What an incredible couple of months it has been! I feel so guilty for waiting so long to write an update. I really had high hopes of blogging every week of this pregnancy, not only to preserve my own memories, but to help those other pregnant running mammas out there. Life got in the way; in a good way!!
Over the past two months, I went through some intense summer school classes (what was I thinking), I celebrated my first anniversary with my husband, I started a new job(!), I traveled back home to Maryland for two magnificent weeks with my family, and I’ve been busy being pregnant. I’m now sitting on a plane back to San Diego with a coughing, sniffling and sneezing 5 year old kicking my seat behind me, hoping that my hand sanitizer and tough immune system keep me healthy while I reflect on the great memories I’ve made since I’ve last blogged.
I figure I will start with a pregnancy update:
Pre-Injury weight: 101-102 lb.
Pre-Pregnancy weight: 109 lb.
Weight after first trimester: 115 lb.
Weight at 22 weeks: 122 lb. (Can you say, water weight? Holy moly!)
I need to just talk about weight for a minute. When you’re a 100 lb. runner, putting on 20 lbs. is not easy to accept. I’m trying to embrace it, and I knew that because I was underweight going in, I’d probably put on more than the average woman, but it doesn’t mean that I love what I see. I like what I see in the mirror, but when I see pictures of myself, I honestly see a whale. I am not doing anything different with my
diet, in fact, I’m probably eating much less than I did when I was running 70 miles a week, but my body is just hanging on to everything I take in! It seems like we are supposed to just love our bodies at this time, because pregnancy is such a beautiful thing, but I just really want my abs and flat stomach back! Ha! Don’t get me wrong, I do love my belly, but my thighs and butt have gotten HUGE, and I have cellulite now that I didn’t have before, so it’s challenging to love my new body at times. I do have faith that my body knows what it’s doing, that I am in good shape and am just retaining a lot of water, and that I will have my old body back in no time. 🙂
I really wish I had kept up with my running log during this time. I was able to start running after recovering from my achilles injury shortly after I found out about Baby Jakes. I came back extremely slowly in order to make sure that it was completely healed. I started out literally running 10 minutes every other day for the first week, and then about 15 minutes every day the week after. I was running about 9 minute pace (brutal), but it was fine, because I was so afraid of overdoing it and harming the wee babe. After those first couple weeks, I was able to run about 6 miles at around 7:30 pace or so, but I very, very quickly slowed down from the morning sickness and breathlessness and had to drop to 8:00-8:30 pace. Looking back on it now, I feel pretty fortunate to have not actually thrown up, but at the time, I felt perpetually horrible and always on the verge of having to run to the bathroom to puke. I was EXTREMELY tired and would come home from class and take a 4 hour nap. It took every ounce of will power to get out the door for my runs, and I was only able to run 4-5 days a week. I was just too tired to do anything more.
- Extreme fatigue and nausea
- Lots and lots of pee (I had to get up about 3 times a night to go)
- Whoa, constipation! I went from going 2 or more times a day to celebrating a poo once every 3 days!
- Feeling breathless all the time: Seriously, folks…I would get out of breath just flossing my teeth.
- Shortness of breath and rapid heart rate on my runs: I used to be able to do mile repeats in 5:25 pace at 160-170 BPM, now I hit that on easy runs at 8:00 pace.
- Chafing! – Wow, my new thighs show no mercy! Thank you, Carol, for introducing me to BodyGlide!
- Big boobs – I feel like I wo-man! <–Shania reference, anyone?
- Really low self-esteem (13 lb is a lot of weight to put on a small frame!)
- Food Aversions: I had a hard time getting raw spinach and bell peppers down. I had to switch to romaine lettuce. I also couldn’t eat my go-to snack, Picky Bars!
- Cravings: Nothing really. I did have a week where I was just feeling really drained and was in the mood for some fast food and pizza. It was the first gluten I had had in a long time, but it was worth it!
- Mood swings: Not sure if I can blame this on pregnancy or not….
