36 week running update: the reverse of progress

Back somewhere around the third month of my pregnancy, I reluctantly admitted to Gallowaying (which to me felt suspiciously like giving up), after the strain of constant running simply became too much. (Sidenote: for a lot of jerks who go into their pregnancy in better shape, this doesn’t happen. But I wasn’t what you’d call skinny even before I was knocked up, and didn’t really even have a decent base of mileage to carry me through. More about that later.)

I started out doing a 3:1 ratio of running to walking, and could carry on like that for 4-5 miles. After a while I went down to a 2:2, then a 1:3. Now I walk for four minutes followed by 10 or 20 seconds of jogging at a 15:00 pace. I imagine it’s a little what dying must feel like: the reverse of progress.

Last night, just for old time’s sake, I dragged out le Garmin (all juiced up with the new charger I had to buy after breaking the clip on the old one. Hmphmphmph) and went for a roughly 1:12 run-walk around my neighborhood.

Please humor me:

Oh, and it’s been so long since I’ve used the damn thing, I apparently forgot you have to shut it off when you’re done, which is why the last .8 took 2 hours and 16 minutes. I’m pathetic you guys, but not that pathetic.

I probably would have been fine to round it out at three miles, but since it gets dark in the middle of the afternoon now, I decided to call it quits. I feel so clumsy and vulnerable trudging around with this big pregnant belly; I’m a sitting duck for ankle-nipping dogs and violent degenerates.

I think a couple of things I did early in the pregnancy kind of hindered my ability to continue to run (better, faster, more, whatever) later on, but I think the biggest one was not having that base mileage.

I’m not going to tell you any of that “how pregnancy is like running a marathon” horseshit, but I will say that just like your base mileage carries you the last 6.2 miles of the marathon, it also stands to carry you through the toughest parts of running while pregnant: if you have to take a week or two off for debilitating nausea, you don’t lose everything.

In my case, I took a week or two off for debilitating nausea and lost everything. (And I just want to clarify that debilitating nausea does not necessarily equate to puking your brains out; I felt like death every day for three months and never threw up once.) I ran the hardest 15k of my life, followed by the hardest 12 miles of my life and then I threw in the towel and skipped my half marathon. By the time I was ready to pick it back up again, my ass gave me the z-snap and was like, “nuh-uh!”

Another thing: I gained weight. (NO DOY?) Yep, it happened. Remember how I joked a long time ago that as soon as I glanced at the positive pregnancy test, the button popped off my jeans? I was only exaggerating a little bit. I got thick, people. And it’s hard to run when you’re in a thick way. (I am glad to report that the weight gain has slowed significantly, and the diabolical pregnancy books say that I might not even gain any more weight at all! I’ll believe it when I see it.)

Last, I had fits and spurts of energy at all the wrong times. If you have a job that allows you flexibility in your schedule, congratulations. I THOUGHT I had that kind of job: during the interview process and first few weeks, my boss told me he was agreeable to lunchtime runs, coming in early so I could leave before dark, etc. But when I actually tried to put that into practice, yeah…not so much. So, like most people, the best part of my day was wasted at work. I feel like I could have been a lot more successful in my running if I’d had the freedom to head out for a mid-morning run a few days a week, instead of having to wait until I was tearfully exhausted–and famished–at the end of the day.

But, as they say, c’est la vie. Soon, operation Occupy Marie’s Uterus will be over, I’ll have an adorable BEBE FRIEND to play with, and all will be right with the world.


12 thoughts on “36 week running update: the reverse of progress

  1. YAY BEBE FRIEND! Also, I don’t know whether it’s possible to predict or analyze how pregnancy affects running and general body stuff. The whole pregnancy weight gain/fitness thing is either incredibly complicated, or just a random game of chance. It doesn’t seem like it necessarily has anything to do with prepregnancy mileage. Like, I was super fit (if I do say so myself – I mean, very low body fat, lots of running and weight training) before I got pregnant, kept running and working out and still gained almost 30 lbs and seriously lost all my muscle tone. I was reading another pregnant runner blog and she (ostensibly) kept running 50 miles/week up until she delivered, and still gained over 50 lbs…and yet another kept running like 9 miles a day while pregnant, then was sidelined for months postpartum because of a stress fracture, so perhaps it wasn’t really worth it. It seems like a crapshoot. Whatever a crapshoot actually is.

    Did I have a point here? Hm. Oh, and btw – congratulations on quitting your job! Always such a satisfying moment…

    • Ooooh, I like the crapshoot theory better, means I don’t have to be accountable. (However if I were pleased with myself, I would still be taking full credit.) I saw a blog post the other today to the effect of “here’s why I think I’ve been such a good pregnant runner,” and it made me want to barf, so I think I’ll pass your comment in that direction…

  2. Your running during pregnancy sounds so much like mine–like you, I spent the first trimester constantly nauseated (though I didn’t vomit once) and once I got past that, my ligaments were NOT ready to cooperate with running again. I wonder what level of base you need to be able to comfortably run through pregnancy (and I say “comfortably”), much less at anything near what we were doing before? Meh.

    Months of missed running = one more thing to hold over our kids’ heads when they’re being bratty teens. Oh, how I’m saving up the parental guilt to throw my child’s way…

    • Heh! DO IT.

      I think if I’d had a base of oh, say 80 miles a week before getting pregnant I could have comfortably managed 10 or 12 throughout.

      And I somehow feel cheated by never having actually vomited…kind of like, all of the torture and none of the payoff? Ah well.

      • Seriously, Marie–Miss Young Money will not enter the outside world till mid-March and I ALREADY HAVE THE LIST.

        As for the puking, I think we missed out on some drama (and hilarity). Projectile vomiting is just so much more story-worthy than the constant, alcohol-free hangover.

  3. Being all pukey but not actually puking sounds like hell on earth. I think I’d give up and shove my fingers down my throat.


  4. I HATE puking. Hate it. I will fight to the death to try and keep it down.
    And who are these people that don’t gain a pound when they’re pregnant?? I saw a girl today that is on our board and I made a comment about how she looks so good after just popping out a human being and she said (and I quote) “Don’t be a hater!”

    I. KNOW.

    • Unless you worded it like, “wow, you look great…for a fatty fat fat!” then I’d say she was out of line. Or, trippin’ as the kids like to say.

  5. The day I find out I’m pregnant is the first day I will eat an entire sheet of brownies. With ice cream. You think I’m kidding. “Thick” is something I’m sort of planning on.

    Your body has gone through a lot. I mean seriously- you sort of made a human being. Running would be the least of my concerns. And dude- you’re moving. It still counts.

    • I’ll admit I went a little mad on Halloween this year…whole bags of candy disappeared.

      And you’re right. it’s just running. But I like to run. I miss it. If there was any way to still drink beer safely, I’d be trying really hard to do that too!

  6. i think if you’re still getting out there it counts for something! every run i go on i just hope it won’t be the last. there’s just such a long way to go from this 19-week vantage point . . .

    and +1 to the ‘nausea no vomiting thing’. my nausea only lasted about 6 weeks, but it was pretty significant and yet i only threw up once — at 4 am straight from sleep [at least i made it to the bathroom]. blahhhh. i agree that it sucked! i feel like you have all of the suffering, none of the sympathy . . .

  7. Okay, I don’t really run (I prefer intoxicants, cheese, and chocolate) and I’ve never been pregnant so I have nothing relevant on that. But, you posted The Talking Heads, so I know I like you.

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