This has been the looming question on my mind since last October when I found out I was pregnant with baby number four. It has been a roller coaster ride of yes, I can totally do it, to no way, I can hardly function let alone run. I figured now was a good time to share my story with you mommies who have questions about running during pregnancy.
During the first month or so of my pregnancy I was running 6 miles three/four days a week and cross-training several other days. Early on in the pregancy I could feel the physical effects of my changing body. For example, my breathing didn't seem to come as easy. It took me longer to warm up and was running slower than normal. Dispite these changes, I could still kick out a 6 miler and felt pretty good. Then the sickness hit and it was all over. I tried to keep running here and there, but I got sicker and sicker until I was so enimic that it was a struggle to do the simple things like get my kids dressed for the day. I ran only a handful of times between the months of November to January. It was a very frustrating and depressing time and there was nothing I could do but surrender! The health of my baby is the most important thing, but for a control freak like me it was hard to give up this control. I need running, it is my sanity, my outlet, my only thing I do for myself. How can I give it up? I felt my goal to run the SLC half slipping away the longer I went without running.
Luckily, with the help of my midwife, I discovered an Iron supliment in liquid form (Floridex, found at a health food store for those of you who have trouble with low Iron levels during pregnancy) that saved my life. I started feeling much better and was able to return to the land of the living. My hopes for running in SLC returned. I started going to the gym and cross-training in order to assess my overall condition. I basically have had to start all over. I decided to just take it slow and do the best I can. I am sure walking will be necessary to accomplish the distance of a half marathon under the circumstances, but I am okay with that. I just want to do it. I am one of those people who need a race in order to stay focused.
I have had a good running week although I caught the nasty flue/cold going around. This is how it feels running at 21 weeks measuring at 36 1/2 inches (I am not one of those moms who barely even look pregnant, I get huge!) and with a weight gain of 24 pounds: I started out running two miles at a time, which felt good cardio-wise, but I can feel it in my legs. No pain, just burning muscles, which means I have lost a lot of my leg strength. I have no pulling or stretching of ligaments in my lower abdomen, which is what I fear most. I have been wearing a back brace that holds my belly in and keeps it from bouncing all over the place. I run slow and don't worry about time at all (this is actually a nice change). My goal for the race in April is to run 2-4 miles two days during the week and do a long run starting at 2 miles and building up to 10. If walking is required on these long runs then I will walk, but will try to run as much as possible. I cross-train on other days of the week in order to keep my body from getting burned out on the running. So far, things are looking good. I ran my long run today and felt great. It is funny to me that a run of 3.25 miles is considered a long run, but it was, honestly, a little tough. I had to concentrate the whole time and keep focused in order to keep moving. It was great because I felt in control with no pain and felt back in the game. Today is a great day!
So what do you think, can I really run the SLC half at 29 weeks pregnant? I say with some hard work, determination, and no serious physical complications, YES! I will be posting often to share my next 8 weeks of training and to give any tips I have for running during pregnancy. If anyone has questions feel free to ask. I will do my best to help out.
Oh and by the way the picture is deceiving, my husband even agrees that my belly looks much bigger than this in real life.