Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Pregnant Running: 1st Trimester Edition

Before I actually became pregnant,  I figured that  I would trot along with my running and, yeah, it would be more challenging than it is ordinarily, but generally speaking, I probably wouldn't notice that much of a difference.

I was in for a rude awakening, and a few surprises. I found out about my pregnancy pretty early on, at 4 weeks. I continued my usual routine, I was even forgoing my rest day and putting in a Sunday run. My take it easy go to walk-incline 55 minute walk/run routine. I can't believe that used to be easy.

For a few weeks, it's true, I didn't notice much of a difference. I thought maybe I would be one of those ridiculously lucky symptom-less women. It was not to be. Between weeks 6-7 the endurance drop off came. It was swift, steep, and  humbling. Girl you WILL slow down. During this time it was August. The humidity and heat were killer. I could only run one mile without needing to walk for water. Just one mile at a time. I could not get enough water. 

Here I was a girl who would take off on 7-8 mile runs with no fuel or water and just wing it! *You're not supposed to do that FYI. No matter how fit you are. Rules were made to be broken! Here I was that girl, and I was running one mile and needing a walk/water break. I can remember taking the four, just four, flights of stairs up to my office, and having to collect myself outside of the door when I reached the landing. Straight winded.

It was a really humbling experience. On top of being winded, I constantly felt tired. How did people really do this fit pregnancy thing? I was feeling pretty discouraged with my half-ass work outs and general lack of motivation BUT I had seen enough women continue their fitness routine to know it is possible to continue. 

My run pace dropped significantly. To about 10:45-11:00 minutes a mile which is very slow for me. 

I was having a really hard time being nice to myself when out on the road. I was having a really hard time being nice to myself at the gym too.  Push ups were harder. Planks were harder. Weight lifting was harder. Everything was just harder. How is this even possible I'm not even in double digit weeks yet????

Eventually, I decided to turn off my pace and set myself free. I wasn't going to be running in a 9 minute mile again any time soon, so no point in beating myself up every single day, Best decision I could have made, but I still felt directionless. I had nothing to train for, I wasn't trying to lose weight. It was rough to stay motivated when you feel like Oscar the Grouch in a trash can. 

During this time, I leaned on my most tried and true motivation tools. 

1. Lay out your gear the night before 

2. Promise someone you will be there

3. Set a goal

My present goal is to run the Cajun Cup 10K. I pulled out Hal Higdon's novice 10K training plan and set to work. I like the mileage in this plan, and the cross training goal. I have not stopped my regular lifting routine. I did keep my five mile base distance up throughout this time. I felt it was important for me to maintain a five mile base if I  had a hope of running the 10k in under 6 hours. Drama lama says heyyyy!  I'll be 20 weeks and some change on race day.

I missed one work out during the first trimester. It was probably my worst day pregnancy wise, and I don't regret just skipping that work out. I listened to my body. If I needed to walk. I walked. If I needed water, I drank me some water. If I needed to go slow, I went slow. If I needed to use the bathroom, I used a vacant port-a-potty. No shame. 

One day I made myself go to the gym with the sole purpose being that I could eat mashed potatoes for dinner. The whole time I was on the treadmill, I was thinking about those mashed potatoes I was going to go home and make. None of that cauliflower shit. I want potatoes. I finished my work out. Then I went home and peeled and entire bag of potatoes. I made enough mashed potatoes for my entire extended family to eat for Thanksgiving dinner and they. were. DELICIOUS. Picture worthy even!

9/1/15 - No I didn't eat them all in one sitting.
Being forced to slow down has made me appreciate other things. 

One: I'm thankful that I am moving, and generally speaking, this has been an easy pregnancy thus far. 

Two: when I am moving quickly again, I will appreciate it so much more.

Three: people put a lot of effort into their landscaping and specialty mail boxes. Someone has to admire these things. Why can't I be that person?

*PSA- things got much easier after week 11. As in I almost feel like myself again easier. Keep at it!*

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  1. I am so glad you posted this. I swear I have never heard it like this before. I knew I wouldn't be able to work out the same and I would get winded and have to slow down, but I thought that would be like 26 weeks, 30 weeks, around there. I had no clue before I even was showing at all I would feel like a couch potato with no exercise experience when I just tried walking up stairs. What the what! I am starting to come out of the fog and it's getting better. I haven't done a lot of running but I'm taking up swimming and other things for cardio. Weights are still the same just a slow pace moving from set to set. Great job sticking with it!!

  2. Your next goal needs to be Rock N Roll Nola... Just sayin ;)