6 Things I Learned About Running While Pregnant

Fun fact-  it’s not training season for me just yet! I’m once again an ambassador for the Cleveland Marathon, and this year I’m running the Cleveland half marathon. Lately, my focus on running these past few months since having a baby has been to get back some base mileage and slowly start to build up to 5-6 miles at a time for a long run. Not a lot, I know, but since my official 12 week program won’t start for another month, soI have a few weeks to relax, take training easy, and just enjoy running (or try to when it’s not negative degrees and icy!).

I’ll be sharing my training plan soon, but in the meantime, I wanted to reminisce. This time last year, I was a few months pregnant and “training” for the Cleveland 5k and 10k. As the months went on and race day got closer and closer, it got harder and harder to run. While I’m glad it’s easier right now, I can’t help but forget the joys of running while pregnant.

So here you go. I share this with you – for all the pregnant runners out there – as well as those who aren’t – now you know what it’s like. And why I kept it up!

Imagine this – you just ate a HUGE burrito and drank a jug of soda. Your bladder is full, you’re slightly winded and your feet are swollen. And now, you decide you want to go for a run. Sound like fun?

That may be a slight exaggeration, but that’s pretty much what it feels like to run while 6 months (and beyond) pregnant. And you know what? I still ran throughout both of my pregnancies up until the week I gave birth. Am I crazy? Maybe slightly. But I’d argue that (most) runners are. And as a runner, I hated to give up a part of me just because I was pregnant. It was something that made me feel normal, while everything else in my life was changing. And after talking to my doctor, I even learned there were some benefits to running – and all exercise – when pregnant. Exercise throughout pregnancy is actually recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Why? Exercise may:

  • Reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, preterm birth, preeclampsia, having a baby with high birth weight, and the need for a cesarean section
  • Improve your baby’s brain development
  • Help you experience less swelling during pregnancy
  • Lead you to have a shorter labor (fun fact: my second labor was so short she was born within 15 minutes of me arriving at the hospital!)

So, if you decide to keep running during pregnancy, here are some tips that I can offer based on my experience (NOTE: I am not a doctor. At all. I took a Survey of Bio class a semester at BC, but that’s as far as I got.  But fun fact, B was also in that class of 500 million people!):

1. First, talk to your doctor. See what he/she says is okay for you. I am not a doctor and I don’t pretend to be one.

2. Expect it to feel different. Even in the first trimester when you may not look different, your lungs are doing double duty and you may get out of breath easier or find your heart rate higher. And then as your body changes, your gait may, too. I found parts of my body hurt that had never been sore before. Listen to your body and do what you can do.

3. Don’t compare yourself. This is an important one. Don’t compare yourself to others or even to yourself. Both my pregnancies were very different, and I would sometimes find myself getting down because I was slower during the second pregnancy. Or, I’d be discouraged because I felt like my running was more hobbling/walking than sprinting. But remember – running while pregnant is HARD! Remind yourself of how amazing you are and all the benefits (above). Don’t expect to set any PRs. In fact, if you must wear your running watch, reset all the data. This will help you feel less discouraged and focus more on the enjoyment of being out there.

 

4. Be prepared to spend money on some new gear. Your feet may grow during pregnancy, leading you to need new shoes. Your running clothes? They maaaay not fit you when you’re 7 months in. I also highly recommend a support belt – this helped tremendously as I got larger.

5. Go early in the day. I’m lucky that I’m a morning worker-outer as it is, but during pregnancy, this was even more important. A morning run helped not only reduce my swelling later in the day, but I felt much less full (and not like I was running with a belly full of burrito) and it was easier to move my body. Immediately going for a run also helped with my morning sickness.

6. Stay hydrated. It’s much easier to overheat, get dehydrated, etc. during pregnancy. So if you’re going to be running or doing any exercise, make sure to keep up on the water.

Bonus: Have fun! Don’t forget why you’re doing it in the first place and enjoy your time running. Take photos so that you can show your future children the amazing feats you accomplished with them.

Are you training for the Cleveland Marathon, Half Marathon or any of the other events right now? If so, don’t forget to use my 10% discount code – MC2019! 

