I’m sure I’ve beat the horse to its death at this point, but I LOVE running pregnant. Now that it is my second time around I am remembering all of the reasons why…
* Instant cure for morning sickness, seriously
* You can feel a LOT less guilty about all of those junk food cravings when you know you’ll be running it off
* Hormone balancing. Thanks to SERIOUS hormone imbalances, pregnant women tend to get a little.. umm… crazy. Nothing is more mind clearing/stabilizing than pounding the pavement with some great music blasting.
* Builds some serious confidence ” look what I can do !”
* Easy Peezy labor and recovery time, there is no way in HELL I could have ran 2 weeks post labor if it wasn’t for staying active the entire pregnancy.
This list could go on for days but you get the gist. IT’s a CURE ALL I swear.
Of course there is a lovely peanut gallery of un-educated ” super moms” that will say it’s dangerous. Wake Up! It’s 2011. Doctors everywhere, and fit moms alike, have proven that it is completely safe. Women run marathons pregnant.
The most important thing to remember, running with bump or 6 pack, is knowing your body. When you know the limits that your body can reach it is important to never push those limits when you are PG. If you have never ran a day in your life, now is NOT the time to start a crazy training program. But staying healthy can be as easy as daily walks with your dog or a low key yoga class. Whether you are running 8 miles or walking around your block, always stop or slow down if your heart rate seems too high or you are out of breath. ALWAYS drink lots of water. It’s important normally ( I say this but I choose to not even sip h20 on a 13.1 mile race because I get side cramps. Do as I say NOT as I do) but with a bump AND these insane heat warnings across the country DRINK UP. If you are like me and would rather run naked than wear one of those crazy water bottle packs, try a camelbak. Most are big and bulky for women on the move but I found a small model at a good price and can’t WAIT to try it out.
Bottom line: Stay hydrated, don’t push your limits, ask your doctor first, and only do what is enjoyable.
( all of these tips are a hodge-podge of info from my doctors, news articles, AFPA fitness books, etc)
All of this being said, I have definitely pushed my limits. Pushed them like a college freshman claiming to know his alcohol limits yet pukes on himself at his first fraternity party. Seriously, I pushed it enough to be embarrassed and angry with myself.
M and I were walking to the Disney half marathon ( yes walking, there is a 30 minute WALK from the parking lot to the starting line… another reason to NEVER run disney) when we saw a cute chick sporting her mid sized baby bump. HOW COOL IS THAT? She passed us and M says ” that could be you. You could do that.” Even if she says it jokingly… which most of the time it is… I take bets like that seriously. I convinced myself that for baby #2, my LAST pregnancy, I will run a half marathon with bump. Technically I was pg when I ran our first but 4 weeks doesn’t count since I didn’t even know yet. I love a good challenge so as soon as I found out we were expecting I had to figure out which race would fall at an ideal time. Montgomery Half Marathon on October 1st happens to be at exactly 20 weeks which is mid 2nd trimester and couldn’t be an easier or safer time. The only down fall being that training has to start in August which means NASTY heat and humidity. I had to tell myself to Suck it up Buttercup and make it work. Which I have, for the past couple weeks.Running either at sunrise with 97% humidity but lower temps or at sunset with high temps and low humidity was really working out. It has been fun, made me feel GREAT even during the first trimester blaaahhss, and I was actually following through with walking when my body told me too ( which was quite often to be honest.) It is just like my last pregnancy only HIGH humidity instead of dry desert heat. Nothing I couldn’t handle.
Well Sunday must be a day of rest for a reason. I love running early Sunday morning because to me it is JUST like going to church only more personal. It is a time to yourself to meditate and give thanks to the beautiful land that surrounds us ( sorry that was a new level of cheese I know.) Last Sunday I had a 6.5 mile run which was the furthest I had run in about 2 months. I was cautious of the heat and walked every time I was too winded. About mile 5, which had been my go to distance for a while, a pain hit me that was completely foreign. Knee pain. I PRIDE the fact that I have had no serious injuries thanks to my 5-fingers. All previous aches and pains were erased when I became a barefoot running convert. But this pain was different, it wasn’t from a tweak, and it wasn’t sore. Each time I would slow to a walk it would go away only to return immediately when I picked up the pace. WHAT THE HELL IS THIS? I managed to hobble run-walk my way home through that last 1.5 miles and of course the pain was gone as soon as I stepped in the door.
After some reading and days of googling I discovered something that seemed to have snuck right by me in my first round of running with a bump. Ligament and joint problems. I had read about it but since it hadn’t effected me it went right over my head. In preparation for childbirth your hip joints/ligaments expand and loosen. Simultaneously, so do other joints such as your…. duh duh duh… knees. UGHHHH!! NOOO!! Don’t tell me this is seriously truly related. Sure enough every discussion board and medical journal states the same UPLIFTING words of advice. IT WILL PASS AFTER BIRTH. Or better yet, DISCONTINUE ALL EXERCISE WHEN JOINT PAIN BEGINS. Because that is really supposed to help me now while I have 28 freaking weeks to go.
Since Sunday I have taken it easy with no pains and was ready to get back into gear. This afternoon the pain returned full force and remains throbbing and aching. I have no idea where to go from here. I was fortunate to have no problems running with baby #1 but like they all say, every pregnancy is different. I will continue praying to the running gods above for a miracle, or at least a solution to this ailment QUICK. Somehow, someway, I know that I will reach my goal and complete the Montgomery half. Walking, wearing a knee brace ( YUCK), or relying on rest and restrictions. I will cross that finish line and it will mean MUCH more to me because of it.
Life isn’t always rainbows and sunshines, I know. My entire life friends/family have pushed that into my obnoxiously optimistic mind. We can’t control everything in our lives . Obstacles are thrown our way so that we can become stronger and overcome them. So tonight I sit at my computer whining and complaining about a silly knee. I know there are REAL problems in the world, LOTs of real problems. People starving, soldiers fighting, families struggling. But to me this is it, I guess I should just be extremely thankful that a knee is all that I have to whine and complain about today.
If you read this entire blog, you have patience. More patience than me, and thanks for listening to my verbal vomit since my loving husband and sole sister M are probably sick and tired of it 🙂 Any words of wisdom shot my way will be greatly appreciated! Happy week fit friends.