As you may remember from a few months ago, this summer I was training hard to run a half marathon this fall. Specifically, I was planning to run the half marathon that is part of the Baltimore Running Festival which is taking place next weekend, October 13. My training went extremely well. I really enjoyed it and amazed myself by running distances I never thought I could run, and felt great afterwards. I learned a lot about myself and about training. I learned that pushing beyond your perceived limits truly is mind over matter.
As you may also know, by next Saturday I'll be 16.5 weeks pregnant. When I found out we would be having another baby, and that I would be 16.5 weeks along by the time of the race, I made the decision to postpone my participation until next year. This was a disappointing decision for me since I had worked so hard and made so much progress in my training. At the same time, I knew that if I continued with my training or ran the half and something went wrong with my pregnancy, I would never stop wondering if running had something to do with it. To many people that seems silly. I have read the research 100 times in 100 different articles explaining that if you were a runner before you became pregnant it is usually safe to continue running through your pregnancy. There was even a news story about a mom who ran the full Chicago marathon last October when she was 39 weeks along in her pregnancy and delivered the baby 7 hours later. So yes, it's possible to continue training much harder than I was going to and still have a healthy pregnancy. That is great, but it's something I'm just not comfortable with. In addition to having reservations about running while pregnant, shortly after we found out about the pregnancy, I was practically couch-bound with nausea and exhaustion. I was lucky if I got dressed much less did any necessary household work. Getting changed and on the treadmill for several miles/hours was just completely out of the question. I've been feeling better now for about 3-4 weeks and I probably could have gotten back into my training routine, but like I said, I'm just not super comfortable with it. Things probably would have been fine, but I wouldn't have been able to forgive myself if not.
Instead I've decided to take these 40 weeks to let my body focus its efforts on baby-growing. If you've ever been pregnant and had a toddler to take care of full-time, you know that daily life is pretty exhausting. Rather than logging miles, I'm doing more yoga and strength exercises. Maintaining a reasonable fitness level is important to me. I want to stay strong throughout my pregnancy and be able to get back into training as soon as possible after the new baby is born. Since the baby will be born at the end of March, I'm hoping to be back to training by the end of May/early June to give myself plenty of time to build back up to 13.1 for the fall. Of course, I could be kidding myself to think that I'll have all this "nap time" to jump on the treadmill and run for an hour. That will have to be determined at the time, but I'm optimistic :)
Anyone else out there have favorite tips or tricks for staying fit during pregnancy? I have a pin on Pinterest for 40 Weeks of Fit Pregnancy [from FitPregnancy magazine online] which is great for overall pregnancy health if anyone else is pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant soon :)