Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.

"That is happiness; to be disolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep." - Willa Cather

Monday, 21 January 2008

Pregnant Winter Running

I realized that the experience of running between 8 and 9 months pregnant is not something that has been written about much. But running outside yesterday didn't feel special or dangerous; it just felt good.
The temperature my last few runs has been between 0 and 2 degrees F. But when there is no wind, that's gorgeous. I love peeing on the bitter cold snow and watching it instantly melt away. Of course the trails are close to deserted. Most people seem to have a phobia of exercising in the cold. But nothing makes you feel more alive than your own pounding heart and a warm, big baby belly in the dead cold of morning.
About a week ago, we got 5 inches of new snow, but I managed to find a path to run on that had already been cleared. So contrary to my belief just one month ago, I am running regularly again. The hip has healed and the winter conditions are not insurmountable.
Yesterday SR was kind enough to almost double his pace and run with me. He has a garmin watch with GPS, so I learned I have been running 10 minute miles and a total of only 4.5 miles a day. It sounds like so little! But by the time I am at the end, I am generally waddling and out of breath. Yet during the run SR was talking about how we were both going to finish in the top 5 in our state's marathon next year. It is hard for me to believe right now that I will become that girl I used to be (and then run even faster) all in the next 7 months. But theoretical thinking is really motivating to SR and I'm starting to believe it is for me, too.

Wanted to note one strange thing that was happening two nights ago. I had just fallen asleep when I was woken up by a jab of excruciating pain in my pelvis. Then it kept happening. I realized the big little baby was jamming his head against the bottom of the uterus, using his feet and hands to propel himself. So my ribs were getting kicked, too. It hurt so bad I was yelling and had tears in my eyes. He stopped for a while when I layed on my side, but then woke me up again many times during the night. SR was half asleep, but the next morning he said "Gosh, I hope he's normal." Having two parents like us, normal is probably too much to ask.

Finally, I wanted to address a comment from lilsusha...

I too have been training for a marathon and recently found out I'm pg. My marathon is 13 weeks away and I'm about 7 weeks along. I think you ended up doing the 1/2 right? I don't remember reading your decision as to why. This is my first pregnancy--total surprise after 12.5 yrs of marriage and 2 adopted kids. AND my first marathon. Any insight or resources will be helpful.

Congrats, lilsusha on your pregnancy!!! I hope it goes well, that you can keep running and that you are filled with amazement of your own body :).
There were a few reasons we decided to do the half (had SR's parents visiting out of town the week of the full marathon, wanted to run the half in our own city AND I still felt like running a race competitively at 5 months. I felt like I wouldn't be able to push myself like I wanted to if I ran a full marathon.) But if you would rather run a full marathon, go for it! Just be extra careful with the hydration.
I haven't found too many resources about running or marathons during pregnancy to be honest. Perhaps you have already found/followed my link to "Running for Two" which is another pregnant woman's running blog. Also, I put together a list of studies, defending vigorous exercise in pregnancy, which can be found in my Nov. 30th entry, Exercise and Running in Pregnancy: Point-Counterpoint . If any readers know of other resources, please speak up!
Best wishes. I hope you can keep running in pregnancy. If you do stop, make sure it's your decision. Even if your prenatal care provider recommends you stop, make sure you understand why so you can make the decision together. Good luck with the marathon! Let us know how it goes.

Running Song of the Day: Angel in the Snow by Elliot Smith


Olga said...

Of course, you both woll be top 5, who questions THAT?? :)
And to that girl - there is a friend (Marathon maniac) up in Seattle area who ran through her pregnancy marathons and 50k's all the way in. Obviously, last months were not competitve, but still.

sea legs girl said...

Clearly I'm not the only pregnant woman who loves to run and runs a lot. But now there is some cyber proof! Thanks for the link, Olga. Seven marathons in one pregnancy! I only wish she would have gone into a bit more detail.

Jess said...

Hi, I'm new to your blog, but I too am pregnant (only 9 weeks along) and have decided to keep running, so it's great for me to read other women who have done it, or are doing it! And you're doing it in such cold weather too! Wow. Thanks for the inspiration and keep it up!