Saturday, December 15, 2012

Running While Pregnant: Early on affects of pregnancy

I'm not an awesome runner, but I can usually trudge along for a fair distance and have been blessed enough to be able to do that with very little training. I think a lot of that is a benefit of growing up as a swimmer and the strong lung capacity that gave me. But there are two things that really shocked me early on in my pregnancy: 1. how greatly my lung capacity and endurance was affected and 2. how early on in my pregnancy my bladder was affected!

In May, Matt and I signed up for the Army Ten Miler, which takes place annually in the fall in Washington D.C. I had taken over a year off from training for anything after I caused plantar fasciitis training for the Miami ING Marathon. So, this was going to be my encouragement to start training/racing again. We started training in July and then at the beginning of August, I realized I was pregnant. Having gone through a miscarriage exactly 10 years before, while training for my very first Army Ten Miler, I was a bit apprehensive about continuing to train, since I was basically starting over running from scratch. I know that the doctors recommend that if you're fit and used to working out, you can usually continue to maintain your exercise regimen as long as you are mindful of your body, but I was still scared to somehow do anything to jeopardize my newly growing baby. With that in mind, I shared with my running partner, who was training for the ATM as well, that I wanted to take it easy with running for a bit and she fully supported that. While I didn't stop running altogether, I did run much less frequency than our training program called for.

Baby at week 10 with a strong heartbeat
makes for a happy mom!
But on those few runs is where I noticed these dramatic bodily changes that just blew me away. As early as week 6, I already felt pressure on my bladder as soon as I started running. Crazy! How can such a tiny little growing baby affect me so early? Additionally, I became winded so early in my runs. From about week 6 to week 10, I did not run more than 3.5 miles at one time. Because I was not running long distance, I attempted a few times to add in some interval training work, but noticed how much more difficult that was than I was used to. I am still amazed each day to learn new ways that this little baby affects my body, but it's all for a good cause. :)

I definitely listened to my body and walked when I felt too winded to run (as well as when my quickly growing chest asked me to!). While I doubt that my running had anything to do with my miscarriage years ago, it was hard to get that possibility out of my mind. But, this time around, I managed to run 2-3 times a week for that 5 week stretch and then picked up my mileage a bit to help prepare me for 'race' day in another month. And here we are at week 23, with more to come in this continuing series on running while pregnant!

Were you shocked by the affects of being pregnant to your exercise/training regimen? How did you alter your routine when you learned you were pregnant?

No comments:

Post a Comment