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Pregnancy and running update from the halfway+ mark

Pregnancy and running update from the halfway+ mark

Hard to believe that I’m already past the halfway point with this pregnancy. I’m happy to report that all is well, and Kiddo Dos and I are both healthy. I don’t have a recent ultrasound pic to post, but last I saw, he/she looked good, and last I heard, the heartbeat was strong — all good things, all good things.

I thought it could be interesting to see what my running has looked like this far into the pregnancy. When I was pregnant with A, I wasn’t using dailymile or strava or Garmin to track my mileage — just an old school, pen-and-paper log — so I can’t easily compare mileage and such from pregnancy 1 to pregnancy 2. As much as I can tell, my pregnancy gestational weeks begin each Monday, so for the most part, the mileage coincides with my usual Monday-Sunday training weeks. It’s really more for my own entertainment than anything, so I’m not too worried about being super meticulous with my bookkeeping.

Here’s how it has shaken down so far:

Gestational week 0-1 75.35 peak of 50k training
1-2 53.1
2-3 36.5
3-4 44.87 50k race unknowingly pregnant, though I had a hunch…
4-5 27.51
5-6 0 feeling like ass – hi, first trimester!
6-7 0 feeling like ass/family in town
7-8 0 feeling like ass/in the Caribbean with my family
8-9 16.8
9-10 0 feeling like ass
10-11 5.1
11-12 11.32
12-13 20.61
13-14 19.8
14-15 20.8
15-16 13.58 408k race
16-17 0 feeling like ass
17-18 25.41
18-19 21.27 5k s.i.b. race win pushing A!
19-20 28.36 5k wildflower race running/pushing A
20-21 9.1
21-22 31.51
22-23 12.3 in Disneyland most of the week with family
23-24 3.2 (as of Monday)
total: 476.49

As you can see, pregnancy can somewhat unpredictably affect mileage and training. I say ‘somewhat’ because I assumed, based on my first pregnancy, that I’d allow my mileage to tank. When I’m in the throes of marathon training, I usually peak around 70-75 mpw, and the low-end of my base is in the 50s. I’m not marathon training, so I’m genuinely happy to be in the 20s or, if I’m feeling great, the 30s. Likewise, if I feel like ass — and as my little chart above details, there have been days and weeks when I have felt like ass and when sleeping > running — I’m not stressing about missing a run or two (or five or whatever).

I wrote it before, and I’ll write it again: it is so critical to listen to your body — and your medical professional overseeing your pregnancy– when you’re expecting. This isn’t a time for heroics. If your practitioner says you can run, and you feel well doing it (and afterward), by all means, have a blast. Don’t feel bad about yourself, or your identity as a runner, or god forbid, your pregnancy, if you can’t run or just don’t feel like running. It will always be there.

Being able to race the few times I have so far in my pregnancy has been a lot of fun, especially since getting A involved. Running without expectations has been mentally refreshing as well. I’m excited to get back to the grind of training and working toward PRs, but I am also delighted to be in this sweet spot of running for the hell of running (and to prep for that 1-hour labor & delivery I’m fantasizing about…).

I have been surprised at how strong I have been feeling lately on my runs, averaging in the low-8s for many of my weekday miles, and while I’m sure that won’t last for much longer, I’m enjoying it while I still can. I sometimes forget that inherent to every run these days is basically a weightlifting workout, since I’m hauling around 15 pounds +/- more than my usual weight, but dammit if this doesn’t mean that this kid and I are getting stronger with each mile we share. The unsolicited news on the street from mostly strangers is that I’m having a boy, based on the very scientific way that I’m carrying, because apparently, when most of your pregnancy is concentrated in your midsection, that means it’s a boy because he needs lots of room to forcefully kick and stretch his legs outward. Whatever. Everyone’s an expert.

That’s about it for now. Coming up next is a half marathon down in San Luis Obispo on Sunday with Erica! It should be a fun experience and a really pretty course. I have no idea how I’ll fare — I know I’m aerobically capable of running 13.1, though in terms of my pace, your guess is as good as mine — but it’ll be a blast regardless. These things typically are.

good times at SJ’s Race to the Row 408k + kids’ race

good times at SJ’s Race to the Row 408k + kids’ race

Some days, I’m a process-oriented runner; if you ask me what I like more, the training or the actual race day, I’ll tell you that most of my enjoyment with my running endeavors lies in the work and hours and mileage that leads into the grand affair that is race day. Other times, of course, if you ask me my preference, I’ll say it’s all about the race day experience because, yeah, a lot of you can control, but much of it you can’t; it’s what makes the experience so magical–when all goes well–and understandably frustrating and humbling–when things go south.

Running during pregnancy is shifting my mindset toward a much stronger “process” orientation simply because I’m not in a train-my-ass-off-to-notch-a-PR mentality. If anything, I’m going after a one hour labor and delivery (hey, why not), but the running these days–even if it takes place at an actual race, wherein I adorn myself with my Wolfpack singlet and affix a bib to my ever-growing torso–is entirely and purely for fun. Yeah, I want to see what my body will give me that day, but no, I’m not starting (or finishing) any runs or races with any grandiose expectations or unicorn-chasing desires. I mean, obvs, right.

