Running While Pregnant: 2nd Trimester

Please note that the following post is my personal experience with running during pregnancy. Every woman and every pregnancy is different. I suggest consulting your doctor before beginning or continuing an exercise routine while pregnant.

My second trimester proved to be the best for me in terms of running. I don’t know if it was the weather, my energy level, or the fact that I cut back on barre and my legs were feeling good, but things just clicked.

If you remember, my first trimester had me completing a half marathon and then taking some time to let my body recover. (To read a full recap of my running routine during that first trimester, click here.) I started jogging with Watson and found that with my slower pace, he had become a great running buddy. We generally completed a 2ish mile route with intervals of running and walking. Some days were better, some were worse, but we stuck to our routine and relished our longer morning workouts.

Then the second trimester began. I/we got quicker. We were back in the 10-minute mile club, and it felt good. The bump continued to grow, and the weather stayed surprisingly cool for a Baltimore summer. The first few times I thought the time was a fluke, but after a some consecutive 10-min/mile runs, I was sold.

10min mile 2nd trimester

The times and the running continued right until the end of my 26th week. While the competitive side of me wished to maintain this great accomplishment and keep running through my third trimester, I also knew that the dark fall mornings were quickly approaching and that running with both an increasingly bigger belly and a sometimes finicky dog may not prove to be the best idea.

running belly and W

Stay tuned for the next update: third trimester!

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Running While Pregnant: My Story

Please note that the following post is my personal experience with running during pregnancy. Every woman and every pregnancy is different. I suggest consulting your doctor before beginning or continuing an exercise routine while pregnant.

If you did the math from my last post, you’ll realize that I ran my first half marathon while pregnant. We found out a few weeks prior to the race and, by doctor’s estimate, thought I was only 6 weeks pregnant (actually, according to a sonogram a few weeks later, I was almost 9 weeks on race day).

I've got a secret...

I’ve got a secret…

If you remember, I felt like I was burning out on running the weeks prior to the race. I was getting very fatigued while running (makes more sense in hindsight) and wasn’t feeling very motivated. Once the pregnancy was confirmed, I knew I wanted to continue with the race – it was just a matter of strategy.

After receiving the go-ahead from my doctor, I reached out to a friend of mine who ran a full marathon at 5 weeks pregnant. (Yeah, I know, she’s amazing.) She told me that she ran her race in intervals and recommended I carry a water bottle to remain hydrated. Both of these pieces of advice helped me greatly on race day.

SO weird checking that box on the back of my bib pre-race.

SO weird checking that box on the back of my bib pre-race.

I ran the first few miles of the race straight – starting my intervals around mile 5 and switching them up again around mile 8. My knee began bothering me at that point, and I took the majority of May off from running to let it heal (and because I was still in midst of immense fatigue during my first trimester).

As my energy returned, so did the running bug. However, there were factors to consider before pounding the pavement: some areas of my routes are alongside busy streets with no sidewalks, I’m not willing to sacrifice much-needed sleep in the mornings to get up and run, and the Baltimore humidity being a few. Plus, how would my knee react? I tested it out at the end of May and made it 2 miles before pain shot up my knee.

So, what was I to do – give up running altogether? Not a chance. Not for me. Especially not when the JA’s running again. It would break my heart.

That brings us to now – my second trimester and still not running like I used to. I’m doing intervals in the morning with Watson when I’m feeling up to it. It’s been somewhat of a rough road (ok, so I may have had a huge meltdown on Sunday after only interval-ing a mile), but reading this post from Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point helped immensely. I’m slowly learning to temper my expectations, knowing that my body has another purpose now.

All smiles after 2 miles of mostly running yesterday. Victory!

All smiles after 2 miles of mostly running yesterday. Victory!

Have you ever had to take time off from a sport you love? How did you cope?

Finally Free

The weather here in Baltimore was GORGEOUS this weekend. Warm, sunny, breezy, and low humidity – why can’t the entire summer feel like this?

Luckily for us, Watson was cleared for exercise on Friday! If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that with his heart worm treatment, he’s been restricted for multiple months. We’re supposed to ease him back into an exercise routine, but he was having none of it – running laps around the back yard the first chance he got.

puppy selfie

We explored a ‘new to us’ trail on Saturday and Sunday we tested out my knee with 2 miles of run/walk intervals. There wasn’t any pain, so hopefully I’ll be back to running soon!

trolley trail

trolley trail 2

The nice weather is scheduled to continue this week so if you’ll excuse me, I’m unplugging and heading outside!

What’s your favorite outdoor activity?

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

Fueling Better

It’s no secret that my morning workouts have been sparse since finishing my first half marathon earlier this month. Actually, my knee hast quite been the same since and running anything over two miles has brought a searing pain in my knee. No bueno.

So I stopped running for a bit. I miss it terribly and have plans to take it slow, but also test things out after fully resting it for a bit longer. In the meantime, I returned to my first love…the barre. It was a less than triumphant return, and one filled with lots of aches and pains. Yet, I keep going back and will even sub a class next week.

bw barre

With my main source of cardio on hold, I’ve switched up my routine (yet again) to continue being active while strengthening. My morning and afternoon walks with Watson have been reinstated and I’m jumping on the elliptical more. However, one thing that hasn’t changed is my need to refueling a smart and effective manner. Training gave me great insight on how food intake plays a part in performance.

