Running Buddy and Bodies are AMAZING!

At 19 weeks pregnant, I’ve reunited with an old running friend! Her name is Gabrialla and she’s… my maternity support belt!

There she is! Gabrialla has been with me since my first pregnancy and is still going strong for baby #3!

There she is! Gabrialla has been with me since my first pregnancy and is still going strong for baby #3!

I started using maternity support belts during my first pregnancy (after 20 weeks) and started using them at 18 weeks last time around. I love them and recommend them to everyone but it’s important to check your expectations before purchasing one. It’s kind of like when you have a great first date and one of you is thinking “wow, this is my soulmate!” and the other person is thinking “what a great time! I’d love to casually date this person!” No one is ever going to be happy in that situation. I feel like a lot of people have unrealistic expectations about the support belts so let me tell you some things I’ve learned about them. The maternity support belt will NOT:

  • make all of your runs magical
  • completely get rid of round ligament pain
  • stop braxton hicks contractions
  • stop the need to pee every mile or so on the run
  • feel good on every run (most days I feel better having it on, but I have runs where I pull it off and carry it home because it’s umcomfortable)

I like the support belts because they make me feel less pain and discomfort on MOST days. Like I said above, sometimes the baby is in a strange position and there’s just no way to get comfortable. Support belts are not made of magic and won’t cure every ache. I wear them because I feel more supported in my belly area and in my back as well. I just feel more compact and held together, which is somewhat silly since the baby isn’t swinging around or going anywhere when I run, but it just feels more comfortable to me.

I wrote a post about my 2 maternity support bands and the sizing I recommend during my last pregnancy. All the info is the same so Here is the link. I put some information in the beginning and then you can scroll down to the bottom of the post for brands and sizing info. I only have 2 bands (I use Gabrialla the most by far) and they both lasted through heavy use in my first 2 pregnancies and show no sign of breakdown so I think they are worth the money. I’m not affiliated with either of these companies and purchased the belts full price for myself 6 years ago!

Here's a front view of where I position my maternity support belt for the most comfort on my runs. I usually wear a layer under it so I don't have to clean it as often, but took this picture of bare skin to show the position better.

Here’s a front view of where I position my maternity support belt for the most comfort on my runs. I usually wear a layer under it so I don’t have to clean it as often, but took this picture of bare skin to show the position better. This was taken of me before my run this morning when I was severely overdressed after freezing while walking my daughter 1.4 miles roundtrip to bus stop in the cold rain.

Seriously, aren’t our bodies just AMAZING?! I mean they can grow a human, stretch like crazy and then come back and help us achieve big things in sport and life. Our bodies really know how to rise to any occasion. It’s mind blowing!

Speaking of amazing things the body can do, I had an experience recently (nothing to do with pregnancy) that I can’t quit obsessing over. Almost a month ago, we had a busy weekend on tap. My daughter was finally having the Halloween party she had been asking to have for 3 years. The kids were really excited. In addition, my husband’s college roommates were in town and staying with us for the weekend. These are all great things, but whenever I’m hosting anything I’m very excited and want to be overly accommodating so I’m a little high strung (in a good way, right, right?!)

I went out for a quick run the morning of the party and twisted my foot/ankle badly. I was instantly worried about it, couldn’t put initial pressure on it, and started to hobble/walk home. Then I thought about how I had to be back for the kids while the college roommates and husband had brunch and I just started running. The pain went away and I was shocked I could run home! I made it home (only a bit over a mile) and showered, party prepped, had an awesome party, cleaned up and all day didn’t think once about pain in my foot/ankle. It was like the mini-injury on the trail never happened.

When all the busy-ness of the day ended and we were driving to a restaurant (Bigham Tavern, no relation!) for dinner, I started getting severe pains in my foot/ankle area. Within minutes, the pains in my foot felt similar to the labor pain I felt when I was being taken to the hospital to deliver my son! By the time we arrived at Bigham Tavern, I couldn’t eat. I thought I was going to be sick. Then I started feeling faint. We ended up calling an uber to take us to our car just blocks away. When I got home I looked at my foot and it had doubled in size! Although I rarely take medication, I took some Tylenol and started doing ice and heat+epsom salt contrast baths. I was reduced to crawling around my house. I literally could not put any amount of weight on my foot. When the Tylenol started to take effect, I was able to sleep, but I had to take 4 days off running.

