Running with Babies in the Belly

Today’s Training:  Fridays are for rest!!  Yesterday was a quick 3 miles around town.  Sometimes I love rest days, others I get mad at them because I kind of want to get up and run.  It’s like my coffee!  But, alas, the rest is important. So today I slept in and so did both babies!!  Bonus!

Fridays are also for strawberry picking!  Because what says “Welcome Summer” better?!

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So before I had actual babies to run around and strawberry pick with, I was running around pregnant with those babies.

Have you ever tried running with a basketball in your belly?  Well, I wouldn’t because you would probably look crazy.  With an actual baby in there, you look completely normal.  Just ask the people who stare at you like a circus clown!  Noo, it’s really not that bad, but sometimes it happened.  I will say- for every disapproving or questioning gaze, there was a “You Go Mama!!” as I ran by.

I have been very lucky in both my pregnancies in that both were healthy and went smoothly.  They were also both pretty different- but more than one being a boy and one a girl, I think it had more to do with the different seasons.

With Braxton, I felt queasy in the beginning and completely puffy by the end.  He was born in August and it was a hot summer.  I ran most of my pregnancy with him (it was a weird cramp during an early run that I was tipped off I may be pregnant), but I did slow down and cut the miles pretty early- and I gained more weight with him.  Because for as much as I run, I love ice cream about the same.  The only race I ran during my first pregnancy was the Lilac 5k with my cousin, Hannah, as her first race!  She was awesome, and that got the ball rolling for her:)

WIth Charlotte, I had MAJOR headaches in the beginning.  They were so bad, I would lay at my desk at work in the dark with my head down.  The first of probably many headaches a teenage girl is going to give me.  But she’s never going to grow up, so I don’t have to worry about that.  They were terrible and I was way too stubborn to take anything for them.  So I powered through until they stopped around 4 months.  I didn’t get as puffy, and I ran a LOT more with her.  I ran in the mornings through the headaches (most times, the run helped them go away for a little bit) and I even ran 2 miles the night I went into labor with her!  I did not really crazy worry about my weight gain, but I did gain about 10 pounds less my second pregnancy and felt so much healthier.

Running while pregnant wasn’t really a question for me.  Because I’m already a runner, it is totally safe.  The “keep your heart rate down” is old advice.  Our bodies are smart, and they’ll tell us when to slow down- basically, they make us.  It’s amazing how that works.  I was always careful, but I never felt off balance.  I embraced the belly as it grew, and I guess just adjusted my posture to accommodate it.  I didn’t pushed myself, I ran how I felt- again, that body telling me what I can do.  I was able to complete quite a few races with my girl along for the ride.  2013 proved for a good year of races without racing them!

March– I ran the Spring Forward 15k and actually did achieve a PR of 1:07:50!  And technicallyy, I was prego!  It was SO early I didn’t feel one symptom, but still, I can say I was!  I had found out the day before- so the PR probably came from pure excitement!

April– I ran the Seneca7 Relay with the Mendonites.  My legs totaled around 11 miles, I had a great running partner, and I felt fine.  The only downside was how tired I became as the day went on.  But it was a lot of fun, as things with this crazy group usually are:)

May– Lilac 5k and 10k- I ran them both.  The 5k took 24:02 and the 10k 51:11.  I felt good during both runs- I paced myself and didn’t push it one bit.  I remember that particular day this was really REALLY hard for me to wrap my mind around for some reason- DO NOT PUSH IT.  You have a baby in there and she (or he, I didn’t know) is busy growing!

I also ran the Corporate Challenge with work in May.  3.5 miles in 27:41.  It was a fun and crowded race with a giant storm at the end that I’m happy I outran!

June– The Ragnar Relay in Canada.  It’s was 24 hour relay with 12 people- my legs totaled about 16 miles.  That didn’t scare me.  Staying up all night did, and I was having the headaches most days leading up to it.  My bedtime was 9pm!  But remarkably, I didn’t get tired and I didn’t get one headache the entire time.  We slept a total of three hours that weekend in a hotel between legs.  I ran all my legs pretty smoothly (even the 3am pitch dark scary one ONLY because Brian came with me), and can honestly say this was one of the best times I’ve had.  My husband and I had a mini vacation, we ran, and we were with friends.  What could be better?!

July– Firecracker 5 miler and Boilermaker 15k.  I ran the 5 miler in 42 minutes- which I was ASTOUNDED by because it was fast for how I’d been running.  The summer was so muggy it felt like soup.  If the sun had been out that morning, I’d probably be writing a different story.

And the Boilermaker- I mean, come on, it’s the BOILERMAKER.  Too bad I couldn’t enjoy the beverages at the end that time around, but I ran it 1:20:50, an 8:40 pace.  I’ll take it!  15k is my favorite distance, and this is my favorite race.  The crowd support was what kept me trucking along, and I finished really happy and feeling great!  So did my awesome cousin, Hannah.  I’m so proud of her!  We’re doing it together again this year:)

September– I ran the Ovarian Cancer 5k in 27:18.  It was a good race for a great cause on a beautiful day.  So many friends were there, too.  And I was certainly showing by now.

I did stop longer runs around 7 months because I had a tiny “scare” with some bad pains in my belly and a fever that left me on the couch for a few days, and an extra visit to my midwife. It was just lot of false labor mixed with being sick, but it scared me enough that I wanted to take things easier.  After that, I just ran a few miles a day very slowly, usually decked out in Brian’s huge sweatshirts around the block.  I decided against my last planned race of the year, the Thanksgiving Day 10k- one I really was bummed about missing.

I honestly think these pregnancies, deliveries, and post partum went so smoothly partly due to running.  Any exercise in general, really, helps.  Running while pregnant is so great because I can relax while I do it- not worry about pace or distance or hill repeats or tempo runs and just enjoy the peanut growing.  It kept not only my body in some sort of shape, but definitely my mind.  I spent that quality time clearing my mind, talking to my little ones, and probably providing them with one kick ass rock to sleep:)  Now that said, I definitely had my bad and super uncomfortable “I am DONE with this, never EVER again” days- especially at the end.  But if I was having a bad day, a run almost always made me feel somewhat better- which is true all the time.  That, and ice cream- which also is true all of the time.

SEE there’s even charts to prove these things!10 Benefits of exercise while pregnant Fit and Bumpy » littlepinklines.comOK, so I'm pregnant - Caffeine & alcohol you're on the bench. Ice cream & chocolate, SUIT UP!
Happy Weekend!!

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