Hi friends! Happy Tuesday.
Hope ya’ll had a terrific weekend, we sure did over here! I realize I always say that, BUT weekends with Drew and Max bring me endless happiness.
On Saturday, I ran a 5K at our local festival.
When my patients or coworkers would ask if I had weekend plans (common Friday small talk), I would tell them: “I’m EXCITED! I have a 5K tomorrow morning.”
Most of their looks and reactions were SO funny. They would say, “YOU are doing a 5K?” As if I said I was going to the moon.
And then I would offer my standard pregnancy education: “Yep! There are actually no contraindications to running during pregnancy. Every mama has to listen to her own body, but we still feel great when we’re running! I just ran 4 miles the other day, so I’m confident we can do it!”
Pregnant people can and should workout for their health and the health of their babies. Actives jobs don’t count, as my friend’s OB just informed her 😉 Because I blog and Instagram about being active during pregnancy, I also think it is my job to EDUCATE. I didn’t just show up to the starting line with no training thinking I could throw down 3.1 miles.
My routine: Every week I do my 3 days of Expecting and Empowered workouts which include flexibility, pelvic floor, and resistance training exercises. SIDE NOTE: This WEEK we’ll be letting everyone know exactly when they get their hands on the guide. I also do 2 days of cardiovascular training each week. Typically and especially because it is the summer, I pick running so that I can be outside. That is 5 days a week that this pregnant mama moves her booty.
I tell you this to demonstrate that I have a very dedicated and SMART workout routine. Expecting and Empowered was written by my brilliant sister and I. She is a physical therapist, and my background is as a personal trainer. In writing the guide, there were definitely times when she said, “OH my gosh! Why do you personal trainers ALWAYS do that?!” About a sequence or exercise I would pick. Writing it with her definitely gave it a more balanced and I’m not afraid to say SMARTER approach to training during pregnancy.
All of the components of the guide are important and each aided me in being able to stay healthy and capable of running a 5K. I don’t just RUN to train, although I know a lot of people do fall into that trap. This leaves you much more vulnerable to injury, which is a story for a different day.
Back to Saturday..
I roped my friend Ali into doing it with me. She is training for a sprint triathlon later in the summer, so I told her that it was a perfect training opportunity. And then persistently told her to sign up 😉
This was KEY for the bump and I. Although I told Ali should could ditch us at ANY time if she was feeling well and wanted to go faster…we ended up running together the whole time. We talked the entire 5K and it was over before we knew it. As I’ve mentioned, I use the “TALK TEST” to check my exertion during pregnancy. I should be able to carry on a conversation, if I weren’t able to that would mean I’m going too hard. My OB along with many experts suggests this OVER the old standard of don’t let your heart rate go above 140.
When I posted about running the 5K with Ali my friend Kristen said, “Perfect. I don’t trust myself to keep my pace conversational in a race, so I just don’t sign up for hem during pregnancy. But having a pacer is a great idea!”
It’s funny because I didn’t think of Ali as a pacer, but she did work perfectly as one. I felt SO darn good on Saturday that I know I COULD’VE gone faster than our 8:26 pace. But going fast wasn’t the point, the point was going at pace that was safe for the baby and I.
What I thought was really interesting…
I felt FAR BETTER this year than last year when I ran this race at 9 weeks postpartum. At 9 weeks it was only my second run and although my pace wasn’t fast (for me personally) or I wasn’t pushing as hard as I could…it felt like a lot more WORK.
This is what I wrote then: ” I ran my first 5K on Saturday. At 9 weeks postpartum, this was only my second run! I had to tell myself not to race. I was in cruise control at an 8:00 minute/mile pace for a total time of 24:49. I’m excited to race + push myself more toward the end of the summer, but as I’m just getting my feet wet again…I knew this was not the race to do it. “
I can tell you that cruise control felt much easier this Saturday at 24 weeks pregnant than last year on the same course at 9 weeks postpartum. I wanted to add that because I think people have the tendency to think that exercising while pregnant is super hard/not doable, but they can bounce quickly back into their routine postpartum. In my experience: I needed to ease in and take it slow postpartum, but during pregnancy my workouts feel great…pretty much the entire way!
You’re not disabled, you’re pregnant. It certainly means you need to be smart for your growing little love, but if mama can safely and comfortably run…get it girl! I have zero aches and pains associated to working out or pregnancy, and I wouldn’t run if it started to NOT feel right for us.
The band I’m wearing around my belly is from Bao Bei Maternity. This a small, mama run business and the products are designed by a physical therapist. I also have the Speed Bump (how cute is that name?!) for even more support as we grow. I wear a small for reference.
Get it mamas!