The next few days I just couldn’t get the situation out of my head. I concluded my body must have totally gone into “fight or flight” mode. It seems silly to think that just having 3 friends staying at your house and hosting twelve 5-year-olds and their parents for a Halloween party could put a person into “survival mode” but it did. AND… how cool is that? I survived a whole day running around on a foot injury without noticing a thing. A foot injury that required 4 days off running and had reduced me to literally crawling around my house! While I never want to be in a life threatening situation, the experience gave me so much confidence in myself and my capabilities if a real life threatening experience would arise! AH! I love the human body and I’m trying to tap into the experience a bit and tie it into my running after I have baby #3!

Anyone have similar stories of where their body did something totally awesome that blew their mind?! I would love to hear them! This experience really made me realize there’s always a way to dig deeper, always another level of hurt we can conquer!

It’s a…

These two little sweeties are excited to add a baby brother to the cuddlefest!

These two little sweeties are excited to add a baby brother to the cuddlefest!

It’s a boy! We found out earlier this week we are having another little boy! My husband and I have never had a preference on boy or girl – we both say we’d love a house full of either/or – but we are excited to see the little guy kicking around and looking as healthy as can be.

Last photo of me before my ultrasound revealing baby #3 is a boy!

Last photo of me before my ultrasound revealing baby #3 is a boy!

In awesome, daily-life-changing-news, my nausea has gone away! I can enjoy the tastes of all foods/drinks again and I am not stopped in my tracks to gag while running! The nausea lifted at 17 weeks which is the longest it’s lasted for me during pregnancy. I won’t complain because people go through MUCH worse and I have been able to eat and sleep and function like a normal person for the most part. A text from Ashley described my feelings best – “like a perpetual hangover”. All day every day! Ah! Happy to be feeling better now!

As far as running goes, I’m still chugging along, doing 2-7 miles a day, usually more like 3 miles. I have to laugh at myself because before I got pregnant I was running 70-80 miles a week, at least an hour a day. Then I got pregnant and like usual a switch flipped and I had zero desire to train like an elite runner. I was a half mile into an evening run this week and I was feeling like poo. I decided to do small loops around my house so I could stop at any time. I just wanted to get to 1 mile (I ended up doing 2 miles). I wasn’t sad about it at all. I was just thinking of the countless friends/family members/athletes I’ve coached, who are so proud to run a mile for the first time. A mile is really quite a big deal! And I was happy I got out there.

Bathroom selfie taken at 18 weeks after a 3 mile evening run.

Bathroom selfie taken at 18 weeks after a 3 mile evening run.

I don’t claim know the secrets to life or to a successful pregnancy, but I think this change of mindset during pregnancy is the reason I have been able to run up until the day I gave birth to both of my children. I think it’s easy to say “I’m slowing down” or “running more than 1/2 mile is painful so why even go out there” but I go into my pregnancies totally elated any day I complete any exercise. I don’t try to compete with what I was doing pre-pregnancy or even previous pregnancies because it doesn’t matter. I just do what feels right each day. (That being said, I think it’s fine to completely hang up your running shoes during pregnancy and find some other activity that you enjoy. You don’t have to keep running during pregnancy if it’s not working for you!)

