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Friday, August 9, 2019

Running: the past few months

Just to quickly let you know how running is going, here's a recap of what I've been doing during my long hiatus:

Terrible track workout the week I
found out I was pregnant!
May: The week of my scheduled surgery I had two TERRIBLE workouts. Tuesday on the track I felt horribly lethargic and slow, but I didn't know why, and I was honestly freaked out. I thought that maybe I didn't take off enough time after Boston and was showing signs of training fatigue. But I reminded myself that I was about to take off two weeks post-op, so I'd have plenty of time to recover. With that in mind, I moved Friday's tempo to Thursday morning - the morning of my noon surgery. Last workout before a ton of time off! But I felt SO bad. It wasn't because I was fasting; I never eat before I run (and I totally drank water - it was five hours before my surgery. I'm a little cheater like that). I actually stopped between my last two 1.5-mile reps and sat on a bench with my head down, feeling dizzy and nauseated. Well, a few hours later I found out why I felt so bad! And after that, I just started gradually slowing down more and more.
I was able to participate in all my workouts in May, even though I usually showed up minutes after pulling over to throw up! And for a few weeks, I even hung with my old pace group. My day-to-day running didn't change, either: I felt my best while running, and in May I hit 286 miles!

June: I kept it up in June, despite persistent nausea and poor (terrible) nutrition. I dared not skip a day running: it was the only activity that kept the vomiting at bay. Something about drawing blood flow away from the stomach really relieved my sickness. But alas, pregnant bodies don't work like non-pregnant bodies. Toward the end of June, I started having tendon and ligament pain that made some old injuries flare - specifically my left biceps femoris tendon. This is the exact same nagging injury that plagued me in the Boston build-up, except it was my right leg. I ran my last real long run on June 16th, a 15-mile progression run, completed at 7:34 pace. Right after that, I ended up taking most of the rest of the month off, trying to let my tendons and ligaments heal.
Early June: running with a baby bump! 

July: July was not a good month for me at all! It began with a week of almost no exercise at all. I started the month with an emergency room visit that left me wearing a catheter bag for the first week of the month, which obviously is not at all conducive to exercise.
This is how I spent July.
Once I was back to normal, I tried some test runs, but I was obviously limping, and I took another two weeks off. I ended up somewhere around 90 miles for the month.

August: So here we are in August. I gradually started to run again, but it was a huge shock after taking a few weeks off. I got much slower during that time! I knew I'd slow down, but I assumed it would mostly be related to weight and fluid gain later in pregnancy stressing the cardiovascular system. Nope. I've definitely gained a lot of weight (I can cram myself into a pair or two of my running shorts, and I've been in larger bras since May), but clearly something else is going on. My stride is incredibly awkward and uncoordinated, and I tire easily. I simply have no speed in my legs at all. I went out for my first long run in almost a month this week, and I ran 9:25's! Obviously, I'm going by feel now, but I have been wearing a watch or Garmin to keep an eye on the time - I am slowing down so much day by day that I might accidentally make myself late for work!

Suddenly slow and clearly preggers in August 
For now, I'm running some, at very slow paces, which are determined by feel. To give my ligaments and tendons a break, I cross train on some kind of low-impact machine on Mondays. I am still attending group workouts, but with modifications: like walking or standing rest when needed (and skipping reps - I don't have all night!). I think any type of exercise during pregnancy requires common sense; I know what's hurting me and what's not, and my body is making sure I know exactly my limitations! 


  1. Hang in there. You seem to have a very good feel for how to adjust at this time. (I've never been pregnant, but I've had several teammates who have, so I've been along for the ride as a spectator as they adjust)

  2. I remember going for a run and feeling so slow and out of breath. I thought it was due to the humidity or something. Later that week I found out I was pregnant. It's crazy how fast that little teeny tiny baby can impact your running. It's a good plan to listen to your body and watch your heart rate and let that guide you. I was hoping to run during my pregnancy but that did not work since I had horrible RA flares the entire time. And I've struggled to fit running in between working full time + parenting so my running days are kind of on a grand pause. But we go for family walks most days which I really love. I figure it's better than nothing!

    I think your bump is adorable. The body changes you'll go through can be tough as everything is out of your control. Since you seem tall, you'll carry the baby well. I never got really huge. I'm 5'7" and had an avg sized baby so my bump was much smaller than other friends. The increase of my chest size was what I HATED the most. I definitely like being small chested and that was not the case during pregnancy and when pumping. I was so so so so happy when my chest went back to it's pre-pregnancy size after I stopped pumping. Actually my chest is probably smaller than it was pre-pregnancy which, again, I am not upset about!

    1. OMG I'm with you with the do large-busted women do it? This is definitely a pain in the butt!

  3. You ran 14 miles over the weekend so it sounds like you are in a better spot now than when you posted this blog! I am sure running pregnant must be very difficult. I give you props for trying as hard as you do.

  4. Oy. Glad you are feeling better with no extraordinary emergencies! Yep, all of this adjustment sounds totally normal, including the sudden slowdown (and there are some days you'll feel great and zippy). I'm sure you know your body well enough to listen to whatever it needs you to do. Late in pregnancy, one track mod I did was to figure out the time that I would've taken for the whole set, and then just shuffle about for that amount of time.

    But going from pancake to C cup, as I did, is no laughing matter. Suddenly I understood the struggles of larger-chested runner friends. And also bought a whole new set of sports bras in multiple sizes, because if you breastfeed at all there'll be all kinds of crazy fluctuations.