Sunday, June 5, 2011

Double Whammy

About this time each year, runners start to wonder what is wrong with them. I'm probably one of the worst. The temperature goes up and my running suffers. Even though I know the heat is having an effect, it gets so much harder to run that I can't help but wonder if something is wrong with me. Am I getting sick? Have I not been training enough? Before the summer of 2007, I only ran sporadically so I never realized how much the heat could really get you. I started running year around in July of 2006. Since I was just getting started, I felt the heat but I didn't realize how much harder it made running. I just assumed that I was out of shape and that is why it was hard. When the fall and winter came around, I got a lot faster. Sure, a lot of it was training but I certainly got a boost from the cooler temps. After training consistently for 10 months straight, I was starting to get faster than I ever thought I would be. I was feeling pretty good about myself and then June rolled around. I suddenly had to cut 8 mile runs to 6 miles and forget about long runs. Yikes! For the first time in months I was struggling through runs only to find my pace was horrible. More experienced runners assured me that this happens every year and that I would probably have trouble all summer long but it would get better. The good news was that when fall rolled around, I would be rewarded for all that warm weather training with a new zeal for running and even faster times. They were right. Since then, I've gone through this cycle every year and even though I know what is going on, I can't help but wonder every year, if my running will ever be the same.

Well, it is that time of year again and, as usual, I'm hurting from the heat. Add 8 weeks of pregnancy to that and I'm suffering two fold. I also have to be careful as we've already had some days up close to 100 degrees (99 yesterday!). While running is perfectly safe during pregnancy, any kind of exertion in that sort of heat isn't. To combat this, I've been getting up before dawn to get my runs in. Normally, this really wouldn't be a big deal, but, being in my first trimester, I'm soooo tired. The alternative is to run on the treadmill. I really don't like the treadmill so I avoid it as much as possible. I work too early in the morning to run before work so I'm already stuck on the treadmill at least 3 days a week. Eventually, we'll probably have weather so hot that there is no time of day that it will be safe so right now, these early morning runs are my only option.

Currently, I'm running between 30 and 35 miles per week. Some days are better than others but for the most part, I feel pretty good. I feel strongly that I should stay active during pregnancy and running is my favorite activity so it is worth it to find a way to keep at it through these hot months. Because I had just finished marathon training right before this pregnancy, I came into it in really good shape. I'm 10 lbs lighter than I was at the beginning of my pregnancy with Darwin and I wasn't big then. I was also just recently running 65 miles per week where I was probably doing more like 40 or so before Darwin. With him, I was able to run at least 15 miles per week up until week 32. After that, I did run/walking nearly everyday right up to week 36. After that, I put lots of long walks in until I delivered at 39 weeks and 1 day. I had bad hip/pelvis pain at the end of that pregnancy and it continued to plague me for months after I delivered. Ultimately, that is why I had to stop running at 36 weeks. I'm worried that it will happen sooner this time around but I'm running strong now so I just have to be happy with that.

Here's a shot of me at 8 weeks. While I feel thicker, I certainly have no bump yet so we'll consider this a before shot.

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