Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Running for Two

Thanks for all the comments and congratulations! Telling my friends has definitely been fun, and the blog and facebook reveals were just as gratifying as I'd hoped. I love the attention, however fleeting.

I am really interested in sharing details about running during pregnancy, so this will be the first of many posts on the topic. I know I won't be doing weekly updates (sadly, my blog hasn't been updated that often in months) so I won't bother with general pregnancy updates. If you want to know where the baby is at developmentally, or what gross symptoms I am having, check out or a similar website. I'll always post how many weeks pregnant I am and it's easy to look up online. I will certainly post lots of belly shots, because who doesn't love that.

So, running! Let's recap.

Weeks 0-4 (not really pregnant/didn't know I was pregnant yet/beat up from overtraining)

I got pregnant right after running the Portland Marathon on October 9th. I took a couple weeks off to recover, and got knocked up during that time. I started running again, but it was slow and my body felt wrecked. I had soreness and aches all over and felt like garbage. I pushed my body through that marathon 4 weeks after running my first "ultra" (a solo 31 miler) and it was all too much. I allowed myself the time to recover, which was a piece of cake because I didn't even WANT to run. I was completely burnt out.


This was perfect! Yes, this was exactly what I planned. I ran a ton all summer and did two big events basically back-to-back in a specific effort to run myself into the ground. I knew when I got pregnant I would have a long break from racing and I wanted to need it. Or needed to want it. Whatever. It completely worked.

After a couple weeks off, I was out running again but my pace had tanked. Running trails all summer had slowed me down in general, and the post-marathon break sealed the deal. I think I managed a couple 5 milers around 9:45 pace and was at my limit. As my soreness finally faded, I was happy to run short, easy runs but my pace stayed in that range.

I passed on participating in the Silver Falls Trail Half Marathon because I knew I wasn't up for the distance. I was pregnant but didn’t know it yet. It's funny to look back on how much I struggled with that decision, when it seems so obvious now! I went and cheered for Zach and did a 4.5 mile run on my own (9:53 pace).

3 weeks pregnant?

Silver Falls

Weeks 5-7 (I'm pregnant! Recovered and feeling good!)

I found out I was pregnant on November 12. Yay! We were excited. Zach and I went running together that day, at 4 weeks pregnant: 4.1 miles at 9:25 pace. Weee!

Thumbs up 11 12 11

I was feeling recovered from the marathon and feeling good on my runs. Now that I knew I was pregnant, I was purposefully taking it easy. I have read up on running during pregnancy, and while the 140 heart rate limit is officially outdated, the message is still the same- take it easy! No problem. I ran slowly but didn't really take many walk breaks or anything. My body felt pretty tired and my breathing was definitely a bit more labored, but not too bad. When we traveled down to San Diego for Thanksgiving I had a couple good runs, and one crappy one. At 6 weeks pregnant, I did 6 miles along the beach at a 9:40 pace, but also slogged through a 3 miler at 11:17 pace the next day.

6 weeks profile2 

I was running 3-4 times a week for around 15-20 mpw total. I was doing about 6 miles for my "long" run. My pace was right in that 10:00 ish range for the most part and I wasn't needing many walking breaks. I actually felt good, just slow.

On December 3rd, at 7 weeks pregnant, I "ran" a very challenging 7 mile trail race. I didn't write a report because I thought people would guess that I was pregnant. Haha. I walked about half of the course, which was really hilly (1,400 ft of gain, mainly in one climb). According to my Garmin, I ran 6.6 miles in 1:38 (14:53 pace). Zach ran it in 54 minutes, finishing 15th out of 209. I finished 185th.

DSCN4074 DSCN4061

Weeks 8-15 (Slowing down, but going longer)

We had our first doctor appointment on December 14th, when I was 8.5 weeks pregnant. At this appointment we saw the healthy little gummy bear on the ultrasound, and I asked all my questions about everything. Including running. My doctor said "as long as it feels ok, it's ok." I told her I'd been running 6 miles at the most and would it be ok to run a little further than that if it felt ok and she said "Sure." (She's very laid back)

Gummy Bear

After that appointment, I bumped up my weekend long run. At 9 weeks pregnant, I ran 7.0 miles at 10:10 pace. I had such a runner's high! I felt like I'd just won a marathon. It was awesome. My weekend runs became, and have remained the highlight of my week. I've increased the distance a bit but not every week. Details:

10 weeks pregnant:  8.0 miles at 10:30 pace
11 weeks pregnant: 8.0 miles at 10:14 pace
12 weeks pregnant: 8.1 miles at 11:22 pace (with Alisa!)
13 weeks pregnant: 8.2 miles at 11:39 pace (with Alisa again!)
14 weeks pregnant: 10.0 miles at 10:55 pace

Alisa long run January 2012 

14w1d FP 10 miler2 EDIT

But, while the weekend runs were going great, my weekday runs were a different story. I was so tired that it was a huge chore to drag myself out the door after work at all. I have established a handful of 3-3.75 mile routes that I do twice a week. I think I have only run more than 4 miles maybe 4 times on a weeknight in two months. I don't know why I don't notice it as much on weekend days, but on weeknights I feel so tired, heavy, sluggish. My breathing is labored, I sound like I'm sprinting when I'm running an 11:00 pace! It's HARD work. So to take it "easy" I have to reeeeeally slow down (and it's still hard). My neighborhood is rather hilly so I walk on the hills. And my definition of "hill" has certainly changed, so I'm walking a lot. My pace on weeknight runs has drifted to about 11:00 average for these 3-ish milers.