Here is where I have to throw in 3 awesome tidbits I’ve taken from other runners lately:

  • On the RunnersConnect podcast with Carrie Tollefson, she spoke a bit about running while pregnant and adjusting expectations and said something to the effect of “maybe you can’t go 10 miles, but you can go 5.” I highly recommend this podcast for pregnant runners but also for the general public since Carrie talks about having a life beyond running and life balance.
  • On the RunnersConnect podcast with the Hungry Runner Girl, she spoke about how “running will always be there”. She was referring to injury and life circumstances, but since I’m expecting, I related it to pregnancy. It can definitely be seen as a bummer that if you want to have a baby you might have to take 2+ years out of competitive running (getting pregnant, being pregnant, returning to top form), but your running will always be there for you if you want. I understand aging is a factor people worry about but look at examples like Molly, who ran a marathon PR and got an Olympic Trials Qualifying time at the age of 47! Or Catherine, another inspiring masters runner who is killing it. Or the 22, yes 22 masters runners who qualified for the last marathon Olympic Trials. Or countless grannies who are out there just getting their daily miles in, enjoying life!
  • At a talk given by Erin (also known as Jungle Chicken) who is mostly social media-less, but is well known and loved in the running community – she spoke about how running will always be there for you and love you in whatever way it can. Her talk wasn’t about pregnancy at all, but I think back to her talk often now that I’m expecting because my running has changed but it’s still there and I know it will be there (and I have a feeling better than ever) after I’m holding my new little sweetheart in my arms.

All of that being said, I had a REALLY hard time dealing with running in October. As the weather turned perfect for racing and my fall goal marathon got closer and closer (the goal I had before I found out “oh hey, I’ve been feeling so horrible lately because I’m pregnant!”), I felt like I was experiencing a loss of sorts. I wasn’t sad to be pregnant or regretful of any way my life was changing, but I couldn’t stop thinking of the goal I had been working towards since I had my last baby and all the hard work I put in that would never come to fruition. I had 3 almost completely sleepless nights mourning the “loss” and many days where I went through my life feeling a bit bummed out. I asked my husband “what will make this better?!” and he simply responded “time”. He was right. Actually, just talking to him and a few friends made the sadness pass much quicker than I expected. I also thought about the 3 tidbits I shared above and they helped me cope.

What a bummer way to end this post, but I’ll wrap things up now. I always have a goal to update the blog more frequently, let’s see if I accomplish that this time around. Thanks for following along and for all the wonderful comments and messages about baby #3!

One Week Post Baby

Wells was born one week ago! (That was true when I started this post on Friday, now he’s 9 days old!)

I’m feeling good. Good enough to run? Not yet! If you’ve had a baby, you know that your belly is just a squishy mess for the first few weeks (and you are bleeding, and maybe you are sore from delivery, and maybe you are sore from engorgement, this list could go on for awhile!) I know some women start right back up to running, but I took 4 weeks off after having Currie and came back really healthy, recovered and strong and I want to do the same this time so I will wait until my belly and body are feeling more normal. I definitely feel like I’m recovering quicker after this delivery than last so maybe I will start back up a bit sooner. Time will tell!

Normal daily life feels good. In fact, I have been walking 1-2 miles a day (taking Currie to school or the library, going to get ice cream, heading to the drugstore, etc) and feel great moving around! I hadn’t even thought about running or exercise in general until I saw all the awesome performances from 5k-marathon for many of my twitter buddies and I started getting the itch to get super active again! At the same time, I am determined to be cautious and have a healthy training cycle post baby so running will wait!

In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to see how my body progresses and transforms on the way to my first race (and maybe even goal race. We will see how long I can keep this up!) I took pictures of myself from all 4 sides in my racing apparel, at the one week post baby mark. Oddly enough, I’m wearing Oiselle competition briefs. (AKA bunhuggers!) I haven’t worn buns since college. In fact, if you’ve followed me on twitter for awhile, you’ve probably seen me tweet about why anyone would choose to race in buns. I used to think the best part of being done with college running was being done with buns. For some reason, when I was pregnant with Wells, I got an urge to race in them again. (Probably partly inspired by my buddies who race in them, including Oiselle teammates, specifically Hollie, Sarah Mac, Marci, and let’s not forget FastK8!) So, when Wells was a few days old, I placed the order and made it official. I will be racing in buns again! My husband had a little chuckle when I asked him to take these pics because he knows my previous feelings about racing in briefs. I really like the Oiselle ones because they fit well and have more coverage than brands of the past. See Week One pics below!

Week 1!

