Elissa and I have been running the past several months, although you would never know it from this blog. I’ve run a couple of half marathons and several shorter races, checking off another state in the process (Wisconsin!). Elissa’s highlight since Boston was running the Chicago Marathon (I’m still waiting for that recap, hint hint). But now I have a brand new running challenge to discuss.
Running isn’t quite the same when your body is working hard to grow a little person. I thought I would (try) to post a few times throughout my pregnancy on how it is affecting my running. Caveat: I am not, of course, a doctor, so this is not advice… and every pregnancy is different; these are just my experiences.
Before I even found out I was pregnant, I started noticing that my runs were getting kind of more difficult than normal. I went on a six mile run with Elissa and commented several times that it felt harder than it should. I was also more bloated than usual (sorry not sorry for the TMI), so my running shorts weren’t fitting very well. But I had signed up for a whole series of races through RunDenver (mostly 5ks, thank goodness), so I kept chugging away at my training and tried to work on speed as best I could.
Then I got the positive test result! Things from the previous few weeks made more sense knowing that my body was going through a lot of changes already. Everything I’ve read says that it’s fine to keep running while pregnant, and in fact exercise is great for the baby and me! (It was also helpful that my favorite blogger just had a baby and ran consistently through her pregnancy.)
But even though I’ve kept running, it’s not exactly the same as my sans-baby running routine. I haven’t been nauseous at all (which I’m grateful for everyday), but I’m so tired, especially after long days at work. My energy is way down for obvious reasons 😉 So I run slowly, and haven’t racked up nearly as many miles. I’m sticking with about 3-4 runs per week, at a pace of one to two minutes per mile slower than before. I walk when I need to. So far, this seems like a great strategy for me.
I’m also running a lot more at the gym. In winters past, I would come home from work and brave the dark, cold, semi-slippery streets to get my run in. Now that I’m running for two, I stick to the safety of a well-lit ‘mill and save the outdoor runs for the weekends.
This little baby already has one 5k under his/her belt when I was seven weeks pregnant. I’m planning to run the rest of the RunDenver races at whatever pace feels good. #pregnantrunninggoals
… and maybe one day I’ll be running races with the little peanut!