Thursday, December 4, 2014

Pregnant Running

I am incredibly fortunate to be able to run, comfortably, up to this point in my pregnancy (28 weeks! 80 days to go, but who's counting. Not me. Totally not freaking out over here). I plan to keep on going as long as my body lets me, although I know there is an inevitable slowdown coming, and I am totally ok with that. My "running" currently consists of walk/jogs a couple times a week and sometimes a "long run" that's a continuous 3 or 4 miles on the weekend. No one will accuse me of being an overachiever.

Pros of running while pregnant
Low expectations- It doesn't matter if I run 30 seconds and then start walking. I have zero expectations for myself. Last night, on the treadmill, I was doing "intervals" where I ran a quarter mile then walked a bit. I managed to press the stop button on the treadmill in the middle of the run and I took that as a sign that I should just walk the rest of my planned distance. That was a-ok with me.
Anyone else remember this from Mad TV? Anyone else remember Mad TV?

Energy surge- For now, at least, I get a pretty good energy surge following a "run," even if it's a run/walk.

Quality TV watching time- I am pretty sure I'll forever associate this pregnancy with Gossip Girl. It's my go-to show for treadmill workouts. Nick would never dream of watching it (he hears bits of it from time to time and asks me if it's really as melodramatic as it sounds. Yes, totally is.)

Food intake/timing barely matters- Obviously I need to eat well during the day if I'm going to run in the afternoon. Before, that meant that I needed an afternoon snack at 2pm, no later, or else I'd be nauseated for an afternoon run. Now, I eat whatever, whenever, and go about my day.

Better sleep and less restless legs- I had mild RLS prior to pregnancy and it's gone crazy lately. I find my symptoms are milder on days I've done something active. The promise of better sleep is a huge motivator to get my butt off the couch these days.

It's good for me and the baby- Of course. Sometimes the only thing that gets me going is knowing the benefits that working out, even for just a little bit, carries for my health and my little fetus's health. 

Cons of running while pregnant
Funky aches- Nothing feels the same right now. My arms and legs are chunkier so I'm getting chafing in all sort of unusual spots. My boobs are huge and move in ways I'm not accustomed to (to be fair, they were so little before, they really didn't move at all. It was nice). My ankles and shins have been aching weirdly during most runs and occasionally during walks. My midwives said it's most likely just changing body mechanics, but it sucks. The aches resolve immediately after running.

Extra weight- This is the cause of the funky aches. And the chubby arms and legs. And slowness. Being many, many pounds heavier than my normal running weight is... challenging.

Slowness- It's not fun to go out for what used to be a "quick 4 miles" and now takes almost an hour. Nothing is quick anymore. 

Needing to pee- I go to the bathroom immediately before a run and by the time I've hit "start" on the treadmill, I need to go again. I know this will only get worse, so I'm just trying to power through it and try and remind myself that I am capable of going more than 40 minutes without peeing. Really.

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