NOTE: A version of this blog post first appeared from me on Northeast Ohio Parent Magazine’s website. Check it out, and check out all my posts with them.

A Very Merry Weekend

Hello from New York! We are currently celebrating the holidays in New York with my family, and I’m off the routine, which means that this week in running will be a little off. But we’re having tons of fun while we’re here. Some of the highlights or our week so far:

FW and LM met Santa! He stopped by school last week and FW asked for some gifts (he asked for “presents.” When Santa prodded, he asked for “books and dinosaurs.”

LM got in some quality Nonna time.

And FW bonded with Uncle Greg over trains and music.

FW even got close to my parents’ dog a few times.

LM got to meet a good college friend of mine, whose parents live nearby.

We had my favorite local pizza, Defazios.

We braved the line and caught the lights in the park. FW loved them!

I also got to run outdoors by myself during the day! Time off from work, plus mild (cold but not snowy) weather, plus grandparents to watch the kids meant I got to spend some time outdoors, running. In fact, last week’s running went really well. We had a warm front and I was able to run outside every day this week, including one stroller run to kick off the week! I got in a 6.3 miler in NY, which put me at my highest post-LM mileage week thus far!

Here’s how the week looked:

I can’t complain! The week was great in running and beyond. I just love this time of year!

Some questions for you:

  • Has the weather been mild around where you are?
  • Are you in the holiday spirit?

I’m linking up with the weekly wrap.

1 Weekend, 2 Runs (Plus Some Good Food)

Before we had two kids, weekends looked a little different. Not only did we get in more sleep and stay out later, but weekends meant running. There was usually one long run and one shorter run. Weekends were time to spend hours on the roads, and whether I was running by myself or with B, I’d be getting in some miles.

Weekends are a little different now. Why? Weekends are time for me to spend with my family- any time I am outside on a run by myself, I’m not with the kids. Do I sometimes feel guilty? Yes, especially now that we have 2! But somehow this weekend I managed now 1, but 2 runs! Saturday by myself and then Sunday with FW.

In addition to the 2 runs, the weekend also included some good food. B made some great French onion soup Saturday night for dinner.

I also baked some cookies.

And check out these spooky sweet treats my niece and mother-in-law made!

And in some other exciting, running-related news, I’m excited to share that once again I’m a Cleveland Marathon Ambassador this year! Last year I ran the 5k/10k challenge series at 39 weeks pregnant (LM was born 4 days later) –we’ll see what this year’s race entails for me!

Some questions for you:

  • Have you ever made French onion soup before?
  • How often do you run on the weekends?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps

GIVEAWAY: Cleveland Marathon (or half, 5k, 10k, etc.) Registration!

You guys – guess what?! I’m so excited to be doing a giveaway for one of my favorite events coming up – the Cleveland Marathon!

As a Cleveland Marathon Ambassador, I get to give away a race entry to one of you! You could receive one complimentary race code for any of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon events! That includes the Kids’ Run, 1 mile, 5k, 8k, 10K, Half or Full Marathon events that will be the weekend of May 20, 2018.

I have participated in the Cleveland Marathon for more years than I can remember. While pregnant, before baby, post baby, etc. Through different parts of my life, the race has been with me!

I think this was 2014 – I ran it with my sister-in-law!

If you’re looking for a great race with a great course, amazing history, great spectators and relatively flat terrain (note relatively), I highly recommend you check out the race!

Mary and I last year during the race – the crowds around W 65th were some of my favorite!

AND If you haven’t registered, you can win registration. 

Here’s how to enter – these are all worthy of separate entries so – please leave a separate comment for each way you choose to participate!

  1. Leave a comment on this post. You can explain why you want to run the race OR if you’ve run before, your favorite part of the race. OR just tell me your favorite running mantra. What keeps you going?
  2. Follow @koskim (me!) on Twitter and leave comment telling me you did.
  3. Like I Crashed The Web on Facebook.
  4. Follow @koskim (me!) on Instagram and leave a comment telling me you did.
  5. Follow @clevemarathon on Twitter and leave a comment telling me you did
  6. Tweet the following: “I want to run the @clevemarathon with @koskim!  http://bit.ly/2HUNAoJ #runcle #clemarathon” and leave a comment telling me you did. You can do this once a day for the entire giveaway time, just remember to leave comments for each time you do it!

