All Downhill From Here: A Second-Trimester Training Log

Well, today is officially the last day of my second trimester.  I'm constantly surprising myself with the running (and not-running) I'm able to do.  First of all, some numbers and stats!

As of today, I have run 482 miles while pregnant.  

For 11 out of 27 weeks of pregnancy, I have managed to do a "long run" of at least 8 miles.

During the second trimester, I averaged 24.1 miles per week.   

During the second trimester, I've also spent a little over 14 hours on the bike trainer or a stationary bicycle.

I actually won a time trial challenge at my gym's Wednesday trainer ride, as part of an all female team.  I was shocked, because I've never been able to generate much power on a bike.

Thanks to Strava, I know that over the last four weeks, I have averaged 24.8 miles per weeks, usually over five runs.  Typically, I run five days a week, ride a bike trainer or do a spinning class once a week, weight train once a week, and take Sundays completely off.

I'm feeling good.  To me, this is the most important part.  Each phase of pregnancy has come with its obstacles, but I feel like I've been able to deal with them as they arise.  I was so dizzy and exhausted during the first trimester, so I stuck to the treadmill or shorter runs close to home.  I'm not going to lie...I had to force myself to complete workouts and a lot of them were horrible, mind-numbing, or extremely difficult.  Around the time I got my energy back, I started having bladder pressure and pain.  At 18 weeks, I started wearing a support belt and that helped things immensely.  I have dealt with some groin and hip pain that I attribute to weakness (seems to be helped by MYRTL and my old injury prevention routine) and lose joints (seems to be helped by the support belt).

Although my weight gain has been modest (about 15 pounds up from the day I got pregnant, and 18 pounds up from "racing weight"), I definitely feel heavier.  Unfortunately, this is something that gets worse every day and has no real "solution" other than getting stronger.  I notice the added weight more on some days than others.  Overall, I am inclined to say the weight isn't really affecting my speed very much.  I've always heard people talking about losing weight to go faster, but maybe it doesn't matter as much as we think?  I probably wouldn't have trouble training at my current weight, but I do worry about the increased risk of injury.  I had some rare runner's knee (patellofemoral) pain a few weeks back, and it definitely gave me pause.

My heart rate continues to be a total burden.  Pregnancy makes it high, erratic, sensitive to weather conditions, and totally unpredictable.  My doctor wants me to average 160 for most running workouts, and to avoid numbers above 170 for more than a few minutes at a time.  It probably goes without saying, but I haven't done any speed work during pregnancy.  I haven't even done threshold runs, hill repeats, or anything that would tend to get me anaerobic.  When I see numbers above 170, I take a small walk break (leaving the watch running), and try to adjust my route to avoid hills, sun, wind exposure, etc.  This has been humbling.  However, slower paces have allowed me to meet an entirely new set of running partners, and enjoy some of the later social events.

That said, I can't wait for that first speed work session after I am cleared to run again in the fall.

On that topic, I am starting to feel anxious about the birth and my recovery.  I think this is normal?  My first labor and delivery were a dream come, tolerable, not traumatic in any way, and relatively easy to recover from.  I hope things go that way again.  I could write a lengthy standalone post about my specific anxieties, but this isn't (always) a pregnancy blog.  Hahaha at least I'm trying!

I'll just conclude things by saying that I've already picked some races for 2018...nothing too early or ambitious.  Stay tuned for that.  Hopefully I'll have a few more updates for you guys before there are baby pictures to share ;)

Have a great week.