I finished 16 weeks this week. Baby Chandoo seems to be doing okay per the OB visit. I’ve been gaining weight steadily but not rapidly, thank god. Weight this week has been hovering around 117 lbs/53 kgs. I’m supposedly on-track but of course I’ve been monitoring the scale. Food-wise, I am of course less consistent because I am so hungry so quickly. In that sense pregnancy is like running – you have to plan the food/fuel in-take and hydrate well all the time or you feel like crap. You also feel incredibly tired and fatigued at any moment of the day. That burst of energy that people talked about during the second trimester – I am still waiting for it.
It has been shades better than the first trimester. Firstly the nagging feeling of nausea at the back of my throat is much less now. There is some energy. So given that this was Austin marathon week, I thought why not sign up for the 5k. I asked Itisha to sign up with me, knowing that if I was running alone, I may not make it out there. Bharath wasn’t too excited – he thought I’d be pushing and feeling awful afterwards. I knew I would I would feel awful afterwards. But that’s part of running for me. To feel that discomfort and to be reminded that I did something I liked doing a lot. However I of course understand any concern that I shouldn’t be harming the baby. On that, I trusted the wisdom of my doctors who said as long as I feel good I can do it. And I did.
I stayed over at Iti’s and we were excited. I told her there would be a lot of walking. Iti herself has bad knees so she doesn’t run much outside. She agreed for the 5k and it’s a fun race to do in Austin. We got parked and began the race. It was really nice and cool was the best day to run out there. We had decided to do a 3 min run and 1 min walk to make sure we weren’t pushing. Me for the pregnancy and she for her knees. But once we started running I think we both felt good, with the energy of those around us. We kept chatting and running and walking when anyone needed it. We wanted to finish before 40 minutes and we managed to finish at 37 minutes. Of course we sprinted towards the end that’s inevitable :). There’s nothing more exhilarating than a strong finish, no matter how the race was. We finished around the same time as the half marathon winner. That was pretty cool.
Well I won’t say running has been easy. I think I’ve lost stamina in more ways than one. I can’t really pinpoint to what it is that is specific to my body that’s made running harder. Actually, it isn’t the running that’s been hard. It’s the recovery. The last post I had on the 4 odd miles I ran on the trails took me 2 days to recover from, including a massage and pedicure! The 5K took a whole day – combination of less coffee, less sleep, not enough hydration and a certain amount of exertion that I think my body is no longer used to. After all it’s busy making a human being! There’s a lot of blood flow and oxygen going to the uterus, so when I pull those runs, it’s that much less to me. That’s why it takes longer to warm up and longer to recover. Not to mention loose ligaments and hips that ache for days after a run. Simply put, as much as I love running, it’s heartbreaking to admit that I should probably rest up the running shoes till the baby comes.
Based on this I’m probably going to tone down to brisk walking, yoga (prenatal yoga has been great though the timings suck for working women). It is important to keep moving and exercising but also important to listen to your body’s cues (not the kind of listening that makes you sit on your couch and gorge because sometimes you need to push). I’m always curious about pregnant women who ran half marathons and what not, they’re likely far fitter than I was when I got pregnant. I do not believe one should not be moving/exercising but I also believe in low-intensity frequent workouts to the extent your schedule allows.