1st Trimester, Exercise and Pregnancy, Family, Health, Pregnancy, running, workout

Running Through Pregnancy: Part 1

I have high standards for myself physically.  I love working out, and eventually (post-baby and post-debt) I plan on getting certified to be a personal trainer.  However, during this pregnancy stage in my life, I’m finding myself all turned-around as far as my workout schedule.

It’s not set in stone.

picture courtesy of thepregnancyzone.come
picture courtesy of thepregnancyzone.come

Mornings have been harder for me than normal.  I find myself more tired than I “should be”, not being the first to jump out of bed, and as a whole, finding a strange joy in a slower, less stressful morning.  Imagine this… I’m taking the time to get Adam’s lunchbox together, to make him a healthy breakfast that I can drop off on my way to work, I’m eating a healthy breakfast and prepping lunch, and I’m taking time to read the Word and do some additional study reading. Wow.  What a mood changer for the day. Sure, I love my morning runs, but starting off my morning with spiritual priorities in place and without having to literally run around the house in order to leave on-time is so much better for me and my family in the long run.

(I’m sure this schedule will continue to morph until I find the perfect balance between things, but this is how I’m managing my schedule so far during the 2nd trimester.)

As a result, my workouts happen in the mornings on the weekend and in the evenings during the week.  I’m very excited that the sun has returned and we’re getting to enjoy longer days.  I can come home from work at 5:30, go for a run, and still not be running in the pitch black.

Not being set in stone means taking rest days here and there … and not being frustrated with it.  It’s a huge change for me, but it’s one I’m learning to okay with.

It’s more tiring.

I felt so lame the first trimester.  Running took a whole lot more energy than I expected. After all, I’ve been running faithfully since October 2011. Suddenly, during the first trimester, it was like I had zero iron in my body, and every few steps was a fight. I’ve kept up my mileage (which was just maintaining at 4-4.5 miles) and have allowed myself to run on a more level plain.  My left knee has been tender for the last 4 months, so allowing myself a little ease on the joints for the sake of their longevity just might be my best option.

Realizing my progress.

I’m an over-achiever.  As exercise and health have become more solid passions over the last 4 years, I’m beginning to realize it’s hard to measure my own progress.  What I’m doing never seems quite good enough.  I think I lack confidence that I’m as good as so many others that I admire.  I have my calendar marked for all the days I have worked out during my pregnancy so far in order to help me keep perspective.  I’ve done really well actually.  I’m averaging 4 days a week on a slow week.  That’s ok, right??  I have to laugh because that seems like it’s not enough (I was working out 6 days a week before the baby) but I think know my perspective is skewed.

Maintaining sucks.

I’m competitive.  For those of you who knew me in high school, this is not news.  For those of you who knew me in college, you’ve only known me in competition as it regards to dorm events, and yes, I was competitive then.  However, as I get older, I’m less and less competitive against others and more and more competitive with myself.  I think that’s why running is such a great sport for me.  It’s always about beating my own time, doing better as an individual runner, and growing in my skills as a lifter.  I’m competing against myself.

As a result, I like to have something to train for.  Running the same courses multiple times a week can be ok for a while, but I like to have some reason to push myself hard.  As a result, today I printed out a modified Hal Higdon half-marathon training guide to keep me motivated.  I’m looking for a half that I can run (at an easy pace, of course) around July after 12-13 weeks of faithful training.  Of course, we’ll see how things go.  My health and the health of my baby are the most-important, so I might have to modify as we get further along.

Running is a solace.

I love the peace of a good run.  It’s long been a time of praying, praise, wrestling, and worship for me and the Lord, and when I’m rushed in the morning, that seems to happen less.  My long runs are a great time of praying through the miles, talking to the Lord about family issues, and allowing Him to use my running–the easy miles, the hard miles, the hills, and the pain–to teach me about Himself and about myself.

New running shoes, of course.

I currently have 366.5 miles on the Asic GT-2000‘s I bought in October.  I’m pretty much in love with this pair.  I’ve never had shoes that have been specifically running sneakers 100% of the time and ones that fit me so well.  My rule is I have to run at least 500 miles in a pair of shoes before they can “retire” to act as my everyday shoes.  Well, my everyday shoes are falling apart, and I love how my legs, knees, and feet feel in my GT’s, so I’m excited to be running more faithfully, so I can get the additional 133.5 miles needed on these in order to get a fresh pair (of the same shoe, I’m sure).

A few additional thoughts

I did a lot of research on running while pregnant before I was pregnant, and I’m still doing  a lot of reading, studying, and exploring of different opinions on the topic.  Please do not take my opinions and experience and follow it over your doctor’s.  I am not a trained doctor and am simply sharing from my personal understanding/experience.  Thank you.

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