Friday, April 15, 2016

Running + Pregnancy

I have been asked frequently how I can run so much with a baby on board. I will be honest; I didn’t think I was going to be able to run as much as I have. My first pregnancy was relatively easy, but I lacked energy and started to experience hip pain around 20 weeks. Looking back, I believe that the hip pain stemmed from the added weight gain. I gained a lot of weight with Alexis (ballpark of 50 lbs!!!!) and learned the hard way how difficult it is to lose post-partum. This pregnancy is polar opposite. I eat a lot more fruits, veggies, and protein. Avocado is one of main cravings and sriracha! All the sriracha! With Alexis, Arby’s was consumed a lot. Probably not the best place to eat at in general.  

Running has definitely helped keep my weight gain in moderation. At the 20 week mark, there was a 30 lb weight difference between Alexis and Baby boy- weighing less this time. Seriously, just because you are “eating for two” doesn’t give you a ticket to eat everything in sight. Moderation is key!

With Alexis, I went to farmgirlfit a few days a week, but didn’t run often. As soon as I started to experience hip pain around week 20, I backed off of running and only ran 2-3 days a week, if that. Barely averaging 10-12 miles. Around 30 weeks I was probably only running 5-6 miles per week. It would take me a couple of days just to recover from a 2 mile run.

This time I am running at least 5-6 days week with zero lifting. I average around 30 miles per week and have been able to main a pretty consistent pace of 8:00- 9:00 minute miles. The first mile is always the hardest for me and is always the slowest mile of my run. Each day I can run is a great day so I try to not take advantage of it.

I have been fortunate to be able to run as much as I have and even complete a few races. To date I have ran (1) 5K, (1) 5 miler and (2) half marathons with a few virtual 5K runs too. I am planning on several more races before baby boy arrives later this summer. My goal is to be able to finish two more half marathons if my body will allow it. I haven’t registered for them yet because I am taking each day/week at a time.

What has really helped me is stretching frequently since we are more prone to pulled/strain muscles during pregnancy. I make it a point to stretch good before and after my run. I use my massage stick before and after each run as part of my stretching routine. If anything feels remotely off, I ice and rest. A few weeks ago I strained my groin muscle and that resulted in one week of barely any running.  After some extra recovery time it felt fine.
My 2 must haves:

Compression socks: I wear them on most runs and even to bed.

Massage Stick: I use this constantly throughout the day. Sometimes I even bring it with me to work.

My post baby running goals are something that I think about daily. Prior to this pregnancy I had been battling compartment syndrome for the second time. So far I have had no symptoms for about 10 months (knock on wood!). After I had Alexis I took my first run at exactly 6 weeks post-partum. It was AWFUL. So painful!!!! I continued to push forward knowing that I had Hood to Coast in less than 2 months. Each run was just as painful as the last so in the end I had to put running on hold until I could give my body the time that it needed to heal. Alexis was born at the end of April and it wasn’t until December of that year, 8 months post-partum, that my body felt okay enough to resume running.
I am in no rush, but I hope that I can resume running much sooner post-partum. I want to run another BQ in the next few years. I am hoping to run a few spring half marathons next year and then determine if a fall marathon would be a good idea. Nothing set in stone, just lots of dreaming.


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