Friday, November 6, 2015

34 Week (Lack-of-Running) update

How ironic - during my last post I wrote about how I had been getting in 20 miles a week and things were looking good. I even met up with Tessa and Karen, two other Vermonters with Oiselle, that weekend to run along the Burlington bike path. While my body felt awkward, it was exciting to be out there on flat ground and with ladies who took my mind off the act of running and allowed me to enjoy the experience again. I was able to keep up a quicker pace than I had been running on my own thanks to their company. We filled the run with talking and catching up/getting to know each other. I left excited and optimistic for a few more weeks of running.

The next day, Monday, my running came to a stop at 1.7 miles into a 3.5 mile run.

Me at 5 weeks vs. 29 weeks: also happens to be the day of my second to last run.

About 1-2 weeks prior I had started to feel some pressure in my lower pelvis after long periods of sitting. The pressure started to become more common and I could feel it on days that included a lot of walking and standing (teaching days). Soon, the pressure was just constantly there. There was never any pain, just the feeling that something wasn't right and something (a baby's head?!) was pushing down. Having never experienced something like this before, I became cautious about what I was doing, not wanting to make anything worse.

With all of the heavy pounding of running, I was only able to put up with the feeling for 1.5-2 miles before I was done. Running was no longer fun and felt very uncomfortable. I called my doctor's office that week and was reassured that this feeling is normal - after all - there is indeed a baby in there and gravity is doing it's thing.

The nurse I spoke with had a magical way of putting everything into an honest prospective, saying, "Since there's nothing you should be training for at this point in your pregnancy, you might as well stop and find some hilly walking routes instead." That's easy to say, but hard for a runner to accept. However, I realized that her outside perspective was absolutely right. While walking never gets the same satisfaction as running (not to mention it takes MUCH longer), I don't feel the extreme discomfort that running was bringing. Since then, I have stuck to walking for the last few weeks.

I tried to run once but it had been about 2.5 weeks since my last run so my body naturally felt awkward and bigger and I didn't last longer than 30 seconds in each burst. Fortunately, I was able to get in a few days of "real" cardio a few weekends ago when we were staying at a Marriott in Florida, It was amazing to get on an  elliptical and a stationary bike. If I was made of money I would have already bought both items for my home, but since I'm not, walking has been my workout lately. I've also kept up with yoga every other week. I'd like to do it more, but I can't quite justify spending the money every week when I'm used to working out for free. It's also becoming more difficult now to get in the poses, but overall, I love connecting with other moms/moms-to-be and having some personal, quiet, and active time.

The end of the second trimester and the start of the third trimester taught me that each week is different and you can only accept what your body is giving you (or not) at that moment. I've had weeks of crazy rib pain or lower back pain only to have it completely disappear a few weeks later. The back pain I was beginning to feel all the time magically disappeared once I stopped running (go figure!) so as I get bigger and more awkward I no longer have to worry about my back giving out on me all the time.

31 weeks
Going into this pregnancy I had small goals for myself. Ideally, I would love to have been able to run up to delivery day. That was goal A. Some women can do it, and right now, I'm a little jealous of them. Goal B was to make it to 7 months. I did that so I am content. Another A goal was to get in 1000 running miles with the baby, but I always had a feeling that that particular goal would not be met. My Believe training journal has sat on the same shelf, unopened, for four weeks, and the running mileage total will most likely stay at 848 miles. I was surprised to find myself close to the goal, so I'll accept that number and look forward to training again next year.

I have now entered uncharted territory - the longest break from running that I have experienced since I started running at age 14. I honestly think that 3 weeks was the longest I've ever taken. I'm starting to feel it in my body; I can't sleep as well at night and I don't think it's just because I'm huge. I'm also feeling it in my circulatory system, however, I am also carrying 50% more blood and can't take in as much oxygen with each breath, so perhaps that's the actual reason.

It is fascinating to experience the changes that happen to a body when it is carrying a baby. Nature totally takes over and knows what to do, and it is sometimes hard to accept what has to come. I'm trying to remain mentally flexible (because I'm not that physically flexible anymore) with what happens, and am taking each day as best as I can.

Perhaps it was handy that running had to stop when it did as we have been busy with various baby classes and are honing in on the last minute things that need to be done in the next 6 weeks. Weekends will become less busy now that friends have visited and we've made our trip to Florida, allowing us to appreciate the smaller joys that only a couple experience before our world is revolutionized next month. In a few weeks we'll celebrate with a baby shower, then Thanksgiving, and of course, that starts the holiday season which always flies by. Soon enough, the little squirt will be with us.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Dani, Congrats on running at all! I know it sounds dumb to a serious runner and I remember so many of the feelings and thoughts you mention but trust me pushing through any pelvic pain is NOT WORTH IT. Many women totally screw up their core and pelvis by doing too much then coming back after is even worse. Its ALL ABOUT LUCK. really. You aren't stronger or weaker if you run or don't run the whole time. Its the luck of the draw and your body and that baby. Plus running will feel so much better 6 weeks post-partum than it has the past months. Its a crazy ride pregnancy, I promise you that you will not stay this way forever. Also I had serious pregnancy insomnia (4am wake ups?!) with both kids at the end and slept better after they were born, for the first few weeks at least. Anyways you look great and I cant wait for your shower and to meet that awesome little girl. Do things that you love to do (movies/dinner out) and rest, you will have time for both after the kid (so dont listen to those - "you will never sleep again" folks) but just not as often or spontaneously.