Running Through Pregnancy: Part 2


Entering the 2nd trimester was wonderful.  I didn’t really have morning sickness during the first trimester, but exhaustion was so much a part of my daily life.  Poor Adam had to adjust from me being the first one awake every morning at 6 am to me being hard to wake up at 6:30 and sleeping after he left for work ‘til the last possible minute when I needed to get up and go.

Second trimester energy is real.  Sleep is important.

When the 2nd trimester came, I got my energy back, and it was/is glorious.  I still fall asleep at night no matter what is going on around me (I fell asleep in the front row of a theater during Fast and Furious 6 during the race scene between Dom and Letty.  I tried so hard too!)  It’s like my body decides when it’s done, and nothing can keep me awake.  I’ve fallen asleep during more of our favorite tv shows than ever before, and thankfully, I’m still sleeping solidly.

Flexibility is key.

Running has gotten harder.  Thankfully, I’ve not allowed myself too much time off from working out.  I’m still keeping up a 3-4 workouts per week, which includes 2 lifting sessions per week and at least 2 running sessions.  The days and times and schedule changes every week depending on the busyness, the week’s events, and my levels of energy.  Our busy schedule has not allowed for much regular planning, so I’ve become flexible, which I’m learning is a great quality to have as a pregnant woman.

Sometimes that flexibility is affected by my recovery time.  As the baby gets bigger, the muscles, tendons, and ligaments are more taxed each run. So, I’m really not running days back-to-back, as I’ve found that a good day off of running allows for everything to recover completely.  It’s definitely a change, as I’m used to a good few days of consistent running before I take a day off.

Listen to your body.

As I’ve mentioned before in earlier posts, I have irritable bowel syndrome.  That seems to flair up now and again, since I’ve been pregnant, so that has unfortunately affected my ability to run as far as I’d like as well as re-arranged some running days when I just didn’t feel up to it.  Thankfully, the re-arranging has been very few, but it’s important to listen to your body (at any time but most-importantly when pregnant), so I’ve had to take an additional day off or juggle things so I still get my workouts in, while giving my body the adequate rest/recovery it needs.

Water retention gets old fast. 

I felt great at the end of Hero Rush at 20 weeks pregnant.

I felt great at the end of Hero Rush at 20 weeks pregnant.

Water retention in my legs is a genetic thing that I struggled with pre-pregnancy.  Thankfully, it’s taken until the last few weeks ‘til I’ve really experienced it during this season.  I went for a run and found my legs feeling like logs and slowly watched my ankles turn to logs over the course of the day at my desk, only to feel like I’m carrying ankle weights at the end of the day.  Thankfully, it’s not kept me from running, but it has made running less enjoyable.  For the last few months, I’ve worn compression socks during long runs and found that they really help in that area, so I’ve become a lot more liberal in my use of these and am definitely seeing great results.  I ran this morning, and I’m still wearing my compression socks, and my legs feel great, light and full of great circulation and hardly heavy at the end of my 3-flight trek to my desk every morning (and evening) at work.

Time for new clothes?

Running and/or lifting during the morning is a possibility during this trimester simply because the energy has improved.  That is super-encouraging!  However, the belly size is increasing, and I’m finding that little Titus is taking up a lot more room than I expected (I don’t know what I expected or just didn’t really think about).  So, I have 1 pair of running shorts that still fits me and a sports bra that just might not work for much longer -getting it on and off is a lot harder than it used to be.  The belly is getting bigger, so I have a few tops that are unusable (and a whole chest of clothes that can’t be worn ‘til post-baby).

My weight has shifted, and that in itself is an odd feeling.  Thankfully, Titus stays still while I run and only once have I really experienced him pushing against my stomach and back at the same time in a way that caused some serious pain.  I talked to him and tried to help him move, and he turned after about a mile.   Because of my belly and the extra effort running take, my speed has decreased from the first trimester as well.  Before pregnancy, I was running 7:40 miles.  During the first trimester, I decreased to an average 8 minute pace, depending on the day, my energy level, and my course of choice.  This trimester has found me running between an 8:15 and an 8:30 with my longest periods of steady running being on the slower end of that window.  I’m really okay with this decrease in my time, but it does feel weird to have to run longer to go fewer miles.  Oh well.

The doctor is happy with our progress and I have the go-ahead to keep running.  She said my cervix is “extremely” long, so we’re in no chance of a pre-term labor.  I plan to run as long as possible through this pregnancy, so I’ll keep you updated as we go.

2nd trimester races:

5/18 – 20 weeks – NY East Hero Rush: 4.75 miles, 18 obstacles, 1:02:06

6/13 – 24 weeks – Corporate Challenge: 5k —- postponed due to rain (stay tuned for my blog post on what I think about running races cancelled due to a rain shower)

3rd trimester races:

7/11 – 28 weeks – Corporate Challenge 5k and 1-mile relay race.

7/13 – 28 weeks – Spartan Sprint PA – 5 miles with multiple obstacles.

I was scheduled to run the Race the Train 8.4 mile race in North Creek in August, but last year, it was so hot I nearly puked at the end of the race (and I NEVER puke).  So, after some discussion, Adam and I decided Titus and I would watch that one and just cheer Daddy on.  So, after the Spartan, I probably won’t race ‘til after Titus is here, …. unless I run the Labor Day 5k in September.  We’ll see how we do. 🙂

A few additional thoughts

I did a lot of research on running while pregnant before I was pregnant, and I’m still doing  a lot of reading, studying, and exploring of different opinions on the topic.  Please do not take my opinions and experience and follow it over your doctor’s.  I am not a trained doctor and am simply sharing from my personal understanding/experience.  Thank you.

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