There’s the first week update! I will look to all of you, my running buddies, for more inspiration as I get back into running! Thanks for all your kind words after Wells’ birth!

Wells — the Birth Story

Wells Philip was born on September 27th at 12:11pm. He is such a sweet little guy! We love him to pieces and are all doing well! I wanted to record what happened before I forget… because I had to go through this labor alone and it all went so quickly…

The day started off like any other day. I woke up, Jeff and I walked Currie to school and sipped on coffee at a local spot, I tweeted up a storm, and then I went for a run. I stopped to take a picture of the Great Race sign half a mile from my house, took a few more steps and my water broke right under the start banner!

great race pittsburgh start line

I took this picture with my iPhone literally SECONDS before my water broke!

I stood there, laughed, then realized I needed to start making some calls – Jeff, my in-laws who were on Currie watch duty and had a 3 hour drive, my parents who were to be in delivery room with me and Jeff and had a 5 hour drive, Currie’s school saying we would pick her up early, and my OB office saying we were on our way to the hospital. It was 10:15am.

I also laughed because I realized I had to get trucking home. I wasn’t having contractions until my water broke, but they were coming fast and furious once it did. THANK GOODNESS I was wearing my Roga Shorts, specifically in black. When your water breaks, you don’t really want to be in public. If you are, you want to be wearing performance gear. I think the water breaking was unrecognizable to others around me thanks to the Rogas! The “water” dribbled right down and off the shorts (no big apparent wet spot, whew!)

Super classy pic of me standing on bidet after arriving home, happy that no one could see a big wet area on my shorts! Too bad you can’t tell in this picture anyway.

Back view!

Nobody answered on the first call, but fortunately Jeff, my mom, and Jeff’s mom all called me back in a couple of minutes and said they were on their way.

My contractions started to get really intense and really close together once I was home. I took a shower, and Jeff arrived. We picked Currie up at school, and then got to the hospital at around 11:25am. At this point, we weren’t really rushing, but I had a feeling this labor was going to be much quicker than my previous one. I couldn’t talk through my contractions and they seemed to be coming one on top of the other. Currie was trying to tell me all about her day but I was unable to carry on the conversation without heavy breathing and moaning.

Waiting at registration, breathing through a contraction. Currie is most likely texting someone…

By the time we pulled into the hospital, it was clear that we should valet park the car. The lady at reception was really slow. When I finally got admitted, they found (TMI ALERT!) I was already 9 centimeters dilated!  They realized what I already knew — I was giving birth NOW!  They rushed me to the labor room, and Wells was born with only 3 pushes at 12:11pm.

In real time, it all happened so fast that we weren’t able to find anyone to watch Currie, so I had to go through labor without Jeff, all by myself! Fortunately, a friend of his came to watch Currie so Jeff got in the delivery room just after Wells was born. (Big thanks to Niki Kittur!)

It felt much longer… my goal all along was to try for a natural birth with no drugs, but when I got to the hospital I definitely wanted drugs! (I had “planned” a natural birth for Currie, but had an epidural after not progressing without it. Labor with her was 35 hours! This time I had an open mind… I think all moms are super rockstars no mater how they deliver and I knew I wanted to try no drugs, but was open to anything.) The pain with Wells was the most intense that I could imagine, and then it got worse. I was so close to delivery when I arrived that they weren’t able to give me anything — not even time enough to put in an IV, which they always want to do in case I would need it for another reason. I was going all natural no matter what at this point. Fortunately, it was over very quickly and I was really lucky.

Not even two hours after my water broke on my run, I was holding Wells up against my chest. The experience was crazy, but ended perfectly :)

Happy to have Jeff and Currie in the delivery room within 10 minutes after Wells was born!

Chugging Along at 38 Weeks

I’m 38 weeks pregnant! Ah! I did this fun comparison of when I was exactly 38 weeks with Currie posing in our old playroom, and then a picture in our new house playroom with my current bump. I think I look pretty similar, but I think this baby is slightly bigger. What do you think? 

