How I Ran Through my Pregnancy

Before I get to my current life with a newborn I wanted to back up and talk about being pregnant. It was really important to me that I remained active right up until the end because exercise is what keeps me sane! I ran until about 34 weeks and worked out in other ways right up until the day I delivered. In fact, I went to a kickboxing class about 2 hours before I went into labor.

1) Intervals
"Racing" at 18 weeks pregnant = just having fun
It was summer during my first trimester, so I started introducing intervals into my running as a way to cool down my body and keep myself from overheating. I started with 5-6 minutes of running and then a minute of walking. I also had terrible nausea, so breaking my runs up into small segments made it mentally a lot easier to get out there. As I got larger and it got harder to breathe, and more uncomfortable to run, I started shortening my run intervals so I was taking more frequent walk breaks. At the very end I was doing 30 seconds of running and 30 seconds of walking- but I figured that any running was better than none at all!

2) Lowering Expectations/Getting Rid of Technology
I'm a very goal oriented person so it was hard to adjust to the mind-set that I was no longer training. I wasn't trying to run faster or further. I was just trying to stay healthy and sane. To help myself I turned off the GPS on my Garmin and stopped wearing my Fitbit. Not seeing my pace and not striving for a certain number of steps every day really helped me to just listen to my body.

3) Changing up my Location
I ran my normal road routes near my house for my first trimester and the first half of my second. As the baby grew and was heavier, I moved to the track and crushed gravel trails to help provide a little bit of cushion. As I got into my third trimester, I stuck primarily to the track because it had a bathroom, which I needed to use often! Once we started getting snow and ice, I moved inside to the indoor track or treadmill because I didn't want to risk falling (and because they took away the porta-potties at the outdoor track).

4) Fuel and Hydrate
I've always been an early morning runner so I used to just roll out of bed and hit the road. When I was pregnant though, I woke up starving (once the morning sickness wore off that is). I knew it was extra important to keep my blood sugar stable and stay hydrated while pregnant, so I started taking the time to drink a glass of water and eat something before I went running.

Overall, exercising while pregnant was just about listening to my body and adapting. Letting go of expectations and my competitive side was hard, but in the end it wasn't about me anymore, it was about growing a healthy baby.