Monday, March 29, 2010

Exercising while pregnant - my perspective...

I read a lot about pregnancy these days and I see everywhere that it is recommended for pregnant women to exercise - to do moderate activities every day... Things that are most ofthe time in the safe to do list:

  • yoga
  • walking
  • dancing
  • swimming
  • some strength training
  • etc.

There are many conflicting ideas about running - though most sources I read say that it's safe so long as you were a runner before becoming pregnant and so long as you get the ok from your caregiver - which I do...

Now, I am still registered to run for Harry's 8k on April 3rd, and Ottawa's 10k on May 29th (I registered before becoming pregnant...) and while I have not moved much for the first 3 months of my pregnancy (the 24/7 nausea from hell preventing me to do LOTS of things, or at least making it very unpleasant and uncomfortable to do anything) I have started again recently, slowly, to exercise, as my symptoms seem to, somewhat intermittently, want to subside.

I ran this weekend for the first time since January - it was interesting... I tried to keep an eye on my heart rate monitor to avoid running for too long on a high heart rate. Well, I ended up running for 3 minutes then walking for 2, and starting again... At this point I am thinking 2 things:

  1. I am rusty just the way I would be even if I wasn't pregnant and hadn't run for months, and I need to build up my strength again, gradually...
  2. Maybe I am not that rusty, but I just can't run that much anymore because I am pregnant...

So I ended up doing the safe thing midway into my running session - walking fast and not running anymore... I figured that if I go to those races and have to walk fast the whole 8k or 10k, well I'll just do that...

Results: it took me 50 minutes to do 5.21km. Now I'm not that great at math, but I think it means that, at that same pace, I would do an 8k in about 76 minutes, or roughly 80 minutes (1h20 minutes...) I used to run 5kms in 33 minutes approx. (53 mins for an 8k at the 5k pace...) so that's an extra 27 minutes... not that bad I think... but I would like to push some more - I would like a better time than that... (Don't worry, if I don't 'feel right' I'll walk the whole time, I don't mind at all... ) Right now it kind of feels like I'm being extra careful, maybe too careful...

I was thinking of that this weekend and remembered how Jess from 21 days, ran during her pregnancy and was pretty successful at it. I went back in time to read how she felt about the whole thing during her first trimester... I came across this interesting post:

''Doing my Research''

So I think I am going to try and push a little more. Now I am realistic and realize that we're very close to April 3rd and probably won't have a fabulous time at the end of the race (Especially since I know that the race course is really hilly...) But I will certainly train on my treadmill and push it a little more, and try to be as 'well trained' as I can be for the 10km in Ottawa...

That will be my last race before I have a baby! I'm kind of sad to have to skip racing this year - I wanted to try and do a half marathon at the end of this year, I was psyched to train really seriously and run more and farther... I guess I have to postpone that! In the meantime, I am going to train and run for as long as I can. And on alternate days, I will try other things that are part of the 'safe to do' list :)

Still to come: How I am preparing for baby - How I announced I was pregnant to hubby and how I plan to raise my baby given that we are a bilingual household (very good question - thank you Tash!)

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