While I didn’t keep a defined exercise routine while pregnant, I did do a fair amount of running. Usually my runs were just short jaunts with the dogs often mixed with walking, but on two occasions I pinned on a bib number and toed the line of a local 5K. Here I am at the finish of the BBF 5K at 33 weeks pregnant, finishing in a blazing 38:58 for 3.1 miles:
(Photo credit: SeeKCRun)
Some have suggested that since I ran while pregnant, running after pregnancy shouldn’t be that big of a deal. I wouldn’t go that far – I’m definitely struggling out there right now…but in many of the same ways I struggled then. While there are many similarities between the two, it’s also just…different. See below:
Pregnant: There’s an instant (and valid) excuse to slow down or stop to walk to keep the heart rate down and breathing steady. The result is a slow, agonizing pace.
Post-Pregnant: No more excuses. Unfortunately, it’s been so long since I’ve allowed my heart rate to elevate and my breathing to quicken, it HURTS REAL BAD. The result is a slow, agonizing pace.
On Extra Weight.
Pregnant: I feel so heavy. Maybe this is like strength training; after having the baby, I’ll be able to run faster because I’ve been toting these extra pounds around!
Post-Pregnant: What? Now I get to push those pounds in front of me in the jogging stroller? Strength training indeed.
On Body Shape.
Pregnant: This belly is not only heavy and in the way, but pounding the pavement makes me feel like I’m about to pee my pants!
Post-Pregnant: These boobs are not only heavy and in the way, but pounding the pavement makes me feel like I’m about to leak through my sports bra!
Tomorrow Libby and I hit the pavement for the Farmstead Stampede 5K. Because of the challenges listed above, I’m using that 38:58 as my benchmark. If I’m better than that, awesome. If not, no big deal. This is an information-gathering event, to find out where I’m starting from.
My concerns aren’t about my ability to run – they are about logistics. Will Libby cooperate and allow me to go pick up race packets this afternoon? Will we have to wake her up in the morning to eat in order to make it to the starting line on time? What if she decides partway through the race that she doesn’t really care for this whole thing? This will be an adventure for all of us.