Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Running pregnant, the good, the bad, the ugly

Thank you for all the great comments to my last post! Obviously I love words of encouragement, but I also love it when commenters share their own experiences.

Admittedly, I've dropped off the blogosphere the last few weeks. Work has been busy and I just haven't felt like blogging. I've still been running though. Just not blogging. Anyway, let me give you a pregnancy update. I'm now 24 weeks and 3 days pregnant and weighing a good 12 pounds heavier. (If you're lucky maybe, just maybe, I'll post a preggo picture next week. I know you can't wait, right?) At my last doctor's visit (22 weeks), everything checked out perfect. Good blood pressure, good baby heart rate, normal fundus measurement, etc. So all is good on the pregnancy front.

It's funny though, the last month (or two) I've been anticipating a running slow down. I'll say to myself, "self, I think this will be the week that my pace is going to take a dive." That slow down hasn't actually happened yet. Well, I'm slower than pre-pregnancy by almost a minute per mile, but I'm still consistently averaging a pace somewhere between 8:33 and 8:43 per mile for my total mileage each week. My pace range is anywhere between 10:20 and 7:40. Yes, that's a wide range of paces. My runs go something like this; the first mile might be 10:20, the proceeding miles continually get faster, the last mile might be 7:40 and my average pace for a 10 miler might be 8:40ish pace. Just in case you're curious, my pulse is generally between 110 and 136, which is reasonable for a pregnant lady. Anyway, as I enter my sixth month of pregnancy next week, I expect that my girth is going to slow me down soon. I'm actually amazed that my pace has been consistent given my 12 extra pounds.

Moving on to the good, the bad and the ugly of running pregnant...

The Good
Running helps me keep my bloating under control. I try to watch how much salt I take in too, but if we go out to eat, forget it, I could be bloated for days. Running also keeps my digestion moving. Pregnancy can cause, ahem, constipation (and yes I realize that might too much information for some, but it's true) and running has helped me avoid that. When I'm running, I don't feel bad about the weight gain that comes along with being pregnant. For even though my girth is expanding, I'm still running strong. And it just makes me feel good in general. I could be feeling tired, then I run, and then I feel better.

The Bad
My legs have no spring. When I explained to Nick that my legs seem to have lost their bounce he sort of laughed and said, "welcome to my world all the time." I miss my springy legs. And although I know it's silly, sometimes I worry that I won't be fast again. Like maybe I won't get those springy legs back after the baby is born. I know it's ridiculous. Six months ago I ran a 20:15 5K, which was post Kaylee so obviously it can be done. But at the same I think wow 20:15 is so much faster than I am right now.

And for the last bad...pregnancy tends to bring out huge amounts of anxiety in me. When I'm feeling particularly anxious, I can't help but wonder, if (heaven forbid) there was something wrong with the baby, are people going to blame it on my running? This has got to be my biggest fear, and for me the hardest part of continuing to run.

The Ugly
Moving on to a less serious note, none of my running cloths fit right, which in turn causes chaffing and cuts. If I wear a loose sports bra I wind up with chaffing, and if I wear a sports bra that slightly too tight I get cut. My thighs chaff, and the elastic around my shorts is cutting me. Most of the time I don't even notice I've been chaffed or cut until I jump in the shower. Then it's very noticeable. I use a lot of glide. But glide can only do so much. I'd be willing to buy some new running cloths, but I'm honestly not sure what to buy to fix the issue. I've figured out which sports bras don't cause issues, so that's good. Shorts though, I'm not so sure about. I've been thinking maybe a larger size of spandex shorts would be good, but I'm terrified of buying a pair only to find out that they ride up and make me look ridiculous. Anyone have suggestions for good pregnancy running cloths?

Training Journal 4/19 - 4/25
Total Miles Run: 51
Total Time Running: 7:19
Average Running Pace: 8:36
Total Row Machine Miles: 6.25
Total Time Rowing: 50:00
Average Row Pace: 8:00
Total Cardio Time: 8:09

Training Journal 4/26 - 5/2
Total Miles Run: 42.1
Total Time Running: 6:06
Average Pace: 8:42
Total Row Machine Miles: 7.5
Total Time Rowing: 1:00
Average Row Pace: 8:00
Total Cardio Time: 7:06

Training Journal 5/3 - 5/9
Total Miles Run: 45.2
Total Time Running: 6:29
Average Pace: 8:36
Total Row Machine Miles: 11.5
Total Time Rowing: 1:32
Average Row Pace: 8:00
Total Cardio Time: 8:01


Running and living said...

