Monday, June 19, 2017

33-week Checkin: Summer of my Discontent

I'm 33 weeks pregnant.  In late June.  In Alabama.  I'm still managing to run.

Taken today during a midday run at a local park.  At the beginning of the run, because I don't want to scare you.
How is Running Going?

It's going...okay.  About five weeks ago, I turned off the "pace" metric on my watch and switched it to show only heart rate, distance, and elapsed time (so I don't get carried away and waste time...slower runs eat up my free time!).  On a rare early morning run with low (HAHAHAHA) temperatures, I might see paces in the high 9s or low 10s if I keep the run short and feel good.  On midday runs I see paces in the 12s now.  I'm taking walk breaks when my heart rate exceeds my anaerobic threshold, and this can happen frequently when it's 90 degrees F.


As of today, I have run 614 miles pregnant.  My original goal was 700 total during pregnancy and I think I'll be able to do that!  I'm still on track to run at least 1200 during this calendar year, which is cool.  

I'm averaging 20-25 miles of outdoor running each week.  I'm now replacing one or two running workouts each week with an hour-long spinning class or stationary trainer ride.  I get to yoga every few weeks. (Although, truth be told, yoga is a lot more uncomfortable for me now that running is.  Weird, I know.)  I stretch.  I do my hip strengthening exercises.  I take a day of complete rest once a week.

This is all I can do for now.  Each day is a little harder than the day before (duh, because I get more pregnant each day).  I have occasional workouts that feel incredible, like this Saturday's eight-mile run in relatively cool 70-degree weather.  Some workouts feel like complete dog shit (pardon my language...it's the honest truth).  I just push through them, watch my heart rate monitor, and hope for better luck next time.

I still love running, and I still legitimately enjoy every minute I get to spend doing it.  When I feel depressed about being uncomfortable or going slow, I just remind myself that this is temporary.



Why All the Midday Running?

Long story short, I'm having scheduling and childcare issues right now.  I mentioned in an earlier post that we are moving.  Specifically to the mountains of rural Tennessee.  This is a temporary opportunity for my husband, and we are thrilled about it.  He has gone ahead to the new place, and I have stayed behind to wrap up a few work projects, have the baby, and take care of our three-year-old.  I am effectively solo parenting except for the Sundays my husband is back in town.

My son is doing some enrichment day camps...one for horseback riding and one for early STEM education.  The sessions aren't continuous, but they do give me a four-hour stretch each day to clean, meal prep, run errands, go to (a million) doctor's appointments, and run in the heat.  I'm doing my work in the evenings after he's gone to bed.

I hate running in the heat.  It's my only option now.

For months, I didn't want to run shirtless with this belly.  Triple-digit temperatures made me reconsider. 


Any Advice for Running in the Third Trimester?  Especially in the Heat?  What Helps?

A support belt helps.  I use the Gabriala Medium Support Belt ($30 on Amazon right now).  It really gives me hip stability and alleviates bladder pressure.

Staying flexible with workouts really helps.  I'm not following a training plan, and wouldn't try to.  I run how I feel.  In the same vein, not caring about pace really helps too.

All the benefits of running during pregnancy are a massive help as well.  I'm not sure but I think running is helping me sleep better, avoid swelling and GI problems like heartburn, keep my weight gain modest, feel better about my body, and all that good stuff.  I'm also trying to keep my real goals in mind.  I'm not doing this to look better in my jeans.  I just want to maintain some level of athletic ability during pregnancy.  I have running goals and I want to be smart about continuing to pursue them during this part of my life.

The heat is beastly, though.  I run during the part of the day when it cannot possibly get any hotter, so at least I have that going for me?  I stick close to restrooms, water fountains, and shade.  I wear light clothes, wet my shirt or hat if possible, and take walk breaks if I feel overheated.  I don't get too far away from my home or car so I can bail if I need to.  I wear sunscreen and a hat, always.

One of the huge problems I deal with is bladder pressure and the almost constant need to pee during runs!  Like I said, the support belt helps a lot.  I also try to limit fluids in the two hours before my run, making sure I'm very well hydrated during the rest of the day (and night).  I've become pretty brazen about peeing in bushes or trailside, in random construction site porta potties, and in restaurant and convenience store bathrooms.  So far, no one has said "you can't pee here!" or "customers only!"  So there's that.

Eating a lot of food is also helping.  Honestly...I eat SO MUCH food right now.  It's a complete free for all, and I've been making some great meals.  Maybe I'll make a post of all my wacky amateur food phone-tography, because you would be impressed.  Working with my doctor, I've tracked a few days of eating here and there, and I would estimate I'm eating close to 3000 calories a day.  (I had a scare with blood sugar levels, more on that later!)  I'm tall, I'm very pregnant, and I do 6-7 hours of exercise a week, so apparently that's the amount of food it takes.

Trying to casually pose with the Morgan & Stanley office building where I regularly poach the lobby restroom.

I'm really so excited to meet this baby.  My husband jokes that we're going to have to wrap him in my running support belt to get him to sleep, ahaha!  Have a great week everyone.