38 weeks pregnant

38 weeks with Currie on the left, 38 weeks with Baby Boy Bigham on the right. Both taken in toy rooms of different houses.

So, what’s new? I’m still chugging along with the running, but chuuuuuuuhhhhh…ggggingggggg slower by the day. I’m just running with a regular old Timex watch, and I glance down occasionally to see where I am, just because I’m curious. I always look down at the first street past my house, and it’s usually right around 1:00 exactly. Yesterday, it was 1:14. It doesn’t take a math wizard to know that’s a significant slow down in a week’s time. While I’m DYING TO RUN FAST AGAIN, I really don’t mind that my pace is slowing now. Afterall, I am giving birth in less than 2 weeks! The 14 second slow down is just a fun fact to chew on.

Another thing telling me I’m slowing down is: 3-year-old Currie is faster than me! Well, she’s not exactly faster than me, but she did legitimately beat me at the playground this week. We were taking turns running and timing laps around the blacktop area. I was conveniently dressed in running apparel as usual, and Currie wanted me to run a lap while she timed me with the iPhone. Then she did the same. I wasn’t really racing on my timed lap, but I thought I was keeping a respectable pace. As a side note, the only other parent on the playground, a dad who had 2 little ones, was all-but-begging me to stop running. He was sure he would be the one delivering my baby when I went into inevitable-running-induced-labor. I was shocked to look at the iPhone clock and see that Currie’s time, 42 seconds, beat my time of 43 seconds. Whoa! The kid can run, and I’m only getting slower…

Currie racing a real track meet a few months ago.

I know, she should have been racing in her Oiselle Weebird tank, but they weren’t out yet!

More evidence of slowing down… today I felt GREAT on my run. The weather was perfect! I was wonderfully caffeinated (not too much, not too little) from my first pumpkin spice latte of the season! (I know, I know, I talk about how I’m a straight up black coffee girl, but I make the exception for a few soy pumpkin spice lattes each fall.)

I don’t always drink pumpkin spice lattes, but when I do, I drink them without pants.

My body was just moving well and feeling in sync. I ran my WHOLE normal route, and took zero walk breaks. On a normal day when I run/walk and stop to walk at least 5-6 minutes this route takes 29 minutes. It took 27 today with no walk breaks… hmmm… math not adding up…

Have I beat this horse into the ground yet? Do you know to expect significant slow downs week 38 of pregnancy (if you are anything like me anyway)?!

I feel like I’ve complained a lot lately about all the rude comments I’ve received while running. Do you know lots of people are really supportive of my pregnant running? First of all, everyone I know IRL and interact with online is super supportive. Maybe a bunch of people will attack my blog/twitter/instagram with rude messages someday, but so far I’ve received nothing but supportive messages (THANK YOU ALL, I APPRECIATE IT! *Surround yourself with good people!) Everyone in my doctor’s office is really supportive of my running as well, and they comment about how healthy the baby is and I am because I run. Then today, a girl stopped me to say “You are so awesome! Just amazing! Look at you! Just look at you!” as she pointed back and forth from my belly to my legs running. Made me smile ear to ear.

Other than that, we are settling into our new home and I’m slowly getting unpacked. Baby Boy Bigham is welcome to stay in my belly as long as he wants… more time to get things organized around here! Will I make it to a 39 week and 40 week post? Time will tell…


37 Weeks + Argh Contractions!

36 weeks pregnant

36 weeks, pre-run from the new house!

It’s just about 3 weeks until my due date, and I’ve found myself having a really bad week physically. On Monday, the movers arrived with all of our stuff we haven’t seen since June! I was ready for a big day of directing them and starting to arrange things. My body had other plans. I felt nauseous all night on Sunday night and didn’t get much sleep. My “run” was more walking than anything and I just didn’t feel right. By the time the movers arrived, I was experiencing intense, painful, frequent contractions. Thankfully Jeff arrived home a few hours later and I was able to rest, the contractions stopped, and life went back to normal.

Tuesday and Wednesday workouts were the normal 3 mile run and a few miles walking.

