Tag Archives: running

Running through pregnancy – first trimester

In the comments section of my last post a few people asked how running is going, so I thought I’d write about the first trimester.

I would love to run throughout my entire pregnancy. However, as I’m writing this at almost 22 weeks I’m not sure how realistic that will be for me.

Let’s backtrack and talk about those first 14 weeks…

I was just starting to run again after a few weeks off (and a few frustrating weeks before that) due to lingering issues with my hips, leg, and other parts.

What felt good?
I ran 95% of my runs on trails. The forgiving surface, the views, and the constant challenges felt great (or took my mind of being tired)!

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I was extremely nauseous until about week 15. The only time I felt good was when I was working out. Our summer holidays fell at the perfect time so I could work out first thing in the morning and feel better for the rest of the day. When I was exhausted at the end of a day at work and just wanted to sleep I’d try to make myself get a run or workout in, knowing I’d feel exponentially better afterwards.

What was different?
In the past I never carried water when I ran other than a handful of times. I have been running with water on every single run since finding out I’m pregnant; I get extremely thirsty after a few minutes. I mostly run with my hydration pack (link to a newer version of my bag) but sometimes with a small bottle in my hand.

I had to pee all. the. time. On a 40 minute run, I’d have to stop four times. This was another perk about running trails- lots of trees to hide behind!

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On morning runs I never used to eat beforehand. After a couple runs in, I knew I had to change that. Now I eat before every run. I usually eat a bowl of cereal before a morning run and just time my snacks for a post-work workout.

What didn’t feel good?
The odd time I ran on the road I felt funny, like my form was off or my legs were wooden. Not sure if it’s because I ran mostly trails or if it was something to do with pregnancy.

I was out of breath from the instant I started running right until the end. Although trails are tougher in general, never before would I be out of breath for an entire run!

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We had an extremely hot summer. On the exceptionally hot days I’d run on the treadmill or do an at-home circuit workout in the basement or in the shade. One day I ‘ran’ in the heat and ended up walking the last third. (Typically I love working out in the heat but this just didn’t feel right.)

Everything else
I biked outside on the highway a handful of times. It felt great, but I am definitely more cautious pregnant and didn’t love riding beside speeding vehicles.

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The trainer and I became good friends this summer!

I’ve continued with strength training two to three times a week, sometimes alone and sometimes as part of a circuit.

I SUPed quite a bit this summer and made sure to do it at an easy pace. Before I found out I was pregnant I paddled hard one day. My back and chest were so sore it hurt to even breath! Once I found out, I didn’t push it and just did it for leisure.

For hiking I used my hiking poles to help with the steep inclines and declines, and for overall balance. And Kelly was a champ and would pack litres and litres of water!

I have also really concentrated on strengthening my hips, as the majority of what I’ve read about pregnancy talks about the damage it can do to your hips.

Lastly, I’ve been trying to do prenatal yoga once a week. It’s a gentle stretch and feels great for my body and my soul! (I’ve been using the Shiva Rea GAIAM Prenatal Yoga DVD, but I’d love to sign up for a prenatal class at a studio.)

Overall I’ve tried to listen to my body. If something doesn’t feel right I’ll ease off or stop altogether. It has definitely been an adjustment to decrease my activity level (I would get too tired when I tried to do my norm).

If you have any questions, let me know! Once I safely make it out of my second trimester (yikes- only six weeks away!) I’ll write another update. Hopefully I’ll still be running!

Do you carry water when you run? Do you eat before a morning workout?

The walk of shame

You know what I’m talking about…
…things didn’t go as planned.
…maybe you feel sheepish or a bit embarrassed.
…sometimes you even have to swallow back tears.

I’m not talking about that walk of shame.

I’m talking about when you go for a run only to find out you’re hurt or sick and have to walk the rest of the way home.

I’m no stranger to it: I’ve walked for long distances, I’ve called family to pick me up, I’ve walked in the middle of winter when my clothes are soaked with sweat and not nearly warm enough (one of the main reasons I always try to run with a phone now!).

It’s happened to Kelly, and I’ve run home to get a vehicle, we’ve called family, and he’s even hopped in a passing cab.

With the exception of one time (gut-wrenching cramps), it’s always due to injury-related pain that stops me from going any further.

I’ve had the walk of shame a few times in as many weeks.

Luckily I haven’t made it more than a block from home, so it’s been a short walk. That doesn’t mean tears of frustration don’t threaten to bubble out. Unluckily, it means I wasn’t able to go more than a block without intense pain.

After my IMS treatment, pain moved into the upper calf muscles of my left side. It was so sharp and severe I had to stop immediately. It felt like something was going to explode.

I talked to a few people about it. One physiotherapist thought it was just really tight calf muscles, so he gave me stretches to work it out. (Unfortunately, those gave me knee pain!) Another person thought it was a bursa sac bothering me.

I stretched the best I could, tried to roll it (so painful), used tiger balm, and wore compression socks.

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I’m not out of the woods yet, but it’s been feeling much better. I ran on the treadmill last weekend so I wouldn’t have to walk home dejected (again) if the pain came back. It was a success! I ran again on Wednesday on the treadmill, incorporating six miles into a circuit.

On Saturday I rode long (and at better watts than ever before for 80km/50 miles). I’ve been itching for a good run in our spring weather, so Kelly and I planned a Sunday morning date.  We went for about an hour and 20 minutes and my calf felt awesome!

My left hip and hamstring got pretty tight, but I’m going to baby them for a few days and stick to strength and cycling.

I miss doing all my workouts in the fresh air!

Kelly’s gone mountain biking the last two weekends, but I’m not brave enough to go in freezing temps. Hopefully soon.

Have you experienced the walk of shame? (Either definition…no judgment!)
Tell me about it! 

Running with the Kenyans – a book review

I’ve read lots of books since my last review. Some were incredible and others were a struggle to finish.

One of my recent favourite running related books is Running with the Kenyans, Discovering the secrets of the fastest people on earth by Adharanand Finn.

I loved this book! It made me want to run and run…and run. (I read it a few months ago so can’t give a great review.)

The author moves his family from England to Iten, Kenya to see if he can discover why Kenyans are the fastest people in the running world.

Along with the theme of running, there are great side stories about his family making their way in a foreign country.

Finn trains with Kenyans, he talks to them and their coaches, and he befriends them. He runs at high altitudes and follows their diet. In the end, his running improves. But does he find the secret?

“In the end there was no elixir, no running gene, no secret that you could neatly package up and present with flashing lights and fireworks….it was everything and nothing.”

The book is current and includes many cameos by the world’s best runners. The statistics of Kenyans are simply amazing.

Each chapter also begins with a quote. Here are a couple that I loved.

“No race begins at the start line.”  – Haile Gebrselassie

“Ask yourself, ‘Can I give more?’ The answer is usually ‘Yes.’ – Paul Tergat, Kenyan athlete.

I highly recommend Running with the Kenyans. Read it to learn more about the fascinating lives of Kenyan runners and to inspire you to become better. Maybe you shouldn’t read it if you have wanderlust; it’ll make you want to move to Kenya, or at least visit, so you can become immersed in the Kenyan running world!

Have you read this book? What do you think is the Kenyans secret to success?