Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Getting Large, But Still in Charge!

It's been approximately a month since my last post! I suppose I've had little to report on without any events or major developments in my running. I'm very pleasantly surprised to report that I am still running! I officially hit 6 months pregnant on Monday and the 3rd trimester is around the corner, starting in August.

When I first realized that running, while more difficult, is certainly possible in pregnancy, I decided to take running one month at a time. Or even one week at a time, allowing myself a pass to quit at any time. But quitting for real would always require a test of "are you sure about this?" I have indeed had a couple of bad runs here and there, but so does everyone, pregnant or not. If I quit because of one bad run, that wouldn't be very Zahida of me. So I tell myself, try one more time, and if that run also sucks, consider quitting. Or rather, taking a break from running until after baby.

I mentally set the goal to run through May. Then June came and running was still OK. I told myself, well, a hot summer is on its way and other sports might be more comfy. Now here we are in the latter half of July and I'm still showing no signs of slowing down. Sure, I do enjoy a nice cool swim and there was a week or so where I only ran a couple times, but in general, running is still fine and so is my pace.

Here I am in the sweaty afterglow of a 6km run with Monica yesterday - 6km for 6 months, bay-bee!

So with the 3rd trimester approaching, another trimester known for tiredness, baby will be growing larger and my bump will along with it. There's a lot of unknowns about how that might feel, let alone impact my running. Again, I'll take it one week at a time. If things haven't significantly changed for me already, it's hard to imagine when it will change, for real.

I have noticed one significant change the last month or so. Increased blood volume and heat leads to swelling! The two results of this have been some ulnar nerve restriction in my right arm (apparently this happens to about 12% of pregnant women) and some ankle swelling.

The arm swelling hasn't been so bad. It was when it first occurred and my entire arm went numb when I was trying to sleep. The achiness was so unbearable, I could not sleep, and I could not shake the arm back to life. For some reason, I ran the next morning, hoping that would kickstart my circulation and make my arm feel better. It didn't, and I had a really difficult run (a quit-worthy run). I didn't let it discourage me as it was only one bad run, and it came on the heels of one of my worst sleeps thus far in pregnancy. What has helped my arm is chiropractic and wearing K tape on my arm. I don't know how long I'll have to keep my arm taped, but I know it's working and I'm sleeping soundly again.

The other issue has been the swollen ankles. I have been smart to note under what circumstances they swell. Typically it's with the hot summer heat (a daily occurrence now) if I don't get enough regular exercise. What I mean with this is that one afternoon workout isn't enough any more. If I wake up and go straight to work and don't get real exercise until my afternoon workout, I'll go into it with swollen ankles. The ankles have ruined a couple of runs and a ballet class. But I think I've figured out the trick. I should run first thing in the morning to kickstart my circulation, and I'll likely be good to go the rest of the day. Or, if I have a scheduled afternoon workout, I need to make sure I get in a good walk in the morning first. So yesterday, I walked 30min before work, and so my feet and ankles felt good and fresh for my 6km afternoon run.

So when it comes to running, I'll be playing it by ear, but I know the next few months will include more swimming, more yoga, and unfortunately, no more ballet. It's getting hard to keep myself on my toes!

Thanks for reading, for encouraging, and for following my journey!

love Z

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