Then came Thursday. I didn’t run because I missed the opportunity in the morning, it was too rainy for a stroller run later, and our treadmill wasn’t put together from the move. I was fine taking a day off. I had another rough night Thursday night where I felt nauseous, woke up on Friday feeling “off”, tried to run but was very uncomfortable so I did mostly walking and when I got home, the contractions started up in full force again! Any move I made triggered an almost-double-me-over-in-pain contraction (even brushing my teeth)! I told Jeff maybe my running days were over, even though the running didn’t seem to affect things. Friday night was sleepless and filled with stomach pains, but not really contractions (more like, ate too much dairy pains).

I was surprised to wake up feeling awesome on Saturday. I debated skipping my run, but it was 50 degrees and sunny and I just couldn’t resist trying. I briefly thought I could save my run until the end of the day, and if that’s what caused the contractions, at least I would be heading to bed shortly and my issues wouldn’t affect Currie’s day or my ability to get some unpacking done. Then I decided to just try a morning run and see what happened. I ended up going about 3.5 miles and feeling good the whole time! During pregnancy you just NEVER KNOW! Just like I said over 10 weeks ago in the good days, bad days post, things usually turn around. (At the same time, there’s no shame in saying “see-ya later running!” until pregnancy is over.) For me, running feels right most days so I continue to do it!

So, I’m just about 37 weeks now, and you can see me from 3 angles below!

37 weeks from 3 angles

37 weeks, 3 angles!

I see the doctor weekly now, and think about giving birth more often.

screenshot twitter

Things that Happen to Active Pregnant Ladies, especially in the final weeks:

I get odd looks when I’m running. Just yesterday a lady did a triple-take as I ran by. First time she looked at me, second time she stared straight at my belly, third time she stared straight at my belly again!

I get rude comments when I’m running. Last week a woman in my neighborhood shouted: “WHY ARE YOU RUNNING?! YOU’RE PREGNANT!”

I get funny comments when I walk Currie to school (1/2 mile walk): “You walk here every day? Don’t you get tired? Doesn’t your belly get heavy?”

Just a few more weeks to go and we will return to non-pregnant-Jen posts, and a few months later, racing like a maniac posts!

Not Your Average Craving

I’m coming up on 36 weeks pregnant!

35 weeks pregnant

Hotel pic before moving into our house a few days ago!

I was shopping at Trader Joes last night, stocking our new house with some essentials, and the cashier mentioned something about “baby’s cravings”. I smiled and said something like “yeah” just to get out of there quicker, but I’ve been lucky both pregnancies – I’ve had no food cravings. Sure, I’m hungry constantly, think the worst runger during marathon training, and feel like I’m always reaching for something, but it’s never the case where I JUST HAVE TO HAVE THIS CERTAIN FOOD RIGHT NOW!

mochi ice cream

Mochi, one of the things I like to buy at Trader Joes anytime, not a craving. :)

However, there is something I’m REALLY CRAVING, like I need it so badly and think about it ALL THE TIME – a good lung burn. The kind of lung burn I need is the kind that really only comes from a good speed session on the track. Even if I wanted to do real workouts during pregnancy, my body breaks down long before my lungs. After my pregnancy speed experiment, my body was sore for days. If I am running at a faster pace, say going downhill or I’m just feeling good that day, I start getting round ligament pain almost immediately and have to slow down. My lungs are missing that feeling they have known for so long. I get my heart rate up in my new neighborhood because it’s very hilly. I’m always running up or down! I just can’t get that amazing burn that comes from really fast running and I miss it so much!

Getting that lung burn during a 5k!

Pain face in my pain place!

Luckily, I have just about 4 weeks until Baby Boy Bigham arrives! I’m so excited to meet the little guy, snuggle him like crazy, and to get running fast again when my body starts to recover from giving birth! I had the hospital tour on Wednesday. I wouldn’t have gone again, but this is a new hospital in a new city and thought it would be good to know where to go on the big day!

We hung toward the back of the tour pack so we could take some photos without feeling silly. :) I just received my newest Oiselle Feather Hoodie and loved it so much I forced it to fit over the belly!

