Saturday, November 24, 2012

Tales from a pregnant runner: When running becomes walking

A couple of weeks ago, Hubby went away for a 9-day boy-holiday and the girls and I stayed home for some quality oestrogen-filled, female time. This was fine except it meant I didn't really have the opportunity to run, and conversation was limited to sub-5-year-old topics most of the time. My ever-faithful running buddy Kat came to my rescue one afternoon and we took it in turns pushing the running pram over 5km (with a playground stop in the middle to appease the beasts). My bike, the trainer, some mediocre evening TV and myself got particularly well acquainted several times, and some new knicks made this a little bit interesting. I managed to hit the pool once and the girls and I also did quite a bit of walking. But it's just not running.

Hubby got back on Monday night, so on Tuesday I escaped for a little "me time". I headed out for 4kms, with a mid-way break to drink and stretch. I think bubs must be engaging because things felt quite different. I was cramping a little more than usual, my pelvis felt like it was being pulled apart, and when I got home I had to check that my cervix wasn't actually between my knees like I suspected. Mentally it was great to get out there but physically it was difficult. I had my suspicions that might be my last run, at 30 weeks.

Wednesday I decided to rest (read: casual 4km walk at Chicky's cycling pace while pushing Poppet in the pram). Thursday night I went to step, and had the best class I've had in weeks. Full of energy, no niggles, none of that pelvis-pulling-apart feeling of Tuesday and no cramps. Friday I cycled and again felt good so thought I'd try my luck at a run/walk combo on Saturday morning. I began running (slowly, 6:10ish pace) and felt ok for a while, but by 500m I thought I'd only make 1km then walk for a bit. By 800m I was cramping so stopped. I thought I'd see how I was feeling after a km of walking and maybe run for bit more, but walking just felt so much better. I was power walking, not just strolling (the whole arm swinging thing and everything), and I began to monitor my pace (because who really knows how fast they walk). I was hovering around 9min/kms, which for a runner sounds PAINFULLY slow, but it was enough to keep a moderate heart rate and slightly laboured breathing. I managed to keep my pace sub 9min/kms and finished 6km total in about 52 mins. So, the new goal: sub 9min/kms while walking, 2 x 6km walks a week (plus step, swimming and cycling until any of those become too uncomfortable). I was a little sad to think I may not run again until after bubs is born, but at 31 weeks pregnant I'm ok with where I'm at. Who knows, maybe on a good day I'll be able to throw a km of running into one of my walks, but if not then I'll get back to it on the flip side.

This morning I was proud to cheer on my best friend in her longest run to date - a 7.5km race. While I couldn't run with her, I could be there for her, and be the super proud friend, camera in hand, as she crossed the finish line under her goal time.

1 comment:

  1. You've certainly kept active over the pregnancy, Pam! Take it easy, won't you? PS. Mahlep in the mail - didn't get to the PO until Friday, sorry! x