Saturday, July 23, 2016

Running in the Second Trimester...What I Accomplished and What Helped Me

I can't believe I'm already out of the second trimester!! This season runs from 14-27 weeks pregnant and is usually everyone's favorite. It was for me. I had more energy, morning sickness vanished, my bump grew, and I found out I was having a baby GIRL!!!

Running wise, it was for sure my favorite trimester too. I was able to complete my first trail run ever, an awesome 13K course out near a local lake. It was gorgeous and nothing beats the atmosphere of a trail race.

 I also ran a 5k on Mother's Day and managed to get 2nd place in my age group. I surprised myself a ton in that race with my speed. I think that's the quickest I have and will run all pregnancy long lol!

My favorite race by far during my second trimester was the Rock n Roll Half Marathon in San Diego. This is my favorite half marathon and my third year in a row of running it. I signed up almost a year in advance, so obvious did not originally plan on running it 21 weeks pregnant, but I am so glad I did. Adam decided to run it with me and I was so glad he did. Not only was it super helpful to have such an understanding partner do do all my long runs with, but having him by my side that entire training cycle and race made it so much more memorable (and if I'm being honest, enjoyable too!)

He surprised me at the start line in this amazing costume he made, and ran the entire race patiently by my side, with a pink balloon stuffed under his shirt. He really is such an amazing guy!

I also set a goal that I'm really excited about this trimester. I want to run 1000 pregnant miles before the baby is born. I'm on track to do it and have already told myself that if I have to stop running, I'll continue to walk and add those miles to my overall goal.

There are quite a few things that have helped running in my second trimester of pregnancy easier and I wanted to take the time to highlight some of them below.

Belly Support Bands and Tanks:
My belly started to really pop over the last 14 weeks. When it did it became heavy and uncomfortable which made it harder to run. On Instagram, I discovered two companies that I absolutely adore, BaoBei and Mumberry Fit.

 BaoBei makes these amazing support bands, that are made of a soft stretchy material and really hug your belly and support it in such a great way while running. Lately, I have also been wearing the bands all day long because my belly just feels better being supported.

I also adore the Mumberry Fit Tanks. These tanks are super high quality (like lulu) and have both a built in bra and a built in support bank in them! They are genius and really the best things to run in because all the support you need is already there!

Pregnancy Specific Cross Training Workouts:
For the past two years or so I've been cross-training with at home fitness videos I stream on my phone in addition to running. I usually did Tone It Up videos and found they complimented my running workouts perfectly. I continued to do these during my first trimester, but had to make so many modifications, and let's face it, some of the exercises just didn't feel good with my changing pregnant body.

I discovered this company I LOVE, Knocked Up Fitness, and immediately knew these were what I needed to be doing here on out. The creator, Erica Ziel, produced a complete series of video that I stream through my phone and has a trimester specific workout plan to follow. Depending on the day and how I feel, I usually aim to do 2 of her workouts a day, which takes about 30 minutes total. They honestly works me out very well, stretching and strengthening all the areas that pregnancy affects, and does so safely. I had very bad ab separation and a weak pelvic floor after having my first child 7 years ago, so I love that she focuses on these two areas as well, which are super important to me.

Body Glide:
My second semester was a super hot one! Body Glide has really helped a lot because chafing stings so badly!

Compression Socks:
I've gotten a few pretty bad varicose veins in my legs this pregnancy, and many nights, I'll pop on some compression socks while watching TV and often will just wear them to bed too. I've been wearing these Toostsie Brand ones and love how cute they are!

Having a schedule and Knowing My Route:
This is a big one for me. My I have the most energy in the morning and as the day goes on it dwindles. Somehow I can run 3-5 miles in the morning but our after dinner walks take me 20 minutes to make it around the block and I'm literally dragging my feet the whole way! So, I stick to morning runs and it works well for me.

I run the same route literally 95% of the time because it helps me know what ti expect. I run to a nearby park, and then run around the perimeter of the park (1/2 a mile) as many times as I feel like it, until I want to make the 3/4 mile run back to my house to complete my workout. I like this predictability and knowing that I have the bathroom and water fountain at the park and can use them every 1/2 mile if I want to helps me out a ton.

Shoes with Space:
When you run your feet swell. Also, when you are pregnant your feet swell. Add those two together and mix in heat and humidity and my feet don't have much of a fighting chance. This is why I LOVE running in Altras. They are foot shaped, so my swollen feet aren't squeezed into an unnatural and unhappy position while running. I have had zero foot pain, problems, or blisters, while running pregnant in my Altras. They really have done so much for my running in the last year or two. If you're pregnant or have never tried Altras, I always encourage everyone to try them out! My favorites are the Torins.

Listening to My Body and Don't Compare Yourself:
Being pregnant affects everyone so differently. It's so hard not to compare yourself to another pregnant runner in real life or on social media, but it really does us no good. Just like no two bodies are the same, no two pregnancies are the same either. Some people are able to run throughout their entire pregnancy, gain minimal weight, and maintain their pre-pregnancy pace too. Others don't. Most others don't actually, and that's a-okay. Growing a child is a miracle in itself and such an incredible blessing. All we can do is listen to our bodies and our doctors, try to be active when possible, eat fairly healthy, and be good to ourselves.

I am human, so I do weigh myself every morning or feel a little guilty when I've over-indulged a few too many times, but I try to keep a level head and focus on the baby girl I am growing and get to meet in 12 short weeks!