Saturday, February 26, 2011

Annoyed Pregnant Lady Rant

Guess what? I am pregnant and I still run.


Are you going to call the police on me because my running is "putting the baby at risk for shaken baby syndrome?"

Do you think I'm a terrible mother because I'm out there running and being healthy instead of eating Twinkies and Doritos? I bet you think I should stay home because of my "delicate condition."

Is my running "obsessive exercise behavior" that I should avoid and perhaps see a psychologist about?

These are all things I've recently read and angrily re-read. Are you serious? Many people who know that I'm a runner and recently found out that I'm pregnant have asked me one important question, "Are you still running?" And everytime I answer, I do so with an emphatic "Yes, of course!" And about 60% of those people look at me with shock and disapproval. I'm sure they are thinking all of the things that I've read about us crazy, mean, selfish running expectant mothers.

Here's the deal. I am pregnant, not disabled. I run safely, not with risk. I hydrate more than ever before. My diet has become even more healthy and I eat plenty, just not too much. I'm a healthy woman who happens to be pregnant and so far, I have a low risk pregnancy. My doctors have told me to keep doing what I have always done--and that includes running. I've decreased my intensity and listen to my body before I even go out to run, and even more when I'm out running. My body knows how to run because it has for almost 14 years (even more if you count my childhood!) and my body knows how to grow a baby because it's a natural, amazing and normal thing. So guess what? My body knows how to run with a growing baby inside.

And my baby will not have shaken baby syndrome because I run. Ever heard of implantation and amniotic fluid? Look them up.

Lots of women run for multiple reasons--not just to lose weight. Some of us run to maintain a healthy weight, keep our hearts strong and healthy, and for overall mental well-being. Running doesn't mean I'm a weight-obsessed, selfish, bad person. It means I want to continue to live a healthy life for myself and my baby.

While I understand that running is definitely not an activity that everyone enjoys, it is something that I enjoy. And I have enjoyed running for many, many years. If that's what my body knows, my body can handle it now that I'm pregnant because my body handled it well before I was pregnant. If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, do not let negative, uninformed and ill-informed people have any effect on you and your doctor's decision. Only you and your doctor will know what's best for you and your baby, and that should be your only concern. Be confident in your decisions and be in touch with your baby and your body.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Polar Bear Grand Prix Recap

Today was last leg of the Polar Bear Grand Prix racing series--the Snowman Shuffle 4 Miler. Prior to that, there was the Reindeer Romp 4K (which had to be rescheduled twice due to weather conditions) and the Frostbite 5K. These are always a fun series of short distance races, and they always help keep me motivated through the coldest months to keep running!

As a reminder, I wasn't aware that I was pregnant when I registered for the series, but I couldn't have asked for a better racing series to have signed up for--the distances have been quite manageable for me during the early part of my pregnancy. I cringe when I think that I could have registered for the Triple Crown and/or the KDF Mini-Marathon without knowing I was pregnant! Luckily, I was in the perfect running shape prior to becoming pregnant to complete the Polar Bear Grand Prix!

Each of the three races were very similar in our execution--my wonderful Husband ran all three with me to keep me company and keep my speed in check, though I did have my HR monitor during all three races. The series is a lot of fun and to add to the enjoyment, I will be able to tell our child that it ran and won at least the last two races--my belly popped quite a bit for those and we're assuming the baby crossed the finish line first!

Though these are absolutely nothing to brag about, here are my very slow and pregnant finish times, with average pace included in parentheses:

Frostbite 5K - 42:51 (14:17/mile)
Reindeer Romp 4K - 33:59 (13:40/mile)
Snowman Shuffle 4 Miler - 53:55 (13:28/mile)

As you can see, I did set some PR's--PR's for slowest race times!

On a positive note, though, there are two good things to come out of those races. First, I got out there and did something healthy and fun for me, Hubby and baby and second, if you look at my average pace for each race, I got progressively faster. That means I'm learning how to be a better pregnant runner, huh?

Happy Running everyone!