Running While Pregnant: 34 Weeks

I don’t know why I’ve titled this “Running While Pregnant”…truth is, I haven’t run since early December. I had stopped running in my neighborhood because the hills were making my breathing and heartrate skyrocket, which isn’t good for the baby. So I was doing mile repeats on a strip by my CrossFit box because it was flat, but that was only on Saturdays. It just got discouraging for me, so I just stopped.

Which that discourages me, too. I had hoped to continue running as long as I could…and maybe I did accomplish that. But when I think about that moment that I’ll get to start running again, I get scared–is it going to be as hard restarting my running as it was when I first started running eight years ago? How will I mentally handle the fact that my speed that I was constantly increasing successfully is completely gone? And what about learning to run with a stroller? That’s going to be another uphill battle.

So those have been some thoughts in my mind lately about running…but man, do I miss it! There have been many moments lately where I’ve just wanted to lace up my shoes and just go run. There’s something about a sweaty, heavy breathing run that can just take away the stress and worries of everyday life, and I’ve missed that.

But that doesn’t mean I have completely stopped working out–I still go to Man O’War CrossFit just about every morning. I’m still doing the strength portions and the WODs, just at my own pace and lowered weights. I’m determined to keep going as long as I can.

Please someone buy this for Baby A&W! :-)

Please someone buy this for Baby A&W! 🙂

I’ve had a few hiccups with Baby A&W that required me to be under observation–mostly for being a little lazy (which turned out to be fine), and once for having some slight contractions (which I couldn’t feel, so the doctor said they weren’t pre-term labor contractions). Because of the latter, I’ve been advised to take the “intensity” out of my workouts and to “take it easy” with activity. It’s very hard for me to “take it easy” because I try to give everything I do my all, and hate to feel like I half-assed something. But I know it’s for the good of the baby’s health, as well as my own.

It’s hard to believe it’s already January…I’m 34 weeks along, and the countdown is getting smaller and smaller. We have an ultrasound on Monday and then we plan for the last month with the doctor and see where things are.

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Running While Pregnant: Simple Mile Interval WOD

Now that I’m at 30 weeks pregnant, running isn’t what it used to be…not even when I was at 20 weeks! Hills are killer–gets my heart rate and breathing up way too high. Plus the pressure on my bladder gets to me after about a mile or so (I know, TMI). My usual route around my neighborhood is very hilly, and doesn’t leave locations for bathroom trips. So I’ve cut back way more on running than I like.

But that’s when I came up with a simple WOD to do at my box–Man O’War CrossFit. I went in on Saturday morning and decided to make the most of what I had available to me. Where we do our runs for regular WODs is pretty flat, and the strip of road is a half-mile long. I really wanted to run, but knew I couldn’t join my running team, so I figured dong mile intervals was the next best thing.

I came up with this WOD with the pregnant woman in mind (thinking how we need to have a break to use the restroom, take our time to get our heartrate down, etc.), but it’s perfect for anyone. My running splits were steady–10 minute miles. So I finished in around 40 minutes (I didn’t use a clock to time the whole WOD, just my runs).

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Give it a try and let me know what you think! I wanted something that also worked on my upper and lower back, and was different from what we had done earlier in the week. This was perfect.

JUST A FEW DAYS LEFT!!! Don’t forget about my special offer to get 40% off ProCompression items–Use discount code “PINK2” through Dec. 15 to get 40% off ProCompression Marathon Socks or Calf Sleeves–great gifts for the runner(s) in your life and yourself!

Running While Pregnant: Iron Horse Half Marathon Race Recap

A month ago I was preparing to run in my fourth half marathon. Normally no big deal, right? But when you’re running 13.1 miles 22 weeks pregnant, it’s a little more nerve wracking than you’d think.

I had signed up for the Iron Horse Half Marathon back in April. It was a local race that was on my running bucket list, and can often be hard to get into the later you wait (they cap it at 1,500 runners). Then in June, the day after I ran in the Bourbon Derby Half Marathon, I discovered I was pregnant. From that point I decided I was going to continue to train for the Iron Horse anyway, keeping in mind anything the doctor said and knowing that I wasn’t going to be going for a PR in October.