OK, I guarantee that you are going to be FASTER post pregnancy than before. This happens to runners. The time off is good. All mom bloggers that I came accross, (including me) are faster than prepregnancy. You are going to drop the weight quickly, too! And all I can say about running and the baby.....James Clapp! The man did the research, trust him! All women have worries about the baby's health when pregnant (and after, ha, ha), so this is normal. You are doing the baby a service by running! About the shorts. I hated myself in spandex when I was pregnant. I wore bigger running shorts, longer too, that went under my belly. You are doing awesome! Glad you are back blogging!

Colette said...

keep up the great work! When I was pregnant I lived in a pair of Nike, dry fit capris at the gym. I just bought them in an XL and the waist band sat right under the baby belly and the snug fit on the legs stopped any chaffing while working out...I wore them until I had less than 4 weeks to go and they were great for working out. You are going to bounce back so fast and your training now will be such a help with recovery, birth and all the demands involved. Keep it up! Can't wait to hear how you keep going...and your paces are still killing mine and I am not pregnant!

Jill said...

You are truly amazing! You're averaging speedier miles and MORE miles pregnant that I am non-pregnant! I'm so glad you're keeping up with the running, I ran up to month 8 with my first (but I had complications with the twins and only ran til month 3) and rebounded so much faster. As long as you keep your doctor in the loop and he/she is fine with it, then it doesn't matter what people think or say! I'm going to check back next week so I can see how big you're getting. Sooooooo exciting, yay!!!

k said...

Kara Goucher and Paula Radcliffe are both running pregnant- and they are probably running harder than you are. So think about those lovely ladies next time you feel anxiety about the running.

I don't really know anything about pregnancy- but would a bike length spandex short work? That way if it did ride up a little, it wouldn't be as bad as a shorter short?

Katie said...

K: I just saw that NY Times article about Kara and Paula and it made me feel so much better! They're due in September and I'm due at the end of August! That's so cool!

AM-GoalsfortheWeek! said...

I second what Running and living says.

and i gotta say you are speedy! your heart rate goes only to ~136 for a 7:40 min/mile? wow! that's very cool. i'm a lil' jealous over here;-)

X-Country2 said...

You're doing awesome! I TOTALLY hear you on the "what if" part. I tripped and fell while running (very slowly) last week, and I was a panic for 24 hour about it. Horrible guilt that my selfishness caused the cord to unplug from the placenta or something.

I was downing caffine pop to make sure they were EXTRA squirmy and monitoring every single cramp or uterus twitch like a crazy person to see what it was.

Good luck with the clothes search. I have a closet full of husband shirts, but those are all cotton. God forbid! I'm still rocking my drifit and hoping my support belt covers enough of my stomach.

Julie said...

Hi Katie,
It sounds like your pregnancy is going well! I can't believe that you are almost six months pregnant already! You are doing so well with your running..you will get your spring back...no worries:)

OMG, you just ran a 20:15 5k six months ago!?! You are crazy fast!!

Take care of yourself. I will be looking forward to the updated preggers picture:)

Meg said...

Gosh, I never thought about the different areas of your body that change shape(besides the obvious belly)when you're pregnant. That must be tough with the chaffing and rubbing. Sometimes you can't predict it either! So many changes, so many changes...I love your attitude though!

Beccarigg said...

Oh my gosh! You are AMAZING! Just found your blog and I'm blown away at how fast and how much you're running during your pregnancy! I'm actually trying to get pregnant right now and I've been really worried about how it would affect my running. Looks like you're doing amazing with it all, seriously just in awe right now. WTG! Thanks for the wonderful inspiration!

sea legs girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sea legs girl said...

Katie, Glad you came over and commented on my blog. You keep an awesome record of your pregnancy running. I am just SO happy for you that you are able to keep training at such a fast pace. When I was 6 months, I was running 13-16 miles per day but the pace was MUCH slower (maybe 11-12 minutes per mile). Makes me think you will be able to keep the running up your entire pregnancy. I hope so for your sake!!

I agree with Running and Living that you will be surprised how fast you are when the pregnancy is over. And yes, the Clapp book. Read it if you are in doubt, otherwise, just don't worry, your running now could only be considered healthy.