The giveaway will run through 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, April 27.

Linking up with My No-Guilt Life, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and MCM Mama Runs!

Me – this past weekend … the reason I’m hobbling instead of running

 

Training Tuesday: Cleveland Marathon Kickoff Run (And Discount Code!)

Happy Tuesday! It’s actually a special Tuesday over here – it’s my birthday, woo woo!

And like any runner, I was looking forward to starting the day semi-early and going for a run.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Here is how last week’s runs went:

It was mostly an indoor week, but I did get in one outdoor run – Saturday was the Cleveland Marathon kickoff run! B and I did a 5k or so with FW in the stroller. 

It was a nice size group of people – you can’t see me in the group photo (just the top of my head- I’m in front of B and FW and behind the girl with the big pink hat) because I’m too short it seems! I should be closer to the front next time. I’m an ambassador for the race, so I hope to get out to another group run soon!

That run was the highlight of my week. I had been feeling in a slump, just trying to run on the treadmill lately and not really feeling it, but getting outside felt GREAT.

ALSO – exciting news! I have a 10% discount code if you are interested in registering for ANY of the Cleveland Marathon events. Use MCCLE10 when registering herehttps://www.clevelandmarathon.com/runners-info/registration.aspx. You can register for the Kids’ Run, 1 mile, 5k, 8k, 10k, half OR full marathon!

Some questions for you:

  • Have you gotten to run outside lately?
  • Do you do group runs?

Linking up with My No-Guilt Life, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and MCM Mama Runs

Tuesdays on the Run: Stuck Inside

The theme for last week is “BRRR.” Really – this past week was frigid. The high most days was less than 10 degrees, with wind chills making it much, much colder. When the “feels like” temps are in the negative teens, it’s very hard to go running outside.

Still, I got in a few run/walks on my new treadmill and made it to just over 20 miles for the week.

Check out my new watch! It was a gift from B for Christmas and I LOVE it. After my FitBit broke down AGAIN (4 times!), I knew it was time for something better. And so far, I’m loving this beautiful Garmin.

And — introducing my other BIG gift. My treadmill! It’s thanks to this, that I had been able to get in any runs this week. 

ALSO – I’m so excited to share that once again I’ll be returning as an Official Ambassador for the 2018 Cleveland Marathon! I reapplied this year and feel so so so fortunate to be able to represent this great race.

Check out some of the other ambassadors – their names and blogs are all here.

As an ambassador, I will receive free race admission AND get race admission to give away to you, so stay tuned. Also, stay tuned for information on my training and which race(s) I’ll be running. (See here for my recap of last year’s race – I did the 8k/half marathon challenge!)

Some questions for you:

  • Do you have any spring races on your radar yet?
  • Did you stay inside or brave the cold on your runs this week?

Linking up with My No-Guilt Life, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and MCM Mama Runs!

Tuesdays on the Run: Starting off June with a 5K

Happy Tuesday!! I’m joining up with Tuesdays on the Run to talk about running today. Even though I’m no longer training for the Cleveland half marathon or any big race right now, I’m still running.

This week included a run every day, including some outdoor runs AND a 5k. The runs included:

Some of the highlights:

I got in 4 outdoor runs! Sunday, Monday, Friday and Saturday were all outside runs. This is not normal – but since I had Monday and Friday off, I was able to run outside.

after Monday’s run

I did a 5k! I ran it with B who ran with FW in the BOB. I didn’t race it or run as fast as I could, but it was still fun! AND we did it with a few members of B’s family

With all of B’s family who did the 5k too (including the dog)

And since it’s the beginning of  a new month, here are some goals for June:

  • To run outside at least once per week
  • To run at least 3x per week
  • To incorporate speed training
  • To do some runs with other people

Here’s to hoping for a good running month! Some questions for you:

  • How often do you run outside?
  • When was the last time you ran a 5k?

Linking up with My No-Guilt Life, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and MCM Mama Runs!