11w3d prerun2 edit

Even with the weeknight runs being rough, I’ve been getting out there. I’ve run 4 days a week consistently for the past several week, with a weekly total of about 18-20 miles.


I have also started going to prenatal yoga, and I still to Yin yoga once a week too. My best friend Inga just sent me a prenatal yoga DVD that I want to start doing once a week too. I love the way yoga feels and I feel like it is going to bring me a lot of peace and strength in my pregnancy.

I aspire to do some swimming too, but have only been like twice since I got pregnant. Part of that is that my only swimsuits are little (now TOO little) two-pieces. I finally got a swimming suit that fits, so I want to go soon!

I’m certainly not overdoing it though, believe me. I usually have two days completely off. And on days I work out, I generally spend the rest of the day resting. I’m very thankful that Zach does almost all the cooking and cleaning and that I get to spend so much time resting on the couch. I do what I can, but it’s not much. As I said in my last post, most of my energy goes to working full-time and getting regular exercise. It takes a little extra energy but I still do get out and socialize sometimes! 

Food, Weight, Body Changes

One last thing I will mention is my diet. Since I never had serious morning sickness or many food aversions in my first trimester, I have been able to eat a healthy diet consistently. I do eat more now, I’m always hungry! But I eat the same healthy meals and snacks I was eating before, with a couple additions. I bring my own food to work every day and Zach and I rarely eat out. So in summary, I eat a lot, but it’s mostly healthy.

I’ve gained about 6 pounds so far, which is average. I should gain about a pound a week for the rest of the pregnancy! I kind of love it. I like seeing my belly grow. I bought and inherited some maternity pants which are amazing, because I outgrew my regular pants weeks ago. I am sure I’ll have some issues or complaints with my expanding body at some point, but that’s ok. Everyone is different, and I just have to remember that my body is doing what it needs. I can’t really control it, I can just do my best to be healthy and take care of myself and my gummy bear.

14 weeks zoom2

That’s it for now! Thank you for reading. Please let me know if you have any specific questions or things you’d like to hear more about. I know I always found this stuff really interesting, so I want to be as helpful as I can be to others.


Kim said...

love the breakdown of weeks jen! thanks for sharing! hey quick question - what is that thing on the sonogram picture?!

jen said...

Kim, that's a Santa hat on the baby. :)

Kathy said...

The breathing piece is so wierd, isn't it? That's how I knew I was pregnant the 2nd time - I was running and my breathing was so labored. Looking forward to following along on this new journey...

Amanda@runninghood said...

Oh my!! congrats. This is so exciting! The most exciting time in life IMO!

Carolina John said...

I think maternity pants are the best part of pregnancy. Who needs zippers anyway? I used to wear them to thanksgiving dinner.

Petraruns said...

This is LOVELY - keep these updates coming!

Amy said...

I want to know the name of your yoga DVD because I need something like that for a home practice!

Also, I am so happy that you are still running. YAY! for you! (I bet weeknights are harder because your body is just more worn out by the end of the day. Creating a human is hard work!)

Ewen said...

You're doing well.

The running stuff is interesting - how your pace/mile is changing, how comfortable (or not) the running is. Anyway, don't overdo it. Knew a lady who was still racing on the track at 8 months, but I wouldn't encourage that ;)

Susan - Nurse on the Run said...

Some blogs turn into baby crazy blogs when the writer gets pregnant, but I love this type of update! One day I hope to run throughout being pregnant (one day far, far away!), so I love hearing about your experience. Also, glad your doctor is supportive!

KK said...

You look FANTASTIC! I am impressed that you ran so much while working full time during the first trimester. I mean, it's a struggle just to get out of bed most days, so give yourself LOTS of props for being so productive and healthy. I bet you feel much better now that you're out of T1 though. And so glad to hear you weren't sick at all!

When do you guys find out what you're having? I am so excited!

Keep the updates a comin'-I love reading about everyone's unique journey.

jess said...

I've read your blog for a bit but never commented before... but being 8 weeks pregnant myself, and a runner, it's great to hear how running is going from someone a few steps ahead of me. Sounds like you're doing great!

kelli shreves said...

I ran all the way up to and on the day my daughter was born (at 38 weeks). my pace slowed to about 9 minute miles but i was able to keep my mileage up. So many people second guessed my running but I believe fully that is was the greatest thing I could do for my daughter. Good for you!