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?

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/

2353-FuelYourBetter-Fueling-800x800

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

Losing Steam

Ever have those days when it seems like time is moving so quickly and then you get into work and the day drags on? That’s what my life feels like as of late. It’s so nice outside and there are so many graduation-related activities happening that our ‘down’ time anything but relaxing.

Watson, however, has nothing but time.

Watson, on the other hand, has nothing but time.

With all that’s happening, I’ve definitely lost my workout mojo. I went to barre last week and ran on Sunday, but that’s about it. The humidity is already kicking in here in Baltimore. I’d wake up and work out, but I’d rather snooze. These are lame excuses, but they are swirling in my head. The JA’s been doing wonderfully with continuing his routine – working out a few times a week, sometimes twice a day. But for me, that time is over. Training is done and I’m happy with my race performance. I’m hoping that when Watson’s ‘cage rest’ is finished at the end of the month, that getting back into our morning and afternoon walk routine will light a spark and get me back in the game, but what until then?

lack-of-motivation

I trained for so long for the half marathon that now it’s over, I feel a bit lost. While I don’t want to jump into training anytime again soon, I also don’t want to lose all my dedication and tenacity (not to mention my muscle definition and sense of accomplishment).

HELP! What do you do when you’ve lost motivation?

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!

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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!

 

Resting Up But Feeling Down

So, Spring Break got the best of me. While I’ve been working shorter hours, we’ve also been completing some projects around the house, enjoying some extra time as a family, and allowing ourselves the opportunity to relax a little bit.

Additionally, I’ve got a little over a week left in my half marathon training (EEK!) and can feel the excitement of the challenge building in my mind as I continue my two-week taper. My 11-mile run last Sunday was less than ideal and my left hamstring felt uncomfortable on my 5-mile run yesterday, so depending on both my physical and mental state, I may need to adjust my goals for the race. It stinks because as recently as three weeks ago, I was confident I had my ‘A’ goal within reach (and it still very well may be). Yet, between my foot issue (which seems to have resolved itself), this tight/possibly torn hamstring, and a mind that’s a bit defeated thinking that I didn’t finish my 13.1 mile ‘test run’, I need to remind myself that a ‘C’ goal is still a goal and I shouldn’t be disappointed if that’s the one I attain. A lot of people have told me that if I can run 11, I can run 13.1 but I would feel more confident had I done it (and done it well) prior to race day. The JA keeps telling me that just finishing is an accomplishment and that should be my first goal, with time and performance as secondary goals. I am reminding myself that any time is a PR. A big confidence boost before next weekend would be great but even if it doesn’t happen, I know I’ve trained well and can (and WILL) cross that finish line.

But enough about that. It’s Friday, so let’s end the week with a photo recap of the past two days!

For our co-workers birthday, my ‘work husband’ and I made a trip to Fells Point to pick up some treats. We couldn’t resist getting a scoop full of gelato for ourselves to brighten up an otherwise dreary day.

pitango

These bad boys arrived at my doorstep this week. I’ve already tried two flavors and have a few more to go. A full review will be coming soon so stay tuned!

vega bars

Flavored sparkling water has been my jam recently. On days it’s difficult for me to chug my regular tap water, I mix things up with some flavor and sparkle. I mean, why not?

sparkling water

And we obviously couldn’t end this post without a picture of Watson. The other night, he entered our room and plopped himself down near the side of my bed and didn’t move until I was settled. Too cute.

guard dog

How do you relax before a big event? Ever adjust your goals and then completely surprise yourself in achieving them?