Happy first day of summer! I don’t know about you, but it has felt like summer for weeks now! St. Louis has been extremely hot + humid, and although I prefer it over the cold, snowy winter we had, I’m not enjoying it as a runner – especially being 6 months pregnant.
My heat tolerance is all of zero now. I used to be able to sit outside and “sweat it out”, but I’ve noticed more and more lately that after a few minutes, I feel light headed + dizzy. Needless to say, my 8 AM group runs aren’t exactly ideal in this heat. In fact, the past 3 days, I have had a few minor freak outs over the welfare of my little girl – Did I push myself too hard? Was I running slow enough? Did my heart rate + temperature get up too high? She hasn’t moved as much as she usually does, is she OK in there?
So, I made the executive decision that I can no longer do my runs that late (ha!) in the morning. Which means 6 AM runs every morning during my nice relaxing summer off. Not ideal, but I am more than happy if that means I can (1) keep running and (2) keep my baby safe.
I’ve been asked recently about how long I plan to continue running through my pregnancy. Ideally, I would LOVE to run up until the day I deliver. However, I am starting to realize more and more that just might not happen. And you know what, I am OK with that.
Honestly, I’m happy that I have been able to run the past 6 months – as much and as fast as I have. I haven’t had any adverse reactions during or after a run – no cramping, no excessive fatigue, no nausea. I am still maintaining pretty good mileage, averaging about 20 miles a week. I have had to cut back my distance a bit, only running 3 or 4 miles each run, but I haven’t minded that at all. And I definitely wouldn’t have thought that I’d still be running 9 to 10 minute miles 6 months pregnant. I truly believe the walking breaks I have incorporated in my runs (4 minutes of running followed by 1 minute of walking for the entire distance) have helped me maintain some of my speed.
This is an older pic – my preggo running belly is a bit bigger now.
That doesn’t mean I don’t miss training or running fast. Believe me, I hate the fact that I am not able to run the inaugural Rock ‘n Roll St. Louis Marathon or Half Marathon or the new MO Cowbell Half Marathon in my hometown in October. I miss having a training plan and pushing my body to run harder, faster, farther. I actually miss running intervals! I would love to be able to sprint just from the front door to the mailbox!
But, I think the fact that I do miss seriously training for a race just means that I haven’t lost my love of the sport. Sure, the break has been nice since I know I will be doing something even more challenging and incredible than running a marathon, but I still LOVE to run. I LOVE to race and I LOVE to train. I haven’t lost that drive and I think that motivation will really kick in once our little girl arrives in October. And if I have to stop running before then, so be it. It’s not like I will never run again. A little time off isn’t going to change my love for running.
But, I must say I can’t wait until October when I will have a running buddy for almost every one of my runs. I can’t wait to start pushing that jogging stroller and having one-sided conversations with my daughter. (OK, that already happens now, even on runs… yeah, I probably look a little crazy talking to my belly on a run.) I also can’t wait to be in a new division in those shorter races – the stroller division – and start hitting some new PRs with the jogging stroller. And the one thing I am looking forward to the most is crossing the finish line of a marathon, holding my little girl in my arms.
So, even though running during pregnancy has been difficult and I might not get to continue as long as I hope, I am ready for the next challenge. And I am more than ready to be a healthy role model for my little girl. I just hope she loves running as much as her daddy and I do!