The good, the bad, the ugly parts of a pregnant runner
The first few weeks of pregnancy were filled with angst as I tried to imagine the next loooong 9 months. At the time, it all seemed like it would take forever! When I related it to running, I thought it would be parallel to going through a 9 month injury, which I realize now is such a irrational assumption. I've said this before, but I grew up so much in 2015. Looking back, of course it's all so clear, that this is what I needed in 2015. What I needed more than any training plan, PR, or smooth-sailing year was a year to grow and be stretched to my limit, which is ultimately what happened.
I got to week 28, and couldn't believe it. The first and second trimesters flew by. But, let's talk about the last 10 weeks of being pregnant. You guys, I felt insane! The waiting and unknowns drove me up a wall. I am so bad with not knowing when something is going to happen (ie. labor), so the 3rd trimester was such a huge test for me. Especially the last 4 weeks, I felt I was constantly having a talk with myself about my attitude. Ha. "Katie, you have a choice whether to be positive or negative today. Choose positivity despite the circumstance of feeling large, uncomfortable, uncertain of when baby will come, etc."
My last "race" was on Thanksgiving day at a turkey trot in Boone, North Carolina. My family had an amazing time in the mountains together. I actually surprised myself during the 5k, considering I hadn't run in a few weeks! I figured I'd probably just walk/run it, but when Jon and I started out, I felt good, and just tried to stay steady throughout the race. I got lots of great looks and "you go, girl!" when I crossed the finish line, ha! I finished in 26 minutes, only about 8 minutes slower than my PR! ;) #keepingmehumble
After getting back from North Carolina, I decided to join a local gym, because I knew I would need the motivation those last 10 weeks. Honestly, this was one of the best decisions! They have a pool, lots of treadmills for walking when it's too cold out, spin classes, and my personal favorite: strength training class. I never imagined I'd get so excited to lift weights, but it's really the only exercise I found to not be too uncomfortable during the last trimester. As a result, I now feel super strong and know all those squats and lunges will only help when I return to running!
I tried to fill my time as much as possible, so I wouldn't be just sitting around waiting, and something I really enjoyed was pouring myself into other people's running. I coach a handful of people, including my husband (lucky for him), so I did a lot of extra research on running/creating training plans/etc to keep my mind off things. I also picked up a few new runners, so it was super fun to get involved with their goals, and feel like I was making a difference in someone's life. Jon and I would go on "runs" together, where he would run, and I'd either bike next to him, or we'd go to the park and I'd walk around with the dogs while he ran. (read: I'd walk around like a creeper taking goPro photos of him because what else do you do as an overzealous spouse? #crazypregnantrunner)
Similar to the first trimester, the third was another test of strength other than physical. I really see myself as a positive person, but within my own head, I was constantly battling demons that were telling me "You'll be pregnant forever. This is never going to end." I know that sounds insane! But the truth is, when you become pretty much immobile, can't sleep, and everything makes you tired, it's so hard to imagine something so good and miraculous (like a beautiful baby!) will come out of all of this. I've said this before, but I want my blog to be an honest place where I share unfiltered thoughts, and if I'm being honest, pregnancy is not something I was able to embrace gracefully. I am sooo excited to bring baby into this world and be a mom. I know it will be the hardest and greatest job of my life, but I'm not afraid of that for some reason. I just don't want to be pregnant anymore. Lol. Everyone says you forget about how hard pregnancy was the minute you see your child, and I truly hope that's the case, because I've always wanted more than one child, and I love kids! I've talked to some women who fully understand and even have experienced the same type of pregnancy I have, and then I've heard stories from other women who absolutely LOVED being pregnant. I so wish that was me. But, once again, if I'm honest, I didn't love being pregnant. It's hard stuff, you guys!
As I wrap up this series, I hope I've shared the good, the bad, and the ugly of the last 9 months. It has truly been an incredible journey that I can look back on and say, "I am not the same person I was in April of 2015." And I mean that in the best possible way. I am mentally AND physically stronger, more patient, less anxious, and ultimately just a little bit more grown up.
Now, let's have this beautiful baby! Check back soon to find out the gender (it is a surprise!), the birth story, and my running plans for 2016.
This is part 4 of 4 of my running/pregnancy/life catch up I’m doing on the blog.