Running Pregnant: Day One

Ok, maybe not “day one” exactly since I’m not sure you can ever say exactly when a woman’s first pregnant day is, but nonetheless, I’m starting this at the beginning this time. I’ve already been through pregnant running before and I did a poor job of capturing that experience. There is also not a lot out there (that I can find) that is helpful, or honest enough, about what it’s like to run pregnant. So here we go. Welcome to my no-holds-barred, probably TMI most of the time, log of running pregnant with baby number two.

Step One: Be Brutally Honest

I apologize in advance to my unborn child but the day I found out I was pregnant I cried. And when I told my husband, I sobbed for a hot minute and wiped the tears. I wallowed in self-pity, doubt, frustration and general “bummed out-ness” for the first day. We’d been talking on and off about a second child for a while and I resigned to myself that I am a one child woman but that if it happened, it happened. Time to be brutally honest in order to just move on: my biggest fear of having a second child is losing myself and losing my “freedom” to race and train. Work? I can definitely keep doing that, and want to. Time with friends? No problem. They all have children, some of them with more than one. Travel? Not as easy but we’ll figure it out. Training and racing? There’s my real challenge.

How do I ask my husband to give me those 3-4 hours on a Saturday morning so I can go for a long run, stretch and shower later while he mans two children? How do I work out my morning logistics so I can still get up and run and get two children ready for daycare plus myself ready for work? These are truly my biggest fears and questions when it comes to being a working mother of multiple children. One has been almost easy now that I think about trying it with two.

Step Two: Keep Running!

With baby number one I was well into marathon training for the Marine Corps Marathon and carried on with the training. I ran that race at the very end of my first trimester. From there I kept running as long as I could with no real rhyme or reason to the miles.

The day we found out about baby number two I’d just been trying to figure out my 2014 race plan with the goal of doing a spring marathon. I can easily recall the runs the week prior to January 5 and they were still at about the right speed but low in quality. On at least two of them I was hungover (hey, it was the holidays!). On another, a 6.66 mile long run I put in my log notes later how I felt sluggish. I did 5 miles on January 4 with a hunch that I was pregnant and my legs felt heavy and my breathing off. Pace was still staying below 8 minutes which made me happy.

On “day one” of being pregnant I went out for a four-miler and made some resolutions. I will try to do a March half marathon and two spring 10ks. I will do my absolute best to run the June Father’s Day 10k in Annapolis. With this baby due in September, if I can manage the Annapolis 10-miler in August that will be amazing. I’m not ruling it out yet. This plan forces me to keep running. I know that it will get harder and that I will lose speed. But there are some things I plan to do different. Namely, I will be doing kegels starting now! No one told me about the total loss of bladder control that pregnancy causes. I had to pop one too many squats during and after pregnant runs with baby number one. There’s no way to tell if kegels early on will fix that but it can’t hurt to try! I have already started doing yoga and more strength work so I plan to keep up with all of that though I know it will become modified with time.

For now, my plan is to absolutely keep running. Keep moving. Keep working on strength and flexibility. I will report back regularly!

Ps. This post was written on January 5 and I waited the obligatory “safe time” before publishing this post as this makes my news very public!

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