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.

Mother’s Day Weekend

For some reason, this year Mother’s Day weekend, felt a little different than past years. I felt much more like a mom this year than I ever have before. Yes, it’s technically my second (or third, depending on who counts) Mother’s Day, but for some reason, I feel much more deserving of the title this year. Maybe because I have a toddler who runs around and calls me mom? Maybe because I’m (as B calls it) 1,000 months pregnant?

Anyway, being a mom is HARD, but some weekends are just great. And this was one of those weekends. It was definitely a weekend where I loved being a mom!

The weekend started actually with Muffins with Mom at school. I got to stop by FW’s classroom on Friday morning before work for breakfast!

And it was a pretty gorgeous day, so after work that night B, FW and I went for a short walk around the neighborhood. FW loves running! 

Saturday started with some flowers to celebrate Mother’s Day 🙂 Call me basic, but I will ALWAYS love a nice bouquet. 

Saturday morning ALSO started with a 5k! There was a race starting a few blocks from our house, so we decided to do it. I haven’t done a race in FOREVER and I knew it was going to be a lot of walking and VERY slow running, but I’m so glad we did it. (Disclosure – B pushed FW in the stroller while I ran)

FW’s favorite part was likely the muffins afterwards 🙂

After the race, we walked back to the house and did some baking! FW helped mix things up.

These were the “muffins” we made. The recipe was for muffins but I’m not too sure what makes these muffins and not cupcakes …

And then, FW decided he was tired and wanted to nap. On me! It’s been a while, and it was actually kind of a nice way to spend an hour. 

Later that afternoon, we went to the West Side Market to pick up some groceries. 

And then Rising Star for some coffee. FW enjoyed his chocolate milk 🙂

And then B made us pizza for dinner! We haven’t had homemade pizza in FOREVER and it was a nice change.

Sunday morning, FW didn’t wake up until around 8 – which was a great Mother’s Day gift! After he woke up, B and FW took a trip to get me a Mother’s Day specialty – a cassata cake doughnut. These are some of the only doughnuts I really enjoy and it’s mainly because of the quantity of frosting and cream.

This photo doesn’t do it justice.

After breakfast (doughnut and some fruit/yogurt per my request), we took a long walk. More than four miles while FW slept in the stroller.

We saw some geese and baby geese on the walk – it was a cute thing to see especially on Mother’s Day!

And then, FW got to spend some time at the nearby playground.

For dinner, we joined B’s family per our Sunday night tradition. B ended up making the whole family dinner and it was delicious – we had two different types of fish, grilled eggplant and an arugula salad.

Baking, a race, a long walk and cassata cake doughnut – for me, that is the perfect Mother’s Day weekend!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like doughnuts? What kind?
  • What makes something a muffin vs. a cupcake?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps.

Tuesdays on the Run: Walking and Running

It was another cold and snowy week here in CLE, which meant I decided to stay inside for most of the week and stay on the treadmill and stick to running/walking on Monday through Friday. I’m so so slow these days and my runs are pretty much walking with a few minutes of running, but I’m still happy to be able to start my days like this at nearly 31 weeks pregnant.

Here’s a look at one of my runs from last week-

See? So slow and slower than I’ve ever been! I know I should feel grateful to still be running – and I do – but I am starting to feel discouraged about my involvement in the Cleveland Marathon. It’s less than 10 weeks away, and I’m supposed to be doing the 5k/10k. At this rate, I won’t be finished with the race until the next day!

Are you seeking a fun race to do in May? As an ambassador, 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:

  • How slow is a “run”? I’m not really sure I can consider these runs anymore!
  • What’s your next race?

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

Friday Five: Why Do I Run?

Now that I’m nearly 30 weeks pregnant, it’s easy to forget why I run. Running has become harder and harder this time around, and I’m having a difficult time staying motivated.

Sometimes, I need to take a step back and remind myself why I run. How I got started. Where I’ve come from.

I hated running pretty much all my early life. I remember doing the presidential mile test in elementary school and walking the whole thing while chatting with the other girls who felt the same way. We drove our PE teacher CRAZY.

photo of me playing softball to prove how unathletic I was. I mean check out my shoes – do I look like I can run in those? (2nd from right on first row)

In high school, I did crew and indoor track, but not competitively. I ran with both of those, but just because I had to.

B and I post-first half marathon

It wasn’t until college that I started running on my own time – for me – and then after college – to stay in shape. I started small, and did my first 5k in college. My first half marathon came after college, and well, I was hooked. I’ve done countless races since, and running has become part of who I am. So even, now, the I’m running for two and having trouble keeping up the pace, and frankly, keep my legs moving with my growing bump, I can’t help but remember WHY I run.

some GREAT ladies I met thanks to running! (they’re all Skirt Sports ambassadors!)

