Sunday, January 12, 2014

Pregnant Runner Thoughts I

This could actually be titled "all the things you don't anticipate happening". I first had an inkling that I was pregnant (After a negative test) as I was running home on what would be my last runmute for a while. I got nauseous at around mile 3.5, and thought that it was post nasal drip nausea from my allergies. Obviously, I was wrong!

After that instance, my running resumed to normal. I wasn't running as fast or as often, but I was still getting my miles in. In fact, I had an amazing 8 mile run around 6 weeks and was over the moon! Nothing would change! I would run miles and miles during my pregnancy! Then, at 7 weeks, my body shut down. 
Insert hibernation.

I was not prepared for this. I wasn't prepared for falling asleep on the couch while my dinner plate sat barely finished in front of me. I wasn't prepared to be yawning by 11am at work, and having to deal with near-migraine status headaches every other day. But the biggest thing I wasn't prepared for? Missing out on my fitness community.

Clearly this is me.

Try as I might, I ended up missing out on things I enjoyed doing. I knew there would be changes, but I assumed that since my first 7 weeks were easy, nothing could stop me. Group runs, NTC workouts, all were too much effort for me. I also grew timid. I didn't want to reach out to friends and ask to run for fear of a) not being able to keep up and b) revealing why I couldn't keep up. 

Finally, around 14 weeks, I started a slow come back. It's been a long road. Something else I wasn't prepared for? How quickly my fitness has declined, in addition to the fitness repercussions of the baby growing (and being compared to different food items, thanks bump.com). As the baby gets bigger, and I gain more weight, even walking up one flight of stairs leaves me breathing heavy.

 
We're currently  in sweet potato country!

So, here I am at 18 weeks. I'm so happy to be running a mile or two at a time. Happy to be able to do 10 burpees...well, I may pause for a few seconds at 7 but I can do them! I'm happy to be able to meet with friends to run again. I'm happy to be going to NTC, and for a trainer who gives me adjustments when needed. I'm happy that my husband has been pushing me to get outside when I make excuses, because I remember the weeks where I couldn't move. I'm happy that my baby is active according to sonograms, growing stronger and stronger everyday. I'm happy that my physical activity now will prepare me for the duties of labor in June. 

Really, this is like being in training again. Building back up again. Preparing things. Getting ready. I'm excited for this time to have energy, and to not discount my "low performance", but rather embrace the changes. 

The huge mental shift as a pregnant runner? Embrace the changes. Shifting from being on a training schedule, being SO focused on fitness and weight; it's all fading away. I'll take the mental shift with the excitement that something beautiful will be born as a result of it.

How about you? Do you have a hard time "rebuilding" your fitness after significant time off? Did you work out through a pregnancy? Do you find it more difficult to work out post polar vortex hibernation? TELL ME ABOUT IT!
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