C and I had our 20-week ultrasound today, and I’m thrilled to report that all is healthy and well with Yoda/Baby G. Yoda’s organs are developing as they should, my weight and blood pressure is where it should be, and Yoda’s current weight (15 oz., think large banana or small cantaloupe) puts the kiddo in the 56th or 57th percentile, which is great. Things have been progressing right along, as they should be, so hearing our midwife give us all this great news this morning has just been… well, great!
I think some people have deemed me an official freak show because I have still been running, and plan to, throughout the duration of my pregnancy (as long as my midwife gives her blessings). Don’t get me wrong, I’m not planning to do another marathon until postpartum, so I don’t feel the need to rack-up the double-digit long runs over the weekend, but running 3-5 times a week doesn’t seem to be out of the question for me. (In fact, I’m flirting with the idea of doing a half marathon in March and an 8k in April, but I’ll cross those bridges later).
I haven’t done more than 30 miles (probably closer to 25) a week since the Chicago Marathon, in part because of my schedule and my initial fatigue, but also in part because I simply haven’t needed to. When I run, I’m usually out for about 45-60 minutes at a time, which is plenty, in terms of prenatal fitness as well as just general running-related fitness maintenance. I feel well when I run, I feel well afterward, I look forward to the times when I run, and I think it helps me make good choices about my nutrition, helps me sleep well at night, and so far, seems to be especially beneficial insomuch as I haven’t been experiencing some of the typical preg-related annoyances and inconveniences like nightly leg cramps. Hell, I think I’d be crazy if I gave up running altogether just because I have a little one growing in me (though of course, this is very specific to my own circumstances… I realize not everyone can continue her physical fitness goals throughout pregnancy due to other underlying issues. I get that).
The other thing I’ve thought about often on my runs is that RWP has given me a different perspective on running that I haven’t had in quite some time; that is, it has given me numerous occasions to simply reflect on the pure joy of running. The feeling of running along the lakefront path, into or away from the wind, as our seasons have changed from pretty, temperate fall to an even prettier but blustery winter. The feeling of gratitude that my body is still allowing me to do something that I love so dearly. The joy of still seeing my running buddies and staying involved in our little group’s running-related affairs, though I won’t be joining them at Boston this year. So often I find myself just in “training” mode, or, as I was over the summer, in a quest to break a long-standing PR, that I sometimes lose sight of the fact that much of passion for running evolves from the sport’s simplicity. It’s just me, the ground, and my thoughts. That’s pretty joy-engendering, if anything ever was.
And, of course, there’s always the BA factor… the fact that I still race some and beat some people (who clearly aren’t pregnant!) or that I can keep up a good clip, though slower than my norm. I know it’s just a vain pride thing, but sometimes it’s just an awesome feeling of motivation and sense of accomplishment. A couple weeks ago, I did a 5k and was thrilled that my last mile was sub-8. Sub-8! At about 18 weeks pregnant! The new-found challenge (and subsequent joy) of wracking up PPRs, as I’ve taken to calling them, is like a whole new way for me to be “competitive” with myself (though not really) and allows me to remember the bigger picture… that any running that I do during these 40 weeks is an accomplishment, in and of itself, because of all the changes that my body has gone through and will continue to undertake. I genuinely look forward to seeing what other PPRs I can pull off.
I have been super pleased with how my preg has progressed over the past 20 weeks, and I am super optimistic to see how these remaining 20 weeks will go. I hope to be able to run until the day I deliver—I have heard stories of women who have done this—and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my lifestyle will reward me with a super do-able 10 minute labor 🙂 Hey, a girl can hope.
Until then, I’ll keep chugging along on the lakefront, abdominally rocking Yoda/Baby G to sleep.