Sorry, I kind of left the blog hanging for a few days!
Actually, I’m not sorry. I’ve been soaking up the crazy warm February weather and didn’t crack open my computer once over the weekend. Instead, we spent just about every waking minute outside and loving every second of it! It’s a little too early to really do anything in my garden, but that didn’t stop me from pulling out weeds and leaves and getting things ready for spring.
On Sunday, we camped out on the porch with a bushel of oysters. (No sliders for this girl, unfortunately.)
It’s been wonderful!
Given the title of this post, you can probably guess what else I’ve been doing in the warmer weather. Yep, I’m back to running. Yep, in the third trimester.
If you’ve been reading for a little while, or at least following my bump updates, you know that I’ve struggled with running for most of pregnancy. In the first trimester, I was just too wiped to even think about running. When I did get up the energy, it was straight painful (as in, two sports bras were not cutting it). In the second trimester, while I had the energy, it just wasn’t comfortable. The bump was making an appearance and it just felt awkward. That, combined with the fact that it was the middle of winter and dark when I left for work and by the time I got home, didn’t help with running at all. I had kind of given up on the idea that I’d be a pregnant runner, much to my disappointment.
Then, around 28 weeks, something changed. I think part of it was that I was feeling pretty down on myself; pregnancy is a beautiful thing, but sometimes it just doesn’t feel like it. I was feeling heavy, not like myself at all, the weather was crappy, and I’d had enough. The urge to run struck and I went with it. And guess what? Three miles later I was feeling more like myself than I had in months! And just like that, I was back to running.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been averaging about 3 miles, 3 days per week. That’s down a little bit from pre-pregnancy running, but I’m trying to keep myself from overdoing it. I’m sure it’s going to get a little more difficult as the bump continues to grow, but for now, here’s what I’m finding has helped me with running in the third trimester:
Walk/run intervals are proving to be crucial. I do distance intervals rather than time, and it usually works out to .5 miles run, .1 mile walk, repeat. Not only does this allow me to catch my breath, but it also seems to relieve pressure on my bladder.
I do wear a Fitbit, but I’m not doing any kind of tracking for my runs like I used to. No Garmin, no timing, no pressure. I know that I’m running a lot slower than I used to, but I’m not pushing myself to break any kind of record. As long as I’m moving, it’s ok. And sometimes I stop for a break and that’s ok too. I also have a deal with myself that if I get out there and running isn’t working, I’ll just change it to a walk. I haven’t done that yet, but it seems to make a difference, mentally, that I’ve taken the pressure off.
This may go without saying, but supportive clothing, especially pants and sports bra, are extremely important. I haven’t looked into a belly band for running, but I feel like my high rise wunder unders are doing a great job of supporting my stomach while running. (And just about every other second of the day, since I practically live in them!) I actually have not purchased any maternity workout clothes, and I’m hoping to keep it that way. Since my pants still fit I’m just borrowing Jim’s tops. It’s definitely not the most attractive look, but it works!
Stretching is always important, but I definitely notice now if I don’t take the time to stretch after a run. Maybe that’s old age + pregnancy, who knows. On the days that I don’t run, I make it a point to take a shorter walk and do some yoga to really stretch things out and it seems to be helping to keep me from getting stiff in my hips and back.
Water, water, water, water, and more water! Of course this doesn’t help with the bladder issues, but if I don’t drink enough water on days that I run I notice a definite increase in braxton hicks contractions. They go away after I chug a large tumbler of water and relax a bit, but it’s best to be proactive and hydrate ahead of time.
I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that I can keep this up for the rest of the last 2ish months, because running again has definitely made a HUGE difference in my overall outlook during pregnancy. Running, and maybe the fresh highlights that I got earlier today. 😉 I’m back to feeling more like myself and more comfortable with my pregnant body, and I’m really looking forward to having a little friend join me for runs in a few short months!