This past week, for instance, I've been noticing a familiar burning sensation on my lower legs at about mile 2.5 of my runs. Last pregnancy, by 34 weeks my legs would fill with lactic acid and because my blood flow was all messed up by the massive baby jumping around in my uterus, the lactic acid would just sit in my legs and make it unbearable to continue running beyond about .5 miles. Well, I was a little worried that this was happening to me already at 25-26 weeks. So, I checked my log and sure enough by this point last pregnancy I had been complaining about it for a few weeks already. Yeah! My running days are not necessarily numbered!
The other thing I noticed in my log from last pregnancy is how slow I was going all the time. There were days I was barely cracking 11:00 pace with walk breaks around this point in my pregnancy. This time, a slow day is over 9:30 pushing the BOB and over 9:10 or so by myself. If I run with others I am always shocked at how fast we're going. Today I was running with a group on the trails by my house. I've always been slow on these trails. I remember back in 2007 when I was possibly in my best shape ever I felt like I was hauling to run in the 8:20's on the trails. Halfway through this morning's 7.5 miler a guy I was running with said, "we're clipping along at a nice pace." I asked him what pace we were running, figuring it was something like 9:30 which to me sounded a bit brisk for me these days on the trails. His reply stunned me, "8:24 pace." I felt fine. Sure, it felt faster than I would run on my own, but still I was holding a conversation and didn't feel like I was dying. At the end of the run we had to run up a megahill and I ran up the entire way and I stopped for a few seconds to help the guy up after he tripped on a root, so that slowed us down a little. I ended up averaging 8:46 pace for the entire run with no breaks whatsoever. I don't think I could have done that on a smooth flat road with three breaks last pregnancy. This is nice!
That's not to say I feel so good and capable on every run. Some days I probably do not deviate much from a 10:00 pace (I normally don't pay much attention--just run my route with no watch). I'm not sure this really will translate into anything after the pregnancy. It's nice to hope maybe I'll bounce back a little more quickly. Who knows. I'm certainly not counting on that happening. But I am enjoying it while I got it!
PS Thank you to everyone who offered up such kind words in the comments to my last post. You all made me feel a lot better that I'm a) not alone and b) not a hopeless heifer. When all is said and done a healthy baby is so worth a temporarily jiggly butt even if said butt jiggles all the way through the summer racing season! It will pass.
*I would probably be better off putting up pictures of cheetahs and gazelles than piglets and lazy seals, but I'll save those bits of inspiration for when they can actually do some good!