Friday, March 11, 2011

Pregnant running

When I was pregnant with Sophia, I ran until 26 weeks. Then life happened, I took a few weeks off . . . then a few more . . . then I was 33 weeks, and forget restarting at that point! I got back into it when Sophia was about six weeks old. By four weeks I was dying to go for a run, but obeyed my OB's strict instructions that I was not to run until at least six weeks out from my C-section. Torture!

This time around, my goal was to run until at least 32 weeks. Then four weeks ago life happened.

Sophia got sick, requiring multiple nebulizer treatments thru the night for several weeks in a row, and this mama ain't getting up to run at 6 a.m. when she already has been up at midnight and 4! Then after that, John's work schedule changed to four days a week, requiring him to be at work by 7. Now, when he had to be at work at 8 it was doable, but running and being home by 6:30 so he can leave? So not happening right now.

So for the past few weeks I got in some cross training, some eliptical at the gym, some workout videos on youtube . . . and no running.


Then my mom came over to hang out with Sophia on Wednesday, yay for Grammy! (Hmm, not sure if she is -y or -ie . . . pretty sure she'll comment to let me know!) And I debated between more eliptical at the gym or a run outside . . . the run won out!

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I started out at my (previous) usual pace, on my 3 mile out-and-back run. Not a big out-and-back fan, but there is something to be said for knowing exactly how far you are running sometimes! Said out-and-back heads up a little incline for the first quarter mile, and then levels out to being pretty flat for the rest of it, not too much of a challenge.


In the four weeks since I had run, that little incline had grown. Not into a little hill, but into the Devil's Back at Houghton College. Anyone who ran cross-country with me in college knows what I am talking about. Devil's Back was the name of this ginormous hill that pretty much required you to go on hands and knees to get up it. Really, those of us who were on the slower side actually walked the whole thing in a hunched over position, hands grabbing at the dirt in front of us, which was really at waist level because the incline was straight up.

So here I am, gasping my way up my new version of Devil's Back. And to really appreciate the struggle, here's what you can do. Go ahead and strap on a few five pound bags of flour to yourself . . . one on your belly, one on your butt, and another almost-full bag on your boobs. (Sorry, but that's my reality.) Then hike up a mountain. At a run.

"I feel good . . . gasp . . . I feel good," I kept telling myself. "It's the warmest day in March, and I am outside with the sun on my face, this is great . . . gasp, gasp."

It was the warmest day of the year, pretty much, which was nice. That was counterbalanced, however, by the fact that I was running slower than a possum carrying six little babies on it's back. When you are running that slowly, make sure you are wearing enough layers! Thankfully, I had forseen that this might be an issue, and had enough layers on to run in the Arctic. And never got hot. And if I were being perfectly honest, my bottom half could have done with more layers, judging from my almost-but-not-quite-numb quads.

John has been known in the past to make sarcastic comments about runners as we pass them. No comments on the fast runners with a good stride, but anyone else is fair game. My favorite: "Why don't you try walking instead? You could go faster!" (No one but me hears these, they are said inside the moving vehicle with windows up! Not that he has any business mocking runners, since he is not one!) At any rate, I'm pretty sure I was nearing that pace on Wednesday's run.

At any rate, I finally made it up the monstrous hill after an eon, and spent the next two miles recovering from it. I didn't walk at least (though I guess it might have been faster!). That's probably the best thing that can be said about that run. I didn't walk.

Round ligaments stretching out with each bouncing step, breath huffing, pace shuffling, but I didn't walk for any of the three miles!

I'll tell you when I did walk. The next day. Barely. When I gingerly walked about with aching muscles. And decided that I HAVE to run at least twice a week if I really want to make it to 32 weeks. Because this running every four weeks is not a good plan. At least not if I ever want to be able to walk downstairs without gripping the railing and making it a controlled "flop" down the stairs. Some of you know what I mean.

So strap on your flour bags and join me, people. This mama is going to be running on Mondays (John's day off), Wednesdays (Grammy's visit) and once on the weekend. That's the goal anyway.

In the immortal words of the Penguin: Waddle on, friends!


Beth said...

I seriously give you SO much credit for getting out there at all. I didn't run a step once I knew I was pregnant! And I ran a little version of Devil's Back this summer.... I love how Devil's Back is the hill by which we measure all other hills. And, for the record, I walked up Devil's Back. And Linda Kurtz was at the top LAUGHING at all of us. It was horrific. I FLEW the rest of the race, and passed all those hustlers who thought it made sense to RUN up that horrific mountain. I just remember it was so steep, and then it would turn, and still be steep, and then turn again, and be ever more steep... it was a real killer to any sort of mental strength one may have had. I still feel angry at that hill! :)

ALL of that to say - kudos to you for pushing through it, because you surely had enough excuse to stop and walk, and I am so proud of you that you didn't! You're my hero, pregnant or not!

Joanna Spotts said...

Well, I bet that your new pace is about mine, maybe we'll have to try it out!

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