Sunday, May 30, 2010

Things not to say to the pregnant lady in your spin class

1. That's a lot of water under your bike. Did you sweat a lot, or did your water break?
2. Come on move it, move it, PUSH!!! PUSH!!! You can do it. PUSH!!
3. Hey, my friend came too late to get a bike. Do you really need yours? You know, since you're pregnant and all...
4. Bet you're gonna have a big hot fudge sundae after this one, huh?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The bump in the road is getting bigger.

It's getting tough to run.

For one thing, it's hot and humid in South Florida this time of year, and since it's only May, the summer heat wave has just begun to unfurl.

For another, at 4 1/2 months pregnant, I'm carrying around enough extra weight to really feel the difference these days, and since that weight is all in my belly and chest, when I used to be a "pear" shaped runner, my center of gravity has really shifted, and I'm not quite used to that. My heels and arches have been aching lately, and I'm wondering if it has to do with a change in gait.

And then there is the "jiggling" issue. I've tried running in two bras. I've tried running in bras that are too tight. I've tried running in the $50 Enell bra specially formulated for "the well-endowed runner." Lack of movement is better than flopping all over the place, but constriction on the most sensitive part of my pregnant body is no picnic, either. I won't go into details, but it's led to some nasty rashes.

I'm not taking my decreased speed personally. I know that once I've had the baby and lost some of the weight, I'll likely return to my old pace and old gait. (I do fear running with nursing cleavage, though--that can't be fun!!) That being said, to spend a really difficult and uncomfortable half hour running, even walking a quarter mile or so of it, only to return and find out I've gained 90 seconds on my former comfortable pace, is kind of annoying.

As I lose much of the joy I used to find in a brisk morning run, I'm starting to wonder if I'd be better off in an air-conditioned spin studio, where I can still hit those adreneline peaks, where there's no jiggling, and where it all still feels really good.

I am spinning twice a week--maybe I should make it a more frequent thing, and make the runs less frequent. I do have a 5k that I'll be sludging through next Monday on Memorial Day (a pregnant 5k is like a non-pregnant half marathon for me, I kid you not)...I just fear taking a break from running altogether, because I don't want to lose what I worked so hard to gain.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Clothing conundrum.

I know that I am not the only woman on the planet who is exercising while pregnant. I have friends who ran marathons-for-two. My spin teacher told me the day before her water broke, she taught a kickboxing class.

So why are there almost no decent maternity workout clothes on the market? And why are the ones that are available so expensive? (OK, the answer to my second question is a simple supply and demand one...but I don't care how scarce the supply is, I'm not spending $68 on a maternity running skirt!)

A sampling of some of the clothes out there for anyone who happens to Google "maternity active wear."

 Old Navy Maternity Long Layering Top
It's 100% cotton. Does Old Navy not realize how cold and stinky cotton gets after even 10 minutes of cardio?

And horizontal stripes--yikes! Do we really need more emphasis on our growing girths?

Old Navy Maternity Gauchos

When I'm not pregnant, I don't wear gaucho style pants because (a) I'm not 87 years old, and (b) they make my thighs look like wider than they are and make my calves look short and stocky.

Why would I want to look geriatric and short-and-stubby-legged when I also have a big belly and enormous, porn-star boobs?? Isn't that just adding insult to injury?

Plus, what kind of exercise does one do wearing gauchos? Running is out--I can just see those drapey pant legs itching my knees with every step. I'd feel pretty silly in a spin class, too. Even Pilates: do a jack-knife and those pant legs would fall right on your face.

Motherhood Short Sleeve T-Shirt Crew Neck

This model might be training for sleepless nights and lost pacifiers, but it's hard to believe she could be training for a 5k in heavy, dark cotton that doesn't breathe. Those shirt sleeves are the perfect length to chafe your upper arms if you don't grease them in Body Glide first. A cute concept, but obviously miscategorized as "active wear."

Motherhood Fold Over Belly Jersey Knit Yoga Maternity Yoga Pants

I think these pants are great--if you're a yoga mama exercising in a comfortably air-conditioned yoga studio. But what about if you're a runner mama exercising outside in 80 degree South Florida May heat? You'd probably be better off running pant-less. I get especially annoyed by all the maternity yoga stuff because it's like when you're pregnant, there's no other form of acceptable exercise other than yoga! Not everyone transforms from a cardio-crazed lunatic to a Zen, ommm-humming yogi just because they've got some extra HCG in their blood.

Well, I guess my vent is over.

Now I'm off to check out the plus-sized women workout clothes and the men's workout clothes to see what else is out there. Hopefully something that will accomodate a big belly without drowning the rest of me!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bump in the road

I have a confession to make.

My lack of interest in pursuing a third half marathon or a first full marathon really isn't because I've become all zen about running and have lost interest in races.

My inattention to the Garmin results isn't because I'm too cool to care about my speed.

I really don't have a new, laid-back attitude about running that's all about the joy of the ride and not at all about the numbers.

What I do have is a new running partner: My baby.

Yep, I'm pregnant! With kid #3. Due November 2.

Honestly, I'm as Type A as ever, but I've had to direct my Type A energies into things other than beating a 9 minute mile pace as all kinds of normal but annoying physical alilments have made it difficult to make every run a test of my personal best.

At my first prenatal appointment, my obstetrician was happy to hear that I was a runner, but she gave me strict orders not to overdo it. I'm not allowed to sprint, for one thing, and I'm not sure I'd want to, anyway, especially lately.

My old "easy" runs have in recent weeks become a challenge. Recovering from my 6 mile Sundays reminds me of how I felt after my 10-12 mile pre-race runs. It's not really the weight gain (I'm bigger, yes, but not so big yet that the weight should have this much of an impact on my running) as it is the shift in the center of my gravity and my breath capacity.

I sweat more. I stink more. I've had to change my routes so I no longer pass McDonald's (blech!) but do have at least one decent restroom on my path, just in case. I also have dropped a few days off my schedule because I truly do need to sleep in more now.

I have new running equipment requirements, too: a big water bottle on even a short run, two sports bras at least one size too small, more mellow music so I won't inadvertantly go faster than I should. (I also cannot locate moisture-wick maternity clothes under $60 anywhere. Apparently most women either don't exercise while they are pregnant or don't mind soaking through cotton tank tops and underbelly shorts.)

But I love it. I still love it. There's still no greater high for me than running outside with a good song playing, cruising down a hill, hugging a curve. It keeps me sane, it keeps me at peace--and it probably helps undo the damage of all the cream cheese I am craving lately.

And I think the baby loves it, too.

I had an ultrasound on Friday and wasn't surprised to see a cute little fetus (with a turned up nose just like his/her big sister) running in place in the womb, little arms waving at me.

What perfect form. And I mean that in more than one way.