m still not happy with how I’ve slowed down. I was running probably my best ever in speed and mileage before getting pregnant. But getting slower and skipping races for a year is worth the result!
When I got pregnant with Allie, I was coming off injury. I tried to come back, but it just didn’t work. I went back into my running log from 2009 and added up my miles that year, which total around 80 before I moved on to swimming, spinning and the elliptical. Taking into account my mileage since June, I’ve run over 200 miles so far during pregnancy! Its going much better this time.
I’m in desperate need of new shoes, which I finally can get this weekend. Running has been getting better each time I’ve gone out. In fact, when it was storming this morning, I ran on the treadmill, 5 miles WITHOUT walking! I felt like I was going to throw up afterward and I got really sore later, but I did it! I’m hoping once I get my new shoes I can up my mileage a bit into the 20s easch week. I doubt I’ll go back to five days a week though.
Initially, I decided I wasn’t going to run a half marathon or other races while pregnant. I ran a 5K very early that wasn’t great. This weekend is the half I’d originally planned to be my second of the year, the Madison Mini. I decided against it, which was a good decision. I couldn’t have maintained the mileage to run a half so early in pregnancy. I figure even after the first trimester, I wouldn’t enjoy a half nearly enough to make it worth the price if I couldn’t run the way I want to. My goal initially was just to run as much and as long as possible. Also, my mileage goal for the year was 900. I know I won’t make it, but I want to make it as close as I could.
Now as running is getting easier, I find I still need that race calendar to keep my motivation. So I’m hoping to run the Haunted Hustle in Middleton Oct. 13. That race is a full, half and 10K. So if I end up deciding I can’t run the half, I could switch to the 10K. It would waste some money, but it would be less of a waste than signing up and not running at all. I might run some other races too. I’ll just have to see how I feel. I’m giving myself a couple weeks after getting my new shoes to decide if I really can run the half. But I ran 7.5 miles last weekend. With my intervals, I can add one 15-minute interval to my long run each week and be up to 10 miles or more with time to spare.
I’ve also started going to Body Flow classes regularly in place of my fifth running day. That class really helps with developing balance and strength, not to mention an element of relaxation and stress relief. I need to refresh my memory on when I need to decrease the core work though.
So thats the plan during pregnancy, hopefully taking me all the way up to March. Afterward? Who knows. I know a comeback will take time, both physically and in lifestyle. Many things are going to be much harder to coordinate with two kids. But hopefully running can remain a priority eventually. It was just announced yesterday that the Madison Marathon will move to November in 2013, with a half staying on Memorial Day weekend, but also including a half in November! So that would be a great goal race with plenty of time to prepare. But its way too soon to be planning for that. I need to give birth first!