So imagine my delight when I received a package from Vega. If you remember, I received a variety of products from them earlier this year and was eager to see what this package contained.

vega recovery

Peanut Butter Recovery Bars! These Vega Sport Protein Bars contain 15 g of complete, multisource, plant-based protein. Talk about fueling better – these bars are made to held aid in recovery to get you back in action as quickly as possible. A definitely plus for someone as antsy as myself. Not to mention, they are delicious. When I get a hankering for food between meals, I sometimes nosh on them to keep hunger at bay!

pb choc recovery

For more information and to see which Vega recovery product is best suited to your needs. visit http://fuelyourbetter.com/

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Disclaimer: I received a complimentary shipment of Vega bars as a Sweat Pink Ambassador. All thoughts and opinions of the product are my own.

Four Word Weekend

Community Yard Sale. Score!

yard sale decorations

First post-half marathon run.

post half run 5-14

The game that wasn’t.

Outdoor dining’s the best.

We had a great, relaxing weekend. The weather cooperated for the most part & kept us busy outside. We tried to soak up as much as we could, seeing as graduation is right around the corner and our lives get a bit busier in these net few weeks. Simply spending time hanging out, while not exactly riveting for you readers, is just what we need to stay sane.

Here’s to a great week!

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

What’s Next?

Since crossing the finish line on Sunday, I’ve been taking it easy exercise-wise. My knee is still tweaked a bit and May marks the beginning of graduation activities at work – meaning both the JA and I are busier than usual. But with this small break, my mind keeps wondering…what’s next?

I took so much time in preparing for the half marathon that I’m almost in a state of denial that it’s over. I wake up and am able to snooze because I don’t HAVE to run. I can if I want, but I’m not in training anymore. It’s a weird feeling.

A few people have asked me what my next race/challenge will be. There are plenty of opportunities this spring, summer, and fall to retrain and complete another half. I just don’t know if I’m ready to commit to that yet. There’s also a 10-miler and a 12-miler here in the Baltimore area, but again, I kind of like being able to run at my leisure. My last run pre-half marathon was a 4-mile run in the rain. I didn’t take my watch, put in some tunes, and let the rain hit my face. It was glorious and exactly what I needed to get my running mojo back. I don’t want to lose it so soon by jumping into training again.

I’ve also been toying around with the idea of volunteering at races instead of running them. I think it would give me a different perspective on what goes into organizing a race while still allowing me to be a part of the experience.

In short, I don’t know what’s next for me. I’m really excited to get back to the barre and give it my all again – not worrying about how it’s going to affect my running. I’m excited to run and remember why I love it so much. I’m ready to relax this summer, but still keep active and interested in the things that I’ve come to appreciate so much in my life.

click image for source

click image for source

How do you deal with post-race letdown? Take it easy? Immediately sign up for another race?

Mission: Accomplished

I did it. My first half marathon is complete. I’m still in a bit of shock, so forgive me if this post gets lengthy and emotional. I can’t help myself!

fred half 2014

With all that happened last week, in addition to my foot problem and a tight hamstring, a burned our running brain, and a nonexistent last long pre-race run, I was a bit worried toeing the starting line at the Frederick Half Marathon yesterday. I didn’t know where my mind or body would take me, but I knew I was determined to finish.

Whoa, I’m getting ahead of myself here. To do the race justice, let’s start from the beginning: packet pick up. I picked up my bib (and bib only) from my local Sports Authority store. I was a bit surprised that we didn’t even receive our shirts at pick-up – you either had to gather them before the race at the expo or after the race. Additionally, the race had an iGift bag in replacement of a traditional bag filled with swag. While I think it’s a good idea, I thought there would be more stuff in it – I quickly browsed through and it served more as an advertising opportunity than a way to reward racers or draw their business with coupons/promotions.

Race day morning, the JA and I were up bright and early to meet our friends and carpool to the race. Frederick is a little under an hour from where we live, so we found it a bit silly to spend money on a hotel room when we could drive there and back in the same day. Adrenaline kept me from sleeping well, anyway! We arrived at the Fairgrounds with plenty of time to spare and the ladies split from the men. We had an impending date with the start line.

fred half 2014 start

At 7a on the dot, the race began. I paced myself ahead of where I thought I needed to be, and held strong for the first 5 or so miles. My hamstrings were getting tight and I decided to slow down and do intervals. Half mile of running, 2 minutes walking. The last thing I wanted to do was burn out with miles to go.

This served me pretty well until mile 8, when my knee started acting up. MY KNEE! The one thing that had never bothered me in any run or race prior, was now searing with pain. Running actually helped, but I changed my intervals to a minimum 3 minute run and a 1 minute walk. I have to say, the Frederick course was great for a beginner like me. It was fairly flat, with lots of shade. We ran through neighborhoods which allowed for lots of crowd support, and one hellacious hill at the end gave it some spice. I saw the boys early, midway through, and right at the aforementioned hill at the end. It was so great to hear them cheering me on and always gave me the push I needed to continue through.

I finished with an official time of 2:16:40. My conservative race estimate was 2:15:00, but all things considered, I’m really happy.  I conquered the distance, kept my head in check, and listened to my body. My time placed me in the top 50% of both my age group and of women overall and in the top 60% of finishers male and female. Not too shabby!

I quickly hobbled over to collect my medal, grab some fuel and a photo, and snag my race shirt. I ran into some coworkers who also ran and also took a picture with Hil, who was a great and constant support during this journey. (You might remember her from a run we did together earlier in my training.) The celebratory beer wasn’t available until 11a (and we were finished by 9:30a), so we left and came home.

A knee brace, a 2hr nap, and treats from the husband rounded out the day. I took today off in anticipation of more aches and pains but mostly I’m going to relish the fact that I am now a half-marathoner 🙂

What was the most exciting part of your weekend? Mine was not only crossing the finish line, but finishing and being happy with my performance.

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!