I’m Pregnant? Running & Racing – First Trimester – By A Runnababez

, a Runnababez, recently found out I had been running with baby on board! I thought I would provide some of my experiences & feedback while training and even racing while pregnant.  There is very little info or reading on running while pregnant as it is a relatively new concept that running and working out while pregnant are now considered to be really good for the baby.  Now, Doctors actually encourage expecting moms to be active.

Find The Best Doctors

I’m lucky to have a great Dr. in Dr. Herman who I trust. He goes out of his way to help and he knows me and my athletic background, and has told me to just be, “me,” which he said is,  “Run as long and as hard as you want,  your body is use to it.  The one rule is to watch your core body temperature and not get overheated.”  You always want to run things by your doctor while pregnant, and he said I have a healthy pregnancy that also allows me to continue training.  Having a line up of the very best Doctors is critical when training hard, it’s probably one of the most important things in general is having Dr’s. you trust and who are excellent.  I have the best in Dr. Feder, and Dr. Aymerich.  They have been life savers!   Drs. like them that are truly the best at what they do! Great people and friends as well!

Learn To Listen to Your Body…(And Coach)

I have become very good at listening to my body through all the hard years of training for elite track races & triathlons.  I ride the fine red line of pushing through pain, to get results, vs. Is this about to make me sick or injured?  I actually love riding that fine red line.  I enjoy putting in the work,  of hard workouts.  Sometimes no matter what, it happens, you tip over the red line because you are trying to be the best you can be.  It’s part of the game. The part I have had to focus on, is  improving the recovery.  If you do tip over the red line, the key is to stay positive, persevere, and keep getting back on the saddle!

When you train hard for years, you know what is a good pain and a bad pain.  Your coach if you have one, will also guide you even more.  Mine, will stop me if I get tempted when feeling really good,  and want to do too much and later will wreak havoc on you later.  A good coach will for-see that.  You will not, because you are caught up in the feeling of now.  Trust your coach.  Put in the smart amount of work. Listen to your body cues.  Listen to your coach.  Results will follow.

While pregnant so far, it’s been easy to listen to my body, since I don’t run with a Garmin everyday and track paces on easy runs.  I have for the years successfully gone the route of let my body dictate the pace, based on effort.  I only worry about pace for some workouts or races.  Even, in those though I focus on perceived effort.  This has made a smooth transition to running while pregnant and not being caught up in the speeds.  Some days I feel very tired, and am running very slow but I don’t care because it’s based on effort.  Some days I feel great, and am sure running quicker but it’s all run on effort, pregnant or not pregnant for easy days.  Same goes for hard workouts, I will be told to run these repeats at, “5k effort” and run to what that effort feels like.  Sometimes, I am not even told splits because the focus is read your body effort.  During races, then you never are mentally holding yourself back either thinking I can’t do this? Because you have trained towards effort.  My times in workouts have got somewhat slower, due to the little one in me, which sucks off your oxygen and blood supply.  I have asthma as well, so it definitely feels harder to breathe when trying to run quicker.  But, overall I feel good.

Research & Running Friends

I’m currently reading a great book that is called, “Exercising Through Your Pregnancy,” by James Clapp M.D. It breaks down the science of what is happening to your body while being pregnant and running, recent research studies, and proven benefits of running while pregnant, and the benefits postpartum for continued running.

I am lucky to have the Runnababez ladies as some of my best friends, they are the best.  Tough & all around successful ladies! I’m lucky to have several Runnababez that are Moms, as friends and running partners, to be encouraged , ask questions, and be motivated by, as they ran throughout their pregnancies and came back postpartum strong.  Jackie & Courtney are super moms! They show me it is possible to run through pregnancy, after, balance work, family, and come back and hit big running goals!  I also have also been reading other professional runners & triathletes blogs to get their point of view and experiences while training and coming back to racing after baby such as: Stephanie Bruce, Kara Goucher, Deena Kastor, Gwen Joregenson, Paula Radcliffe, and Miranda Carfrae.  Each of their experiences of training while pregnant is a little different, and every pregnancy is different.  But, learning from others on what to possibly expect is helpful.

Personal Experience: Training & Racing 1st Trimester

At, first for several races I didn’t know I was pregnant such as the Music City Track Meet, Steamboat, and the Macklind mile.  I ran much slower than expected after some of the best training workouts ever,  I thought I just had extreme muscle fatigue from lots of speed work.  So, I took a week off of training.  I came back feeling more tired…Little did I know, I soon would find out I was pregnant, and had been running for 2!

The first 10 weeks the only pregnancy symptoms I had were muscle soreness, and overall super hit-by-train tired.  (I  know) I was lucky to not suffer from any morning sickness at all!  I managed to get runs in, some rather short, some workouts, all throughout those 10 weeks.  I have been headed back towards more triathlon training while pregnant, with adding back in biking, and swimming, more options if tired.  Later on, I figure if running doesn’t feel good I can easily do more swimming or biking.

Weeks 10-14.  I feel great!? Am I really pregnant?! I will knock on wood though…I have felt so good, where I almost feel back to pre-pregnant self?!  Oh, but than the random days knock me back down and remind me,  “Yep! I am pregnant!  I am tired…good night!” Sometimes It’s 8pm lol.  Overall, I have been able to run “normal” for me, now getting in several workouts per week, and long runs as well.  I have tested the waters of racing while “knowing” I was pregnant during week 10, which was a transition week from feeling very tired to good. I raced a 5k at the Diva Dash in Forest Park, finishing 3rd overall in a time that was roughly 3 minutes slower than my PR at 20:15.  But, it is my “P.P.R”(Pregnant Personal Record) for 5k so far !  I felt good that day.  Week 11 I ran a 5k at Kimmswick, and I didn’t feel good.  I felt very tired, I ran 21 minutes for the 5k.  By looking at me you wouldn’t know I was pregnant yet…But, if you saw my time, you would ask what’s wrong? Like several did in those races when I didn’t know I was pregnant. I feel fine, my times are slower is all.

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Goals

We all love being our best. Especially if you are an athlete lot’s of focus is on hitting , “P.Rs.” I have always gone from one goal to the next and I love it.  I feel lost without a goal.  It’s how I am wired.  I always want to know what I can do better.  I’m used to training hard to set PR’s to try and qualify for things.  Now, I am focused on a number one goal of a healthy baby and eventually a good mom.  But, I also haven’t lost the competitive side of me.  I never will.  I have put my focus on baby.  I have shifted it to setting,”P.P.r’s” instead. I hope other Mom’s to-be can be encouraged to go for their own “P.P.R”, you shouldn’t have to stop doing what makes you feel good, like exercise,while getting excited for baby!

Diva Dash 5k

@Diva Dash – 5k “P.P.R!”

So far, I just feel really happy & blessed to have baby on board!  We are super excited!  I look forward to training and racing in the second trimester.  Anyone who knows me well, knows I love training and even more so racing.  So,  my new running buddy & I don’t plan on stopping… we shall see what it brings?! Perhaps more P.P.R’s in 5k ,or other distances.  Tim & I are very lucky to have supportive family & friends!  We already can’t wait to meet baby!

 

~ Fun. Fast. Fabulous!

RUNNABABEZ

 

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