Sunday was Represent Running’s Race to the Row 408k, an 8k that started at the SAP Center and wound its way through SJ city streets and ‘hoods before ending at Santana Row 4.97 miles later. I totally dig 8ks for no real rational reason, and I was especially stoked for this year’s race because a) I knew I’d see a ton of my teammates volunteering or running, b) running and racing (relative terms) while pregnant is just a fuckin’ blast because it’s virtually absent of expectations, and c) A would run in the kids’ race a bit later in the morning. It wasn’t her first race–that came when she was about 1.5 years old, when we were still in Chicago, at a PBS-themed race on the lakefront–but nonetheless, she and I and C were all really stoked for her to be able to go “run fast like Mommy” because she really loves to run. Plus, prior to Sunday’s race, she and I volunteered at packet pick-up for a couple hours on Friday with fellow Team Run the Bay gal Bernadette (who is incredibly inspiring in her own rite–she recently had a stroke at the end of October, and two other runners from SJ’s chapter of Moms Run This Town wheeled her during the course before B got up and walked the final strides across the finish line. B-a-d-a-s-s). Anyway, it was a good weekend, and as always, race weekend and race morning gave me a wonderful reminder of how utterly and thoroughly I just totally dig the running community.

 

My race? Well, my 16 week self gave me a much better run than I had anticipated–it almost felt like a normal, pre-pregnant run, though significantly slower than how I’d race an 8k–but damn, was it ever fun. Highlights:

  • aaaaaaaaaall the Wolfpack teammates and volunteers on course
  • Choking back tears mid-race. I had a moment with myself in an attempt to avoid hyperventilating/ugly crying when we went through the Memorial Mile and past Joe Bell’s memorial his son had placed in his front yard. I distinctly remember talking to Mr. Bell mid-run last year, as I ran past his house, and this year, though he wasn’t there, the line of veterans who were standing on the street–some vets had even traveled in to SJ from out-of-state to be at the race, giving shout-outs, side-fives, and fist-bumps to the runners–evoked the same sort of emotional response in me. It was really moving. (For the backstory on why and how everything that happened last year in front of Mr. Bell’s house was so amazing, from the RD’s POV: http://www.soulfocussports.com/the-408k-goes-viral-or-human-moments/).
    • In this mile, between miles 2-3, I did something I’d never do in a race and said “fuck the tangents” and veered left and right to get as many vets’ 5s as possible–sometimes, memories > tangents, kids–and left that mile thinking how great it was that RR started the Memorial Mile this year and hoped that it’d be something they’d continue forevermore. It was really cool.
  • Miles 3 to 4, through more ‘hoods, was pretty quiet.
  • In the final mile, about 5 or 6 mariachi bands lined the streets, and I instantly fell in love with the probably-not-even eight-year-old little mariachi boy vocalist crooning at us en espanol outside Valley Fair mall. He was darling. Steps from the finish line, I saw C and A yelling and waving ferociously–which rocked–and then was reunited with them steps later, since A was distraught; she loves to see me during races and wave to me and get 5s, but she hates– loathes– it when I run past her without stopping to get her. 🙁
free race pics ftw! also, one day I'll learn that smiling mid-run just makes it look like I'm in pain. and: this shows why it is impossible for me to find super running shorts; I'm thigh gap antithesis. see also: quads for daaaaaaayz
free race pics ftw! lessons learned: smiling mid-run = accidental pain face. more: this pic is like the poster for why it’s impossible for me to find fantastic running shorts that fit well. see: thigh gap antithesis. see also: quads for daaaaaaayz.

 

moments earlier, one of us was a hot mess
moments earlier, one of us was a hot mess

 

a rare family picture! not so rarely, one of us is in spandex.
a rare family picture! not so rarely, one of us is in spandex.

 

being cheesy
being cheesy

 

It was a super fun morning for a race! We hung out for a bit before the real fun began–the kids’ race–and A got to spend the interim playing on a playground, coloring, and hula-hooping before her run began. She decided last minute that she wanted me to run with her, so we toed the line, got super excited, and began our maaaaaaaaaybe 100m dash with the kiddos under 5 and their caregivers. C was on the sidelines snappin’ shots while we ran by–she was so excited to see him!–and immediately upon finishing, she got her very own SJ 408k kids’ race medal (that also functions as a bottle opener, for those late-night …  milk fixes). She was stoked and had so much fun!

 

 

If you’re ever in SJ on the first Sunday in March, totally look up this race. It’s well-organized, it’s a ton of fun, and I think it’s only going to continue to get better over time… though really, I don’t even know how it could because it’s already pretty damn awesome in my book. And! If you’re in the area AND you have a kiddo, totally register him or her for the kids’ race because it is just wonderful and so fun. 🙂  Next year, kiddo dos will be too little to run in the kids’ race by him or herself, but I wouldn’t be surprised if A tries to convince us otherwise.

I helped promote the 408k as a social media ambassador and member of Team Run the Bay, but obviously I wouldn’t do either if I didn’t totally love this race already. Views are my own and aren’t at all influenced by RR because they wouldn’t do something as d-baggy as that; instead, they just put on a really good race, making a positive write-up about it basically write itself.