I’m a sweaty mess, but had to include this close up because the hoodie is that beautiful!

I’m still running shorter distances (2-3 miles for the most part) daily, walking quite a bit and trying to get our new house ready before the baby comes. I had a few tired days last week, but my energy is mostly back so hopefully I can keep up with running/walking/house prepping right up until my baby arrives! We shall see. I’m taking it day-by-day.


Energy Surge! 34 Weeks

pregnant shadow 33 weeks

34 week pregnant shadow

I’m 34 weeks pregnant! Running and life in general have been wonderful the past few weeks.

Let’s start with running: Ever since the 32 week mark, I’ve had a surge of energy (hello nesting) and my runs have felt easier and lighter (even though I’m getting heavier)!

33 weeks pregnant

Pic from 33 weeks pregnant. Feeling awesome!

I’ve been running 3-4 miles a day, and could go farther but figure that’s plenty. I get lots of exercise running around with Currie all day and there’s no need to go crazy since I have no running goals for the near future! For the most part, temperatures have been in the mid 60s on my runs so I haven’t been overheating and that’s definitely helped me feel better!

Onto life stuff:  Do you know we’ve been traveling around since the end of June when we sold our house in NY? We’ve been to the beach, we lived in Seattle for 3 weeks, we’ve spent time with friends and family in Ohio, and we done lots of house hunting in Pittsburgh!

Right now, we are in a hotel in Pittsburgh since we still don’t own a home. The good news is that we found a house and will be moving in officially on September 3rd. Too bad I haven’t been able to use any of this extra energy on getting our house ready. We will move in just about a month before Baby Boy Bigham is due. Hopefully the energy spike lasts!

Currie and I took a stroller run past our soon-to-be house Monday morning!

I really don’t like to complain about pregnancy because it’s all really wonderful and I feel lucky to have pretty “easy” pregnancies so far. But, in case you were wondering, the downsides of this part of pregnancy are:

  • I feel like I have to pee almost constantly, especially when running.
  • I get winded really easily. Going up stairs is a joke.
  • I have hip/sacrum discomfort if I’m standing too long. (clamshell exercise actually relieves this for me!)
  • I’m uncomfortable when sitting as my belly gets bigger.

Other than that, things are going great! I’m starting to plan post pregnancy running, racing, strength and coaching and sometimes I get so excited I forget how pregnant I really am!

 Is it acceptable to stalk your new house until you move in? I’m headed out to run by it again today!

When did you get a surge of energy (if ever!) during pregnancy?


A Little Experiment

29 week pregnant runner

Freshest belly pic, taken last night pre-run, at 29 weeks!

I’m 29 weeks pregnant and still “going strong” (surviving!) with running. We are currently in Seattle for three weeks and the perfect temps (60s, no humidity when I run in the morning) have really helped my running. My first Sunday here, I ran 6.5 miles with the Oiselle group and felt great the whole time. I’ve been doing more like 3 miles a day since then, plus a lot of walking and sightseeing. It’s funny how much of a tourist I become when I’m here even though I lived here for 5 years!

Let me tell you about a little experiment that took place right before we came to Seattle. I’ve had little itches here and there to do some fast running, and I mostly ignore them, other than my strides about a month ago. Still, back when I was about 23 weeks pregnant, I got this idea that I wanted to run a 90 second quarter (400 meters on the track). This has always been sort of a baseline for me no matter what running shape I’m in, I know I can always do a 90 second quarter (400 meters on the track, 6:00/mile pace). It’s like a comeback pace, a way to build confidence for track work after an injury/baby/etc.

After talking with some friends about 5k training, I got a little obsessed with running a 90 second quarter while pregnant. I just wanted to do one, to see how it felt, knowing I could back out at any point. I thought about it every day for about a month, then finally, when I was in the middle of my 27th week of pregnancy, officially in the 3rd trimester, I decided it was “now or never”.

27 week pregnant runner

27 weeks instagram pic, pre-run

27 week pregnant runner

27 week awkward front view!

