Running with bump

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.

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4 Responses to Running with bump

  1. I’m not pregnant, but I definitely know where you are coming from. And I felt like I was being super whiney in a world of real problems as well when I was hit with my bout of knee pain. But to a runner with an event to train for, it feels like the end of the world when you can’t do something that is so part of your happiness routine. People lose their damn minds when their cable goes out or if their favorite burger gets taken off the fast-food menu. We’re all creatures of comfort even if our comfort is running our asses off.
    I also have never had any serious injuries or knee problems even when I was at my heaviest. I don’t know where your knee pain is, but mine was right under my knee cap and more towards the outside. A lot of people said it was probably my IT band. It wasn’t. It was actually Chondromalacia Patella, otherwise known as an overuse injury. This for me, made a lot of sense. I can be an idiot as well with pushing too hard and not abiding my limits. I know them, I just usually choose to ignore them. I ran the San Diego Marathon in June without really training for it or sleeping the nights before. Stupid mistake number 1. Then a couple weeks later I hiked the hardest mountain in Sedona in summer heat while wearing fivefingers that I hadn’t been using lately. #2. Then a few weeks after that I hiked Humphreys in flagstaff for the first time and ran the five miles down it. That was the third and final stupid mistake. My knee was pissed off enough and went on strike. I couldn’t run and I could barely walk after being in a seated position at work. I fell into quite the depression over this because when I finally figured out what I was suffering from, it had been two weeks of this pain and it should have been gone in a few days. So I went into hyper repair mode. I strapped on ice packs every night when I got home from work. I wore a compression sleeve/brace at work and had my leg extended to a 90 degree angle all day. I biked and swam as much as humanly possible since neither of those activities hurt and it kept me from going insane. After doing all of these things for the last two weeks straight, I finally got to run for the first time again on Monday night. 90 minutes later I stopped because I didn’t want to jinx myself. No pain then and since then.
    Hopefully whatever you are going through will pass ninja fast. I share all of your sentiments. I don’t run with belts, braces, packs and I try not to walk at all costs. But at the end of a race, all that matters is that we gave it our all and we finished no matter what we had to do to get there.
    “Run when you can. Walk when you have to. Crawl if you must. Just never give up.” Dean Karnazes
    You WILL make it to that finish line in Montgomery. Until then, do whatever it takes including the packs, braces, walking and RESTING 🙂

    • Brittany says:

      Wow cicely, way to bring me to tears first thing in the AM. I love Dean and that quote is perfect! When did all of this happen with your knee? I can’t imagine any of that … the worst sounds like the 5 miles downhill at Humphreys. Did you find out that it was your IT band? How is it feeling since Monday? Thank you for sharing with me, it is so nice to hear someone else that gets it from the same perspective. Unfortunately mine isn’t really an injury but when you are pregnant your joints loosen to allow your hips to widen for later on. The pain is definitely worse when putting pressure on it but now it is pretty constant. It is feels like a pinching feeling on the inside of my right knee cap. There is really not much I can do for it and I guess it is common in pregnant women I was just fortunate enough to not experience it the first time. I hope that you are enjoying your runs this week, we will be moving back to Phoenix while my husband deploys next spring and I would LOVE to do some races with you 🙂 THank you, it means more than you know!

  2. I love Dean too, he is such an inspiration to me and I love reading his books. I also loved Born to Run as well as you 🙂 The immobility with my knee started about three weeks ago. It took me awhile and some googling to find out that it was an overuse injury. The pain wasn’t matching the descriptions of the IT band. It was more like cartilage pain. After that was when I just rested, iced, compressed and elevated it everyday. I also doubled my intake of glucosamine and I think that helped A LOT! No pain in my knee since Monday, but unfortunately I racked myself on my mountain bike on Tuesday which was a whole different kind of pain! But that bruise is fading and I can run with little discomfort.

    I can’t imagine having a pinching feeling inside my knee cap, that sounds terrible. I hope the pain lessens enough for you to get in some decent training. I know you won’t give up on it and you’ll work around it 🙂

    That would be great to do some races when you move back! I’d love that since I don’t really have any running partners. None of my friends are crazy enough out here! It’s been great reading your blogs and keep up the awesome work!

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