I run because … (5 reasons why)

  1. Running makes me sane. Even on my most stressed out days, running somehow manages to help me out. It’s my therapy.
  2. Running helps me clear my brain. It helps me think and be one with myself.
  3. Running makes me feel strong and powerful. Even on the days I don’t have good runs, I remind myself that at least I’m doing something!
  4. Running has made me friends. I love all of my Cleveland Marathon Ambassadors, whom I never would have meet without running. And all my running buddies, who have kept me motivated throughout the years.
  5. Running is something for ME. Now that I’m a mom, there are fewer and fewer opportunities to do something just for myself. Running is one of those things and it reminds me that despite all the changes that have happened to me the past few years, I’M STILL ME.

post-run hugs with FW
20171007_103252
Mid-run with FW
Questions for you:

  • Why do you run?
  • Any tips to keep on running while pregnant?

It’s FRIDAY!

Linking up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup!

Friday Five Linkup 2.0

Tuesdays on the Run: Not a Lotta Running

There was not a lot of running going on this week. Why? 2 reasons:

  1. Weather
  2. Sickness

Toward the end of the week it turned SUPER cold and wind and even snowy, and frankly, this nearly 29 week pregnant momma wasn’t in the mood for cold and slippery sidewalks.

And, I was recovering from being sick. From having a cold and sinus infection that plagued me with pretty bad headaches. FINALLY my headaches are gone, though – after almost a week of having them, I think my sinus infection is one.

Here is my weekly mileage:

That being said, I did get in one measly outdoor run this week (as you can see above – the 3.3 mi outside), in addition to quite a few walks on the treadmill where it was warm and not slippery.

We had a snow storm and cold weather come through Thursday night, so it looks like I may be inside again for a few more days. Ugh. Hoping spring and some warmer temps come soon!

Some questions for you:

  • Did you get snow and cold again this week?
  • When was the last time you had a sinus infection?

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

Tuesdays on the Run: Ups and Downs

The theme for last week is “ups and downs.” It was one of those weeks that had a few good days (two outdoor runs), but then there were some bad days due to lack of sleep and massive headaches. Here’s where it ended up:

This week’s running highlights:

The ups: I got outside two days for a run and those days the weather was pretty good.

The downs: Those were the only real runs this week.

I’ve been plagued recently by some serious headaches. They started slightly last weekend, but have been getting worse as the days go on. On Wednesday’s run, about 1.5 miles in, I felt one come on; let’s just say it was a painful run home. Thursday, I opted to walk a little bit to see if this would help – I started out painfree but about a mile or so in, started feeling the pain again. The same thing happened Friday. And Saturday, I didn’t even attempt to run – I pretty much woke up with the headache. I’m thinking I have a sinus infection, since the pain is pretty much only in my sinuses, but I’m sick of them! I can’t wait to get out and run without a headache again.

Some questions for you:

  • Any headache or sinus infection cures?
  • If you’re not running, do you try to get in walks?

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

Training Tuesday- Back Outside Again!

I’m not going to lie- I’m a little sore. Why? Because I had two days in a row of outside runs!

Two outdoor runs, a few treadmill walks and and some indoor walk/runs, and I hit 22ish miles for the week. Here’s what it looked like:

Some highlights:

The weather warmed up a bit this week, and all of the ice and snow melted Thursday off the sidewalks. So when Friday morning rolled around and it was clear and 30°, I got bundled up and went for a run outside. It was hard – I’m getting bigger and bigger (see the bump pic, below!) and haven’t been running, but I’m glad I made it out.

Saturday, B took FW in the BOB and I followed along on another run outside! Again, it wasn’t easy but it felt so so good to be outside.

Running outside feels so much better than the treadmill to me these days. On the treadmill, I’m only really able to walk/run, and outside there’s much more running than walking going on.

I’m 27 weeks pregnant this week, and hopeful that I can continue this level of activity for the next few months. I know it’s not going to get easier on my body, and that bump pictured above is only going to get bigger, but at least the weather will be getting nicer! AND I have the Cleveland Marathon 5k/10 to train for. If you’re planning on running the Cleveland Marathon or any of the events this May – half marathon, 5k, 8k 10, 1 mile (new!) or kids run – use the code MCCLE10 for 10% off your entry fee. I’m an ambassador for the race, so I get to have fun discounts AND I’ll have a giveaway coming up!

Some questions for you:

  • Any tips for running while pregnant?
  • Do you do better running on a treadmill or outside?

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