Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Running Pregnant . . . Is it Possible?

Obviously, it's possible. I mean, there are a multitude of websites out their that offer support for pregnant runners. And then there are the professional and semiprofessional runners who complete all kinds of marathons and other races while pregnant.  But the question is this: Is it possible for the average girl who doesn't even quite think of herself as a runner because she's only done a few races and isn't nearly fast enough to win a race, much less place in her age group?  Is it possible for the mom who likes to "enjoy" pregnancy by eating whatever she wants and putting her feet up as often as possible? Wow, that's quite the question there, isn't it?  I guess it's actually two questions. Well, here's my opinion on the matter. I think it is. I think it's entirely possible, as long as you enjoy it.

See, I'm not one of those girls who has been running my whole life. I actually only started running about two years ago, but it quickly became something I loved.  I had no intention of ever being a pregnant runner. Mostly because my husband had "the surgery" and we had no intention of having any more children.

Then this happened and I was - surprise! - pregnant. At the time I found out I was pregnant, I had plans to start increasing my distance again so that I could run the Centerpoint Half Marathon in April. I ran it last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. But since I'm due endish of May, I had to scratch that off the list. Running 13.1 miles at 8 months pregnant just wouldn't be very practical for me.

When I first got pregnant, I said that I'd run as long as I enjoyed it. I tentatively set myself a lofty goal of running a 15k over two bridges in February. Well, I've come to realize that's not going to happen. 

Running while pregnant is different. Very, very different. The first thing I noticed about running while pregnant is that my pace is much slower. Actually, about 2 minutes slower per mile than it was pre-pregnancy. And, from my research, I've discovered this is fairly normal. So, I had to readjust my goals. Instead of running every single run to achieve a PR, I had to run simply to finish a distance. 

I finally worked my way up to 6 miles and was ready to attempt my first pregnant 10k. I was so excited . . . and then it rained and rained and didn't stop. I didn't want to run in the rain and risk getting sick, so I skipped it. But at that time, I still had plans to increase my distance by a mile each week until the 15k on February 1st.

Then the flu struck our house. Just this weekend Avi got the flu. As of right now, the rest of us are still healthy, but I keep thinking that if I try to push my body to run 7 and then 8 and then 9 miles over the next few weeks that I might wear down my immune system enough to catch it. And as vicious as I've read this flu can be to pregnant women, I just can't risk it.  So, my goals have changed. 

Instead of attempting a 15k at 23 weeks pregnant, I'll be running the 5k.  Yep, I've decided to set my goals just a teeny bit lower so that I can actually achieve them. In the meantime, I'll keep running 2 to 3 miles several days a week with a "long" run of 4 to 5 miles on the weekends. I figure that should keep me "in shape" enough that the 5k will be a fun run, rather than a chore. And from what I've read, the longer I can stay active, the easier recovery will be.

So, here I am, in all my pregnant running glory. ;)

 photo IMG_5604_zps5ab1e66a.jpg
Shirt: Nike
Tank: TJMaxx
Running Tights: Kohls
Shoes: Running Wild (a local running store)
Hat: It's my lucky Ironman hat that my husband 
gave to me after he completed his Ironman.

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My favorite pregnant running accessory? The Prenatal Cradle. For a while, I used a different support band, but it cannot hold a candle to the Cradle. Seriously, it's probably the only thing that has enabled me to keep running as my belly gets bigger.

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21 weeks

I'm thrilled to be over halfway finished! We'll see how long I can keep this running thing up. ;)

I'm linking up today with The Pleated Poppy, I Feel Pretty and Three-fer Thursday.


Rachel Nelson said...

You look great and doing awesome! I did the Color Run 6 months pregnant and sadly it was my last race. But best comment..."ummmm, we are getting passed by a pregnant lady". :D

Alison @ Get Your Pretty On said...

I think this is completely awesome! Good for you for deciding to keep it up. I know from experience that the more in shape I was at delivery, the easier it was and the faster my body bounced back. You will be very happy with that decision! Thanks so much for your sweet comment on my blog today. :)

Leah said...

Good for you for keeping up with this while you are pregnant. The thing I kept up with the most while I was pregnant was stuffing my face...and it gave me pleasure :) hahaha
In all seriousness, we have a gazella machine that gave my legs a workout and the motion felt so good on my hips while I was carrying around that big ole belly. 8 months out and I'm starting to miss pregnancy already...HELP! :)

Terri said...

Good for you for getting exercise! I'd just want to sit around like a blog for nine months. Do your thing, girl!

caramelchica said...

I ran through my last pregnancy and I agree support is imperative! I also think a good chiropractor is a sound investment!
I hope you continue to enjoy it.

Barbara said...

You look great! I quit running when I was pregnant with my first and now four years later I haven't gotten all the way back. I wish I had never stopped.

Bethany C said...

You look awesome! Way to keep up the good work :) Thanks for sharing with Three-fer Thursday.

xo Bethany