We are very much homestretchin’, everyone. This little (big!) fetus’s officially-unofficial gestational age is 37 weeks and change — soon to be 38 weeks, as of Friday — which means that most medical circles would consider me/us somewhere in the “term” department. At this point, theoretically speaking, the kiddo could come any day now (though, truth be told, they kinda arrive whenever they want to anyway), or I could be pregnant for up to two weeks postpartum, well into the beginning part of September. It’s a little odd to go to bed each night wondering if I’ll be pregnant for only hours more or nearly another month. A was six days post-due date, so I’m kinda banking on this one not coming “on time,” too.
At any rate, I figured it was high time to update my little running-while-pregnant mileage chart, now that I completed my final race of this pregnancy (TSFM’s 5k), and because this pregnancy could conclude any day now. Here’s how we stand:
|0-1||75.35||peak of 50k training|
|3-4||44.87||50k race unknowingly pregnant, though I had a hunch…|
|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|
|9-10||0||feeling like ass|
|16-17||0||feeling like ass|
|18-19||21.27||5k s.i.b. race win pushing A!|
|19-20||28.36||5k wildflower race running/pushing A|
|22-23||12.3||in Disneyland most of the week with family|
|23-24||33.15||San Luis Obispo half marathon with a bunch of super awesome people!|
|25-26||40.53||13+ mi Long Run with RA in Mountain View, Palo Alto, and Sunnyvale — first time running with the gang since the autumn!|
|26-27||11.1||forced down week for some recovery|
|27-28||25.86||in Disneyland for Memorial Day|
|30-31||37.3||Ran 7 consecutive days (rare even for when I’m not pregnant), primarily because I was visiting family in Ohio and always had childcare available|
|31-32||38.52||ZOOMA Napa Valley 13.1 race|
|32-33||14.06||planned down week|
|34-35||21.2||10+ mile LR with Saurabh, first one with him in a while!|
|35-36||30.67||Random 17+ mile LR with Mere; was hoping for 10-12 and felt great and just went with it|
|36-37||32.69||TSFM weekend, including TSFM 5k race|
|37-38||33.08||finished July as my highest volume month of this pregnancy (and being nearly as pregnant as I’m gonna get)
|38-39||7.36 (as of 8/4)|
|total:||904.92 (ish) miles!|
Like I’ve said before, this is all more or less accurate, but because of the way practitioners calculate gestational age versus how I organize my training weeks, there’s a little buffer zone (which is why the chart makes it look like I’m already between week 38-39 of the pregnancy, whereas I’ll be 38 weeks on Friday). No matter; it’s all details. This stuff is all for entertainment and edification purposes anyway.
I didn’t take weekly “bump” pictures for this pregnancy (or with my first), but here’s a visual of what the pregnancy has looked like for me, a la (most) of the races I’ve run during since I’ve been at +1 status:
Looking back at these pics and at the mileage log I’ve kept, I’m honestly so amused by it all simply because, as I’ve said before, going into this pregnancy, I had no expectations for how I envisioned my running to look. Pregnancy is such a weird, unpredictable, literally life-altering metamorphosis, and though I have been here before and ran through most of my first pregnancy, there were times during this pregnancy when I felt so shitty that even the mere *thought* of running would have me running to the bathroom; I couldn’t even think about running a mile, much less run one. Things changed though — pregnancy keeps us on our toes — and more often than not, I have felt/continue to feel great and more-than well enough to run, and so I do. The mileage is arbitrary, the pace is comfortable and conversational, and like I’ve written before, I damn near end each run with a silly shit-eating grin on my face because I’m just so stinkin’ happy to be out there doing what I love. I know many pregnant women who run who can’t do it during their pregnancy for one reason or another, and I get how lucky I am. To be able to run at all — regardless of pregnancy status — is a gift. I treasure this shit. A lot.
With this pregnancy coming to a close — whenever it does — I’ve got some postpartum ideas and big goals floating around in my noggin, but few things are hard-and-fast plans. I have some final races on the calendar to close out 2015: the 10k at the Let’s Go 510k in Berkeley in late October, the Mermaid Series’ Sirena 10 miler in SF in early November, and probably the Berkeley Half Marathon the weekend before Thanksgiving. In no way am I expecting PR performances or even strong performances at any of these races; I’m thinking they’ll more likely be (lack of) fitness indicators (or just GA runs). Plus, I would absolutely LOVE to get in strong-enough shape to be able to pace Saurabh for his last ~20ish miles of his 50 miler at TNFEC in December, but we’ll see.
Ultimately, I’ve written all this immediate postpartum running business in pencil, if not feather (if one can write in feather) simply because postpartum running is tough work. Even the smoothest, complication-less childbirth takes a toll on your body — speaking from experience — and I am absolutely *not* planning on running anytime before my 6-week postpartum period ends; the risks just far outweigh the benefits. More importantly, Kiddo Dos will only be that tiny once in his or her life, and I have every intention of relishing and revelling in those fleeting moments while I have the opportunity. Running can wait. And, speaking from experience, I think my very-gingerly return-to-running postpartum with my first pregnancy really allowed me to lay the groundwork to get (relatively speaking) strong and fast again, which ultimately resulted in me basically blowing all of my PRs out of the water in the process. I didn’t plan for that to happen, but you can bank on my excitement when nearly every PR I had set pre-pregnancy fell — shattered — in the 18 or so months after I gave birth. Being intentional and methodical with this business is the name of the game.
So, that’s where I am these days. I’ll continue to run for the remainder of the pregnancy as long as my midwife blesses the idea and as long as I feel well doing it. Truth be told, I am more comfortable running than I am doing anything else, including sitting, lying down, or even walking around. I never thought I’d say that at 9+ months pregnant, but then again, I also never thought I’d still be happily and eagerly running along at 9+ months pregnant, either… but hey, I’ll take it (and thank my lucky stars for it).