Leading up to the race the weather was looking iffy–cold and rainy. Luckily, the weather held out and it was just chilly with sprinkles at the beginning of the race and at the end.

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I had taken off a week and a half from any running because of a heel bruise, so I was worried about how I would handle the distance. I told myself my main goal was to try to make it through the first half of the course without walking, then continuously remind myself that it was OK to walk when I needed to. I made it through seven miles with only walking through a couple of the water stops, so I was proud of myself.

The second half of the race, I tried to stick to what I called the “pregnant mile interval”–run 10 minutes, then walk until the end of that current mile. It wasn’t until about mile 11 or 12 that I started to feel uncomfortable. I then realized I probably needed to pee, but there were no port-o-potties around, so I quickly whipped between a stone fence and a tree where no one could see. After that, i felt much better (first time I ever had to stop to use the bathroom during a race!) and just told myself I was almost there.

Looking to finish strong!

Looking to finish strong!

My goal was to finish before 2:30, and I was on track to do so. I saw one of my close friends who was volunteering close to the 13 mile marker and it lifted my spirits to push on. When I got to the finish line, I just started pumping my arms and “sprinted” to the finish. I was so surprised at how emotional I felt after I received my medal–was it the fact that I was done with the race, or the pregnancy hormones, or all of the above? I have no idea, but the last time I teared up at the finish line was my very first half marathon back in 2012.

My official finish time was 2:27:40. Definitely not a PR, but when you consider I had a hitchhiker with me the entire race, I think it’s pretty darn good!

Totally awesome medal--the middle circle spins!

Totally awesome medal–the middle circle spins!

So why did I decide to run a half marathon while pregnant? Why not?? I was completely honest with my doctor about my training, and as soon as I found out I informed my running group and my coaches at Man O’War CrossFit. A fellow Strider let me borrow her book Running & Pregnancy, so I read what to expect and how to handle each month and adjusted everything where needed. I quickly put aside my pride and knew that I couldn’t push for the faster race times, and that it was alright to walk when my heart rate was going too fast or I felt winded.

The longest distance I ran leading up to this race was 11 miles, and that was two weeks prior to the race. And I was OK with that. I ran one long distance training run a week and one shorter run every week, and did CrossFit four days a week.

Now I’m just running once or twice a week, up to 3.5-4 miles at a time in my neighborhood, and still doing CrossFit. My hope is to continue running until it’s too uncomfortable. Right now I’m at almost 28 weeks, and still doing alright.

What’s on tap for 2015? Spring races will have to be determined with the birth of Baby A&W and how the weather allows for outdoor running.

If you’re looking for a scenic race in Central Kentucky in October, I recommend the Iron Horse–just make sure you register early!

Note: Check back on Wednesday, I’ll have an awesome discount code to pass on to you from ProCompression!

Running While Pregnant-Eve of the Iron Horse Half Marathon

I’m about 14 hours from running in my fourth half marathon–the Iron Horse Half Marathon, held in Midway, Ky. Even though this is my fourth, I think I’m the most nervous about this half marathon. Why? Well, a list of reasons…

  1. The biggest–I’m 22 weeks pregnant. I know I’ve been active so far throughout my pregnancy, but I’m just nervous about how much my body has changed and affected my running and recovery.
  2. Fighting a bruised heel. Ever since our anniversary getaway to Land Between the Lakes, I’ve had a bruised heel and haven’t run in two weeks. I’ve done some cardio workouts since then (rower, whatever we do in CrossFit), but it just makes me nervous. The heel is better–I’ve been icing it throughout the day and trying to keep from being on it too much. We’ll see how it holds up to 13 miles.
  3. The weather. All week I’ve been watching the weather like a hawk. It’s gone from 80% chance of storms to 40% chance of rain back to 80% chance of rain, now to 50% chance of rain. I’ve never really run much in the rain, let alone cold rain, so I’m not looking forward to it.

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But I’m going to grit through the race. I have to keep up at least a 14 minute pace (they have a time limit on finishing), but I should be alright. I just can’t wait until I cross that finish line and get that awesome medal. Pics and wrap-up to come!