Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Running Log

Pregnancy brain is a real thing. I didn't believe it until I experienced it. Walk into a room and immediately forget why you're there enough times, and you'll become a believer too.

To keep from forgetting lunch dates and doctor appointments, I hung a calendar in my kitchen. An actual paper calendar, something I stopped using even before I got a smartphone.  Now I forget nothing...unless I forget to write it down. That's happened. As an added bonus (a pregnancy perk?), I've found it to be extremely useful for tracking my running.

I've never been good at running logs. Those free training calendars you get for renewing your Runner's World subscription, the kind with motivational quotes and blanks for things I didn't care to record, would sit on my desk at the start of every year, staring at me in hopeful anticipation, then in judgmental scorn when I failed to use them. Eventually, I would chunk them in the trash so they would stop mocking me. The only time I've ever successfully kept up a streak of recording my workouts (and diet and sleep) was my freshman year of college when my coach made me do it, because I wasn't improving and I kept getting sick. It lasted about two weeks, and we came to the conclusion I wasn't getting enough rest.

Since then, even with the helpful invention of smartphone calendars and apps like Runtastic and Map My Run, I haven't managed to be consistent about tracking my training. Until now. It turns out, all I had to do was go old-school. It helps that the calendar hangs right by the microwave, where I spend probably too much time heating up leftovers and reheating my coffee in the morning. So while I'm waiting, I write down what I did for a workout that day, and any relevant notes about it. Then I can add up weekly and monthly mileage. Right now, it's interesting to see how my running has changed over the past few months of pregnancy. I plan to keep it up afterward--tracking my return to training should be fun!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Hello, Third Trimester!

Sorry for the long hiatus. Exciting things have happened around here lately. My awesome mom came to visit, my husband returned from deployment, and I hit the third trimester. Yay!
Me at 27 weeks, with my mom. And the belly has grown since then.

Welcome home!

And I'm still running! Double yay!

But running has changed a great deal in the last 28 weeks. Though it happened gradually, I have definitely noticed my gait is different. I don't really want to say the word "waddling," but let's face it: I feel like I'm starting to waddle.

And I now run So. Very. Slowly. So slowly that pre-pregnant me would probably stop running and walk instead. It seems I've discovered a lower gear than I previously thought I possessed, which will be useful in the future, for running all the way up hills and continuing to run when I'm very tired. Instead of giving in and walking, I now know I CAN keep running, because I am capable of slowing my pace more than I used to think was possible.

Breathing has become more difficult too. The feeling of breathing harder at any given speed makes me feel a little out of shape, but I know it's not that. It's my lungs running out of room as the baby continues to grow and take up even more room.

My discomforts have been minor: a little extra fatigue and some round ligament pain. Getting up from a reclining position has gotten more difficult, and probably more comical too.

Last week I gave in and did something I told myself I wouldn't do: I bought a maternity swimsuit. This one, from Motherhood Maternity.
photo: Motherhood Maternity

(Is she even pregnant? I wonder that about all their models). I hated to spend $40 on a swimsuit I will wear for a total of three months (and during any future pregnancies, I suppose), but once I got in the water, I realized it was worth it. I felt weightless, supported by the water. Even though aqua-jogging was tough because I haven't done it recently, and because of my reduced lung capacity, it was a really enjoyable workout. I'm going to add it to my schedule twice a week for now, but if I start to get too uncomfortable running, or if it gets too unbearably hot here, I'm glad to know I have a fun alternative!