Gaining Momentum

I’ve started to get back in the groove of running again and it’s feeling good!  I’ve been doing 4-5 miles a few days a week averaging about 11-11:30min/mile.  It’s always amazing to me how much better I feel when I’m exercising regularly.  My overall mood improves as well as my well being.  I’ve been a little more relaxed as far as checking my heart rate and just going by how I feel.  I’ve been able to go on a couple runs with a friend and keep up a conversation so I know that I’m on track.  Another thing that I’m trying to incorporate is more stretching and yoga.  I have never been very flexible, and things you aren’t good at aren’t fun, so I’ve generally avoided yoga.  But, I know that staying loose and working on flexibility will improve my running and overall health so I’m making an effort to keep up with it.  It certainly helps that my husband is all about it too.

One thing I’m really enjoying with my more “relaxed” running schedule is the ability to take things slow and not feel guilty about it.  This last weekend I ran with the boys in the stroller to our local farmers market.  On the way back they both wanted to run with me.  At times I would have encouraged them to stay in the stroller so that I could actually run, but instead I let them out and they “ran” with me.  My older son is really into it.  My younger son mostly walks and picks up any stick he can find.  It is nice to spend this time with them and, who knows, maybe I’ll inspire in them a love of running and some day we can actually run together!

And, Go!

Well 2018 has begun and I’m excited to start things off on the right foot.  As mentioned in the last post, the first trimester was rough.  But, now, at 16 weeks, I have finally started to feel better and have even been able to go on two runs!  For a little perspective, I am no speed demon, but I feel that I can hold my own and run at a respectable pace.  I ran my 50K at a decent overall pace (6:05) and while training for that race I had a marathon PR (4:05) in June.  Before the pregnancy one of my 2018 race goals was training for a marathon PR, but that will have to wait.  So, starting off 2018 with a poor aerobic base, a fetus growing inside me and 10 pounds of weight off from constant puking, I knew things would be slow.  But, I’m overall happy to be out there and running again.  On New Years day I was able to get in 3.2 miles at 13:30/mile pace and today I felt the best I have in a long time and got in 5 miles at 11:09 pace.  Certainly no world records, but I’m happy.

One thing I have thought a lot about recently is how I should be adjusting my running and biking and working out in general with the pregnancy.  My first two pregnancies I was a surgery resident and/or new attending building a practice so I wasn’t doing much in the way of exercise.  The resources out there aren’t the best, and as a doctor I want what I do to be evidence based.  I was able to find ACOG recommendations that originally said not going above a heart rate greater than 140, but those recs were discarded in 2010.  Most of what I read basically says if you are active, it’s ok to stay active, but stay at a pace where you can talk comfortably.  Unfortunately, the research seems to be lacking, but that seems like the best to go by.  So, far now, that is my plan.  I do have a HR monitor and my Garmin Forerunner so I am well equipped to monitor what I’m doing.  It seems as if I stay at a heart rate at or below the 160s I’m in a pretty good place.

So, here’s to 2018!  I hope you all have a happy, healthy New Year and maybe I’ll see you out on the roads or trails!

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