Happy Wednesday, Friends! I’m finally recovered from Thanksgiving, and I’m ready to tackle the next couple of weeks. I’m decorating for Christmas this weekend (I slowly started when my family was in town), and next week is going to be full of fun as I celebrate my bestie’s wedding. All the fun and excitement starts next Wednesday – so my goal is to get plenty of rest this weekend. With all of these upcoming events and work commitments bouncing around in my head, I’m more thankful than ever that I’ve been able to keep running during this pregnancy.
I’ve always used running as a healthy outlet to help relieve stress, clear my head and keep me healthy. I also knew that running would probably look a bit different for me when I was pregnant, but I have been so thankful that I’ve been able to keep it up.
1. Running made me feel more connected to my body
As a first-time mom, I had zero idea how my body would change – and had fairly low expectations for myself when it came to exercise. However, one thing that pleasantly surprised me was how running actually made me feel most like myself during a time when so many things were changing.
You can read all about how my first trimester went here, but for the most part, I felt okay. Did I have a million questions running through my head? Sure. But being able to get out and go for a run – or hop on my Peloton made me feel more in tune with my body. Running is a familiar habit to me, so being able to lace up my shoes, get into a warm up and work up a bit of a sweat felt like greeting an old friend during a time when I felt so out of my comfort zone. I truly believe that running helped combat many of those anxious thoughts, allowed me to sleep more deeply at night and overall, brought be great peace of mind.
2. Dialing back the intensity
One thing I’m not great at in my personal life – is dialing back on the intensity. I tend to literally go full steam ahead most days. I had to eat a big slice of humble pie from the beginning. While I am still able to run, I also have to stay tuned in to my body. And for me, that means really taking the time to warm up. Gone are the days of just lacing up my running shoes and hitting the pavement. Your heart rate changes when you are pregnant, and it’s something that I”ve really tried to stay cognizant about. For me, that means spending a bit more time in the warm up to gradually allow my heart rate to adjust to my run.
It also means that my run pace isn’t what it used to be. My pace has slowed by about 40 seconds per mile, and I’m okay with that. I’ve slowed it down a bit, and I feel good about the pace that I can maintain. Instead of beating myself up about not being able to run as fast as I used to be able to, I’m just thankful that I’m able to keep moving.
Post-run stretching is also key. I love that I can do a 5 or 10 minute post-run stretch in the Peloton app, and I’m trying to do those religiously after I run (with the help of my furry sidekicks).
3. The community
People have a lot of opinions for pregnant ladies. I’m lucky to have some great friends who offer solid advice. Running while pregnant certainly isn’t for everyone, and it’s something that I discussed in length with my doctor to make sure it was safe for me and baby. Because it’s something that I’ve done for a long time, we decided it would be a positive thing for me to keep running. I encourage you to check with your doctor if you ever have any questions about whether it’s right for you.
What I’ve been pleasantly surprised about is the amount of positive things people have to say when I post about running on social media. So many people have encouraged me and cheered me on, and I’m so thankful. It makes me really appreciate my body for allowing me to move – and grow a human at the same time.
And, as you all know, I’m a big fan of the Peloton Tread. I’ve started using the #pelopreggos, and I feel the love from people when I’m taking classes. It’s been a great motivator to keep me moving on the days when I really don’t feel like it.
4. Maintaining mileage
One thing that’s surprised me the most about running while pregnant: the fact that I can maintain my mileage. Now, I’m not training for a distance race – or any race at the moment, but I’m still able to average about 3 miles for my runs.
I’ve even gone on some four mile runs, which makes me feel incredibly connected to my body. It’s also a great time educate myself by listening to some pregnancy podcasts. Hey, knowledge is power 🙂 I always make sure that I am hydrating properly, and as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve incorporated coconut water into my routine as well, which is a phenomenal source of hydration and electrolyte replenishment.
So, even though I’m not doing any long distance running, I hope to be able to train for a race once I have the baby, and it’s something that I look forward to us doing as a family.
5. The bathroom breaks
I saved the best pregnant running tidbit for last. One thing that I’ve had a hard time with is all the peeing that I’ve had to do. I can use the restroom right before I head out for a run, but as soon as I start getting into my groove, I’ll have to go again. I’ll admit that stopping in the middle of my runs to find a restroom – has been something I wasn’t anticipating, but here we are. And, I should note that this isn’t just happening during my runs – it’s an all day, every day occurrence these days. The joys of growing a human…..
As I mentioned earlier in this post, I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to continue running during this pregnancy (I’m 19 weeks today). As in life, it’s done wonders for me during a time that be confusing, anxiety inducing (and really exciting at the same time). Running has allowed me to feel incredibly connected to my body, and I hope to keep it up for as long as I can – even if it means slowing down as much as I have to. At 19 weeks, I’m still running and I’m still feeling good. Stay tuned!
Happy Wednesday, friends.