Friday, September 19, 2008

Looking Back: The First Trimester

Well, maybe this work blocking blogger thing is going to be a bit more difficult to deal with than I thought. I have been too busy outside of work to sit down and write, let alone awake enough when I have a free moment to write cogently. So, I am writing at work and then e-mailing to my sister (Miss Adventurous—I can’t do links, so check out her blog at who will then post the text for me. I will get around the stupid barriers! I might not have hyperlinks or formatting or pictures, but I will still blog at work while I have working brain cells each day!

So, yesterday marked 30 weeks of peanut. Can you believe it? That’s a lot of weeks! (Perhaps more significantly, very few weeks left to go!) I’m still feeling pretty good and still running. In fact, next Saturday (not tomorrow, the next one) is the relay. The relay may or may not be the end of my pregnant running. I think I will tone it down at least. We shall see. Anyway, to commemorate 30 weeks of running and pregnancy and the potential end to this era I thought it was time to take a look back. Today’s post is a look back at the first trimester.

Weeks 1-4

Let’s start way back in February. I decided that getting pregnant meant switching my physical gears: time to ease off the training and focus on gaining a couple of happy pounds and getting the old endocrine system all normalized. Little did I know all it would take was one week of that. I ran a 50+ mile week the first week of March and then mrp and I went on our trip to the Vegas and the Grand Canyon and the slack started! Well, in the running department anyway. I came back from the trip with 11.25 miles under my belt and a little zygote in my belly. The following week I ran 23 uneventful easy miles and then the week after that I knew something was up. I ran 21.5 miles, but it was the Thursday 6 miler with my friend LT that got me thinking. We ran my normal easy 8:00 pace but I was so out of breath I couldn’t talk. It was a weird feeling and one I had never felt before. That Sunday my period was 2 days late so I took a test and the rest is history.

Week 1: 51 miles with 15k race at 6:57 pace.
Week 2: 11.25 out west
Week 3: 23 easy miles
Week 4: 21.5 easy miles

Weeks 5-9

I was committed to continue running, but I’ll readily admit I was scared. There are a lot of mixed messages out there. Some schools say continue right on with marathon training while others are far more cautious. I decided to be cautious at least at first, especially after I had some spotting early in my 5th week. After 13.5 miles in 3 runs that week I decided to trade the runs for walking. I finally (it felt like it took FOREVER to finally see my midwife and get medical confirmation that I was pregnant) got in to see my midwife at 7 weeks and at the appointment she assured me to continue running as long as I was comfortable. So, cautiously I started back up. I ran slow as heck. My first run back mrp clocked me with the Garmin at 10:40 pace. Within a couple of days I was back around 9:40 or so. Even so, I felt like heck. I had nausea day and night that could only be cured by eating almost constantly. I put on a pound a week, which continued through 24 weeks! (My weight gain has since slowed down tremendously—I gained nothing between 24 and 28 weeks!) I found that although the last thing I wanted to do was head out for a run when I was beyond exhausted and on the verge of puking, if I made it out it would buy me a couple of hours in the afternoon in which I might actually feel almost normal. It really did make me feel better. I only managed to get out 4 times a week and a little over 20 miles per week during these weeks. At week 9 we had our first ultrasound and saw peanut for the first time. Mrp and I cried as we watched his little heart race on the monitor. Peanut was doing great and this gave me confidence that I was doing something right (or at least nothing too wrong!)

Week 5: 13.5 easy miles
Week 6: 0 miles
Week 7: 12.5 incredibly slow miles
Week 8: 20.5 less slow, but still pretty slow miles
Week 9: 22.5 getting back into a groove (a slow groove, but still a groove) miles

Weeks 10-14

Peanut was welcomed to week 10 of his gestation with a bang when we were rear-ended on our way to work one morning. Both mrp and I ended up with a bad case of whiplash. I also ended up with a horrible cold and days of worrying about peanut. When we made it into see our midwife a few days after the accident and we heard peanut’s heartbeat on the fetal Doppler mrp and I both sobbed. It was one of those magic moments I will never forget. I needed a few days to recover from the accident. I ran 5 miles the week after the accident and then got back on the pony with 23 miles in 5 runs the following week. And then I started to feel better! The nausea was not gone by a long shot but it was definitely letting up a lot. The weather was getting nicer. The second trimester safety zone was fast approaching and I seized the opportunity to ramp it up a bit. I ran 35.75 miles in my 13th week, including my first race with peanut. We ran a hilly 5.25 miles race averaging 8:13 pace. However, it was more like a couple miles at 9:00 pace followed by 3.25 around 7:30 pace. I ran a total of 7.5 miles that day with 5.25 somewhat hard. Yeah, I learned my lesson. Too much, too soon. I was so pooped the rest of the day and the nausea came back with a vengeance to boot. I toned it down a bit the following week and although my mileage was still up over 30 I was really beginning to find my groove again.

Week 10: 13 miles pre-accident
Week 11: 5 easy true recovery miles
Week 12: 23 easy feeling better miles
Week 13: 35.75 probably too many too soon miles including a 5.25 mile “race”
Week 14: 30.75 miles all easy and feeling good and back in the groove miles

By the end of the first trimester I was typically running around a 9:20-9:40 pace with the occasional sub 9:00 or 10:00 paced run thrown in. This was about 60-90 seconds slower than my pre-pregnancy easy pace and seemed right. I made it a point to run with friends as often as possible to ensure I was keeping the pace conversational and to just enjoy myself as much as possible. For a while there I was worried I wouldn’t be able to run much at all. By the end of this trimester, I was so appreciative of every run and really starting to enjoy running in a way I never have before. I had nothing to prove. I had no goals to meet. Each run was an end in itself and not some step to some greater far away goal. I was running in the moment for perhaps the first time ever. After a rough start, it was becoming great.


Nitsirk said...

I got the prize today! It is too cute and our first baby clothes. Very appropriate that our baby's first clothes are running shoes. Now all he needs is a helmet and a swimsuit :)

Great post, I am so hoping the nausea goes away soon. Just finishing week 13 so I am crossing my fingers that I may get some energy back. Best of luck in the marathon. Thanks for keeping me inspired to get out there.

Mindi said...

What a great journey! Congrats on 30 weeks! And good luck next weekend, I was just wondering when the big race is!

Clare said...

nice idea to recap...i'm 27 weeks now and still grateful for every run, slow though they are!

TrainingtoTri said...

Oh what a great recap! I am so glad we met, you are a great running pregnancy role model :) Thanks for putting up with my bazillion questions. Saturday is going to be so much fun!