By now, you all realize that I was keeping a bit of a secret with why my time was 10 minutes slower than my PR the previous year during the Dash to the Splash 5K. Not only was I pushing Kenna in the jogging stroller, I was also just about 12 weeks pregnant. Yup, no wonder there was that big of a difference in my times and that I had to walk a little bit on the hills.
(Side note: I really am dealing with some achilles tendon inflammation, that wasn’t just an excuse! But, it is due to pregnancy, which I’m hoping my chiropractor can keep treating so I can continue to run.)
Compared to my pregnancy with MacKenna, pregnant running has actually been going much, much better. Maybe it’s because I’m much more relaxed this pregnancy since I already ran 41 weeks during another pregnancy. Maybe it’s because I’m in much better shape going into this pregnancy than I was with my first pregnancy. Maybe I’m just lucking out and running will continue to be comfortable for the next 6 months. All I know for sure is that I really am enjoying it this time around and taking each day as it comes.
I shouldn’t say I have a “training plan” because I really don’t, but I do sort of follow the same weekly workouts from week to week. Back in January, I started running for time instead of distance. Because it was working so well for me, I decided to pretty much keep the same times I was running each day and take out all the speed work. So a 30-40 minute run that used to be between 4 and 5 miles is now usually a 3-4 mile run. My weekly “schedule” looks something like this:
Monday: 40-50 minute run
Tuesday: 30-40 minute run
Wednesday: 25-35 minute run
Thursday: 30-40 minute run
Friday: 25-35 minute run
Saturday: 50-60 minute run
Sunday: Rest day
I am still running 6 days a week because right now, I’m still feeling pretty good. My Saturday long run used to knock me out pretty hard for the rest of the day (one Saturday, I fell asleep on the couch at 7:30 after putting Kenna to bed), but as I’m starting to get more energy back going into my 2nd trimester, they aren’t wearing me out nearly as much. I’m sure as my pregnancy progresses and my belly gets bigger, I will have to cut out a day or two and add in some extra rest days or even just cross training days. But, right now, I’m comfortable and it’s working for me.
I do follow a few rules for myself to make sure that I’m not pushing myself too hard. First of all, now that it’s summer, I’m running at 6 AM every single day. I don’t really have another choice as it’s just way to hot + humid in St. Louis for me to run at any other time. I’m lucky that my husband is willing to get up with MacKenna if she wakes up while I am out, otherwise, I’d never get to run.
Second, I listen to how I am breathing and base my pace off of that. With my first pregnancy, I automatically started doing a run/walk – running for 4 minutes, walking for 1, every single run. And I absolutely hated it! It made running miserable for me because sometimes I just didn’t feel like I needed to walk, but I wanted to be super duper extra careful as to not endanger my baby.
I’m a little bit more relaxed this time around. As long as I can run at a conversational pace (i.e. one in which I could talk to someone while we were running – usually MacKenna), then it is a good pace for me. Some days, that’s a 10-minute mile, other days, I’ll run a sub-9. Lately, my average paces have been around 9:30/mile, which I am absolutely thrilled with! And unlike my buddy Jen, there is no way I negative split any of these runs. My first mile is usually my fastest and my last mile is usually my slowest. And that’s OK with me.
Lastly, I gave myself permission to walk when I need to. This usually has to do with my pace. If I start feeling out of breath, I stop and walk until I can catch my breath again. Most of the time, this is on hills – I pretty much walk up every single hill on my run. (Luckily, I have found a good running route in which I don’t have to run many hills.) But, sometimes the heat just gets to me and I need a minute to catch my breath again and I start running again. Sure, it slows me down, but I obviously don’t really care about my pace right now. I’m just happy to still be running and to be running better this time around!
Will I be able to run 40+ weeks again? Who knows. And I’m OK with that. With some of the things I dealt with mentally at the beginning of my pregnancy, I’m just happy to be healthy right now. And if I eventually need to stop because it’s getting too hard on me or on the baby, then I will. Will I want to stop? Of course not, but I care more about the health of this little peanut in my belly than I do about my 5K times a year from now.
I’m also happy to announce that I have also been accepted as a For Two Fitness Ambassador! I am beyond excited about the opportunity! As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I went and bought a “running for two” t-shirt. It is seriously one of the best running shirts I own now and I plan on wearing it pretty much on every run while I’m pregnant!
Right now, One lucky instagrammer will win $100 gift card to For Two Fitness – the very best in maternity activewear. Simply post the image below on your instagram feed along with the tag #fortwofitnessgift and mention @fortwofitness. Include in your comment the item or items you love the most. A minimum of 50 reposts will be required to unlock the prize, so share with all of your pregnant friends, and good luck!