December 3, 2012

running while pregnant - the second trimester

I feel a wee bit funny writing this post, considering my running has been incredibly sparse the last four weeks, but oh well.  Twice a week I have been tossing in some intervals, and reaching somewhere between 1-1.5 miles of jogging during those workouts.

Basically in the second trimester I hit the highest of highs and lowest of lows as far as running is concerned.  Weeks 13-17?  AMAZING.  Don't get me wrong, things were still tougher than they used to be, but I was feeling better and I didn't really have a belly yet.  I didn't have to pee every 20 minutes.  I more or less felt like myself, just a little slower.  I could manage a six mile run without a walk break and still feel really good.  My mileage was back to what it was before I was pregnant.  If I could do it all over again I would have ran a half marathon at 18 weeks, 20 weeks at the latest.

Around the 18 week mark is when things started to get tough.  My belly was growing, and it definitely put a strain on my ligaments.  I'd feel relatively fine during a run, with the occasional side cramp, but shortly after EVERYTHING below my waist would be sore.  By the next day I was fine again, it was just the initial couple of hours after a long run that were pretty brutal.  In general it was only after a run/workout over five miles though.

During the second trimester I also started suffering from shin splints.  That could be attributed to needing new shoes, as well as my slower pace.  Slowing down changed my stride, putting more stress on muscles that hadn't had to do all the work before.  I think had I cut my mileage down around the 18-20 week mark, it would have been better, but I held out until after the half marathon at 22 weeks.  That half was tough, and I did have to stop for a walk break once (plus walking through a good portion of the aid stations), but overall I felt pretty good.  I finished strong and had a good time.  I may have only regretted running the race an hour or two afterwards when the soreness was at it's peak, but again by the next day I was fine.

After the half I slashed my mileage, but continued going strong with minimal walk breaks here and there.  Until just after 24 weeks I tried to go too fast and pulled something in my hip.  Since then running just hasn't been the same.  I basically couldn't run from weeks 24-26.  Now I'm 100% limited to short running intervals (pretty much no more than a quarter of a mile without some sort of walk break).  Most of the issue is in my hip, and though it is obviously pregnancy related, I don't necessarily feel like the belly is hindering me.  Just my darn hip flexor.  I have yet to get any sort of belly band to wear while working out.  I haven't wanted to deal with figuring out which one is the best and how to wear it, you know, stupid stuff like that.

darn tops aren't going to be gym appropriate anymore...

Other issues I started dealing with after 25ish weeks were having to pee A LOT and my running clothes becoming incredibly uncomfortable.  I have a very select few tops that are long enough to cover the belly, and my pants are stretched to their max.  I really didn't want to buy any new workout gear, but I think I'm going to have to figure something out.  I still plan to get in some sort of exercise at least four times a week, and what I've got in my drawers just isn't going to cut it.

To round out all this rambling, my biggest tip for the second trimester is simply to listen to your body.  Obviously that is always important, and especially during all of pregnancy.  But during the end of the second trimester is when you're really going to start to slow down, and it is important to take note of how you're feeling.  Walk when you need to.  If you aren't feeling up for running that day, don't do it.  You're only pregnant for a short amount of time.  Take care of your body and your growing baby.  Oh, and stretch.  Don't forget to stretch when you're done with your workout :o).

To read about my experience running during the first trimester, go here.


Link up your health and fitness related posts below!


Crazycurls said...

I was a huge fan of Old Navy maternity clothes when I was pregnant. I bought jeans and some work pants from a more expensive store but for tee shirts and yoga pants I went to ON. Good luck finding comfy workout clothes!

Anonymous said...

If you aren't concerned about "pretty" workout tops, I found that Hanes "A" shirts work well. I used them for workouts when pregnant. They aren't too low and are long enough to cover the belly. And when I didn't need them anymore I just passed them along to my husband since he wears them under his work shirts. Bonus!
They come in grey, white, and black, but I don't recommend the white since it is see through.

Bon Bon said...

Yes to stretching, and lots of it:-) 2nd trimester is my favorite for sure, (in regards to still being active and somewhat athletic-ish before the waddling begins). YOU look great! xoxo

Megan said...

You're doing great, Mama!

Anonymous said...

Have you tried spin classes? I used to be a skeptic, but they can get your heart rate up pretty well, and you can adjust the seat to fit your belly. otherwise, I am incredibly impressed, and your half marathon picture is just awesome!

heather fields