Believe what they say. It’s totally true that this is the golden trimester. As soon as I entered my 12-13th week, the nausea went away, and I definitely had more energy. My runs were getting better, but heartburn, gas, bloating, and any other form of indigestion you can think of, began to plague me. These things started getting better around week 17, and I was really able to pick up the pace and mileage. The past few weeks of running have been amazing! I’m averaging just about 7:30 pace on every run (about 6 miles). The pace is a little deceiving, because it takes me a lot longer to warmup. I start almost all of my runs at 8:15 pace for the first 2 miles, and I have been finishing my last couple miles in 6:50-7 minute pace. Unfortunately these fantastic runs may be coming to a halt. Though I’ve been feeling great during the runs, I’ve been experiencing severe pelvic pain in my joints and bones afterwards, so bad that it’s almost too painful to walk. It’s now become a constant pain that makes it almost impossible to even lift my legs off the ground while trying to change in and out of my pants. It really is as bad as it sounds, and it’s enough to make me realize I may not be able to run the way I had planned during this pregnancy. It’s not worth risking a pelvic stress fracture that can sideline me after the baby comes. This week will be the start of a new phase where I really focus on strengthening my muscles in the weight room and cross training in the pool and on the bike. My goal is to keep running 3-4 days a week, but I might have to shorten my runs to 3-4 miles at a time.
- Round ligament pain: Yowza! These hurt, but thankfully they only last a few excruciating seconds.
- Migraines and headaches: There were a few weeks where I had a minor headache that persisted for days. I had 2 migraines (which I had never experienced before), that were so bad and lasted so long, that I almost went to the ER. I finally wised up and took 2 extra strength Tylenol with a couple sips of coffee that helped them go away.
- Pelvic pressure/pubic bone pain: The relaxin hormone causes your entire pelvis to loosen/expand, which means lots of pain. It’s probably only going to get worse. Oy.
- Baby bump: Yay! I finally started to really show at 17 weeks, and now I see everyone’s eyes drop down to my stomach when I walk by.
- Baby movement: I would sit still in a quiet room for 30 minutes trying to feel the baby, but I didn’t feel it move until 19 weeks. I didn’t really feel the flutters that everyone talks about, but I felt little pokes that felt somewhat like a muscle spasm. Baby is now moving and kicking all over to the point where we can actually see my belly move. It likes Hershey kisses!
- My belly button popped already!
- Boobs are still huge.
- No stretch marks yet. I have armed myself with coconut oil.
So that’s that. I have a few more weeks left in my 2nd trimester, and I pray that I can continue to stay as fit as possible and that I can ease this pelvic pain with some cross training. I don’t know how Kara Goucher did it, I really don’t!
As far as the rest of my life is concerned, I started a new job at Road Runner Sports as a “Fit Expert,” aka, I fit you into the proper running shoe. This has been the plan for a while now, the typical “cliche” career choice of a professional runner is to work in a shoe store, but I LOVE it! I am in my element, and helping people with their aches and pains and listening to them discuss their training goals brings me such joy! I love the people I am working with, and they were even gracious enough to allow me to take a 2 week vacation after only working there for a month. I went home for a week, and Tad flew out to join me for the second week. It was so relaxing and soothing to my soul to be home for so long. The weather was perfect, the grass was beautifully green, I spent so much time with my family and friends, my mom surprised me with a beautiful baby shower, and I ate more crabs than I have in years. It was perfect and probably the best trip I’ve ever taken. I feel rejuvenated both mentally and physically and now feel ready for the months ahead.
While I was home, I also had the honor of speaking to my high school Alma Mater’s cross country team. Coach Stough and I have been in contact through facebook, and we thought it was about time to have a reunion after 12 years. He had told me about some young promising athletes, and I jumped at the opportunity to speak to them. It was such an amazing experience, standing in front of a room with about 70 or so kids in 7-12 grade, eyes glued to mine as I told them my running story. I hope I was able to inspire them as much as they inspire me! I even ran my old cross country course with two of the girls, and I answered their questions about training, post-college running, and chatted about some of the same teachers that we shared. It was such an awesome experience for me, and it felt so good to be home and see my old coaches and where my love for running began. I can’t believe how far I’ve come and how many wonderful people are supporting me and my dreams. I am more inspired than ever and can’t wait to continue on this path with my family, friends, and my new little girl. 🙂