27 week pregnant belly

27 weeks pregnant belly hanging with my dog nephews.

It was a warm, muggy, day in Amanda, Ohio and my baby belly was feeling pretty happy. I ran about 2.5 miles around town with my husband and told him we needed to stop at the track. My instructions to him were simple: pace me through a 90 second quarter. (He had no idea I’d been stewing over this “workout” for a month.) Within a minute of telling him the plan we were executing it. Honestly, it felt FAST from the start. I optimistically thought we were on pace for something in the low 80s. As we went through the first 100 meters, my husband said 22.5, right on pace! “Ah! Seriously? Ok, keep pushing. And the rest went like that until I finished in 89! Success!

I ran back to the little park where my car was parked, excited to still have some speed despite the growing belly and sore muscles all over that come with pregnancy. I did some good dynamic stretching (don’t skip the details!) and felt a little more proud than necessary for the rest of the day.

Speaking of running fast, did you hear about the new Oiselle Haute Volée team? You can read the blog post here. I’m so thrilled to be a part of this incredible group of speedy ladies! Reading their profiles makes me want to throw on some bunhuggers and get racing! Like I said on Twitter yesterday, I’m so excited to be growing Baby Boy Bigham, but can’t wait to start racing fast again ~ January 2014!


Good Days, Bad Days

I’m 26 weeks and I’ll be honest… exercise is getting hard!

25 weeks pregnant

I’m actually 25 weeks here, even bigger now!

My belly is getting larger, my blood volume is increasing and there are days where I just feel SLOW. I’m at the point where I briefly considered hanging up the running shoes last pregnancy. But, just like last time, I know I won’t. I’m just going through a rough patch and I’m not one to give up when things get rough.

Here’s a little nugget of advice about pregnant running. You aren’t always going to feel great. Some days will most likely feel horrible, and it’s ok to throw in the towel, just walk, call someone to come get you, whatever works. During my first pregnancy, I almost stopped running around 6 months. I was having bad runs every day for more than a week, the baby was always in a bad position, and I just wasn’t comfortable. BUT… I gave it some time, did plenty of walk-jogging, and before long I started feeling great again.

Then, around 7 months, I fell hard onto the asphalt on a run with my dad. I hurt my knee and hand pretty badly (lots of pain and blood) but belly seemed fine. Still, because I fell on my belly too, I went to the hospital. After 4 hours there, the doctor decided no harm was done and I was released. I questioned whether it was all worth it, but that was short lived. I ended up running until the day I went to the hospital to deliver.

The bottom line is, if you really want to run throughout your whole pregnancy and you hit a rough patch, don’t give up! Good days are probably just around the corner! For example- a few weeks ago, I woke at 5am to run before the heat set in. The baby was having none of this and sat in a really strange position for the first mile, to where I was feeling really uncomfortable and just decided to walk home. That meant I logged a mile of running and a mile of walking. The next day, I went 4 miles, and felt amazing. It was truly the best solo run I’ve had during pregnancy. I would have gone longer, but Jeff had to get to work, so I did a few pick-ups instead. Running “fast” felt awesome. The rest of that week I had great runs. Since then, things have been rough again. It’s a roller coaster, but I understand that and am ok with it!

I have a few new developments in baby land at 26 weeks. A few quick general things:

  • Fatigue is actually getting better. I’m finally able to make it through the day without feeling like I need a nap.
  • Belly/boobs getting bigger, rounder, heavier.
  • I’m starting to feel really hot all the time.
  • Belly button, what belly button? Seriously, it changes from completely flat to protruding. (sexy)
  • As far as running goes, I’m getting slower, both because I’m getting bigger and I’m not tolerating heat as well. Some women never notice feeling extra hot during pregnancy, but I become a furnace and have a really hard time dealing with heat.
  • I’ve been doing shorter runs, and taking walk breaks. I run every day, but some days are more walk/jogs and others are pure running. I just do whatever I feel like when I get out there.

For those of you who have been pregnant, when did you hit your rough patches? Were you able to stay active?