Wow, take a look at the belly.
(That Richmond Marathon shirt is Tom’s. My running shirts don’t quite cover the belly anymore, so I’m taking credit for races I didn’t run.)
You can barely see my feet.
Oh, there they are.
Tomorrow I’ll be 31 weeks pregnant. Wow, right? Don’t worry, these next 9+ weeks won’t seem as long for you as they will for me. For you, June will be here in no time. Go ahead and get your sundresses ready.
The last time I talked about running I was 25 weeks along. If you missed that post, here’s the summary: it’s great, better than expected. Right around that time I ran 4.3 miles in 40 minutes (an overall pace of 9:18).
At that point I was thinking I’d be running as long, if not longer, than I did through my first pregnancy. But a lot’s changed since then.
Besides my enormous belly, here’s the first thing that’s changed since then: I’m a lot slower. I do most of my runs with the stroller, but it’s easier to gauge my fitness level when I’m running without it. Last week, the last time I ran without David, I ran 3 miles in 32:26. And that time doesn’t include a few blocks that I walked (I always stop my watch on walk breaks). My overall pace was 10:48, and I couldn’t have gone any faster.
I’ve also shortened my runs to 4 miles or under, and I try to take a rest (or walk) day between each run day.
On the 32:26 run, I had terrible cramps, and the same thing happened on a run I did two days earlier. Each time I felt a cramp I stopped to walk. It started about a mile in, went away after a walk break, then came back after five minutes or so of running.
(By the way, I run regularly with two friends of mine, and these days they’re both great about slowing down and taking walk breaks. I’m a huge advocate of running partners for motivation, especially when you’re pregnant. Definitely look for partners that won’t push you beyond what you’re comfortable with.)
When I was pregnant with David I had Braxton Hicks while I was running, but this was different and pretty painful. Still, I’m hoping it was just a fluke. Especially because I ran 3.3 miles today, in 33:21 (practically 10 minute miles!) and I didn’t have any cramps and felt pretty good, all things considered.
Up to this point, my mom had been reading this, but she isn’t anymore. She’s gotten in her car and is driving straight to Richmond to knock me in the head because, “I thought I raised you to have some common sense young lady! Stop that running right now!”
Here’s the thing, my philosophy of exercise while pregnant is this: run as long as it feels good, then stop. The cramping didn’t feel good, and I don’t see any reason to be uncomfortable or push my body to do something it doesn’t want to do while it’s growing a baby.
My goal is to be healthy, fit, and feel good during pregnancy, and my priority is the health of my baby. (Also, my running goal from the start was to make it, at least, to 30 weeks.)
Cramping is a weird thing for runners. It could mean that I ran too soon after eating, it could mean that I was hungry, or thirsty, or just needed to take a breather. Or, in my case, it might mean that my body just needs a break. Pregnancy and caring for a toddler and running are all just too much.
If I’m sidelined by these cramps, I’ll be sort of bummed (especially since it’s only just now getting warm), but I’ll still try to stay as active as I can. That includes chasing and carrying around a certain 30-lb toddler.
That also includes walking the Monument Ave. 10k in two weeks. My mom and Tom’s mom are walking with me. They might think accompanying me as covert bodyguards for Baby Krieger to make sure I don’t try to run, not even one step, but I’m on to them.
Running moms, how did pregnancy affect running for you? When did you decide to call it quits? And how did you stay fit…and sane…when you stopped running?
(Or did you just decide to surrender to the couch and cheese puffs…because I’m open to that option, too.)