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Running for Two: Slowing Down

Before we catch up with Ashely, a quick head’s up: the Stride into the School Year program starts on Monday. It is five weeks of unique, fun workouts that blend running and strength training. (Read: You rarely repeat a workout.) The plan has you sweating five days a week, with an option for a sixth day if your schedule and energy allow. The goal is forward movement, which we could all use now that the kids are back in school!

Slow. I feel like slow should be my new catch phrase. I roll out of bed slowly. I put my shoes on slowly. And I am running slowly. It seems silly now to admit but when I first found out I was pregnant I was worried I would loose all my “speed.” I was never really fast, which made it almost worse because the little bit of speed I had i was certain I would lose. I worked hard for that brisk turtle pace. I didn't want my hard work to just go down the drain because I was growing a human.

My first few runs with baby on board were all about keeping the beat and not running any slower than I had been. I realized quickly that I was not in charge anymore.  BOB #2 had a different plan. Those early runs left me exhausted, winded, and down right bumming hard that I was struggling. I felt like my groove was slipping through my fingertips.

Ashley at a recent family wedding.

Now that I’m 30 weeks pregnant, I can look back and see that I did lose speed but it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. As my times got slower, I felt the absolute opposite as what I anticipated. Don't get me wrong, it still stung a little bit each mile when my Garmin vibrated at me, but I embraced my inner BAMR. I am proud that I am even still running with this little human on board. I am not hunkered down on the couch watching trashy TV and demolishing cartons of ice cream. I have even started to contemplate leaving my Garmin at home but I just can't part with it yet. I feel naked without it and let's get real, if it wasn't tracked, did it really happened?

As this pregnancy progresses, I can feel my body beginning to reach its capacity. Being 5’ 2,” I am physically running out of space to house this kid. Between feet in my ribs and and and elbow pinching my sciatic nerve, I'm getting uncomfortable. The runs still feel good; however, the hours following do not.

Ashley’s new running partners.

I was worried I would have to make the decision to slow down on my own but BOB #2 has shown me he/she is the one in charge, not me. My runs are getting to the point where I am fairly certain I could walk faster than I am running but I am still moving. Instead of mourning the loss of my speed, I am embracing the slower pace and all the glorious little things that accompany it. Reese and our dogs can join me more often. I am more focused on my surroundings and, most importantly, I am reminded of why I run in the first place, which definitely isn't to win any time trials.

2 responses to “Running for Two: Slowing Down

  1. Thank you for sharing this!!! I too am pregnant with baby #3 and this is the first pregnancy I am running!!! I am almost 17 weeks and I have gotten discouraged with how much “slower” my pace is!! In fact, I ran a small local 5k today and I was 91 out of 101! It was hard not to feel totally defeated but this “running for two” is not easy. I am also so amazed and proud of myself for still going! And you are right …we can enjoy the scenery and the “joy” of running! I love that you said, “I am not the one in charge.. the baby is!” Thanks for the inspiration! Best wishes!

  2. My running definitely slowed down as my pregnancies progressed! Totally normal! Even in the first months your blood volume is increasing and so many systems are adapting to support the extra life inside you. I started running after having baby #3. With baby #4, I kept running the same amount of time each day but by the last trimester I was covering a shorter distance. With baby #5, I kept the distance the same but it took me longer and longer with each passing month. I did not stress about it. I just kept running right up to and including the day my labor started with both of them. Made for a speedy recovery postpartum. I was back to running about three weeks after each baby and my “speed” came back over the weeks and months after that. Most of my running PR’s were set while breastfeeding one child or another. Keep it up!

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