Thank you for all the wonderful comments on my last post! I was really excited to share the news with all of you!
A question I get often is ...
Q: Are you going to keep running?
A: I'm going to try but will listen to my body.
Of course, I've read a lot about running while pregnant. And some of my run friends have become pregnant in recent years. What I do know is this (in a nutshell)... it's ok to keep running while pregnant.
Here's the slightly more in depth answer. Yes, I can run while I'm pregnant. In fact, it can be good for me and the baby to keep up my physical fitness. My doctor and chiropractor both confirmed this with me when I asked them. Here's the general rules of thumb for me...
1. Watch my heart rate. I will not be able to go as fast as I once did (nor should I). I need to slow down now that I'm pregnant. As far as what the right HR is when pregnant? A lot of articles say not to exceed 140. My Doctor told me not to exceed 160 for more than 20 minutes at a time. And many other articles I read said that 140 was an older standard and that it depends on your level of fitness going into the pregnancy. I will follow what my doctor says. And basically, I will run at a pace that feels comfortable to me. I can tell when I'm pushing my pace too much.
2. Stop running if something doesn't feel right. I've been running a long time. I'm not a new runner and I'm aware of what my body is trying to tell me while running (pregnant or not). So if something doesn't feel right, stop. The most important thing is the baby. Not my miles or my pace.
3. Things might change when my "bump" gets bigger. I've read a lot about how your weight shifts when you start getting a larger belly and that may make a difference on how I feel while running.
4. If I ever feel like running is not comfortable for me or that maybe I shouldn't be doing it, I am going to stop. Yes, I'd like to keep running throughout my pregnancy (at least through month 6-7 or something. In fact, I have a half on April 1st that I'm signed up for). BUT...I'm perfectly fine if I need to stop and not run anymore. I'll simply do more walking. And yes, I will probably be doing a run/walk combo when I'm getting a little larger. Whatever feels most comfortable. But I know people that were able to run throughout their pregnancy and I know people that really couldn't or just didn't feel right. I will take it week by week and run by run and keep seeing how I'm feeling.
So...how am I feeling so far?? Pretty good actually! Yay me! I didn't have any morning sickness or nausea to contend with in my first trimester (more about the first trimester later when it's officially over), so my energy levels were pretty decent. I was tired, but otherwise I'm fine. So besides slowing down a little, I've been able to keep training for the F^3 Half Marathon that's coming up this Saturday.
I'm actually not sure what my plans for the F^3 are. Obviously, I'm not going for a PR. Obviously, I'll be happy to just be able to complete it. I've been running with a walk/water break every 1.5-2 miles on my long runs right now. So maybe I'll just keep doing that based on how I feel? I thought about doing a run/walk interval of 9:1 or 7:1 but I'm not sure if that's even necessary. So we will just see how things go this Saturday. This will be baby's first half marathon, after all! Go baby go!