I am 22 weeks now and feel unstoppable. This is the best I have felt the entire pregnancy and far exceeds how I have felt (in a running point of view) during any of my pregnancies at 22 weeks. I am consistently putting 8-12 miles in a day and my standard pace is about 6:45 to 7:15 pace (even with a jogger stroller as long as there are no hills!). I think as I have gotten older, I have been able to handle so many more miles (as most women would agree once they hit the big 30) and it has really translated into my running pregnant style. Unusually I don’t even remember that I am pregnant most of the time that I am running and even most of the time during the day.
With my first baby it was all I thought about! How big is he now? I wonder if I will feel him kick again sometime soon? I remember thinking at the 5 month mark that it felt like I had been pregnant for years and that 4 months felt like a decade away. On the other hand with this pregnancy I literally feel like I just found out and the fact that I ONLY have four months before this baby comes freaks me out beyond words! I almost always forget I am pregnant too until I bend over to pick something up (and my huge stomach gets squished against my quads) or when I lay down at night (the only time I am not on my feet) and feel the little guy moving (which is the best feeling in the world!).
While this pregnancy was extremely unexpected and SOO close to my previous one, it is topping my list right now with how I feel. Pregnancy, which can be the most uncomfortable time in a woman’s life, has really been a breeze this time around so I have nothing to complain about (other than some mild heartburn). Now that I am through with morning (well more night) sickness and exhaustion I could not feel better. I think much of it has to do with the fact that my body has 40% more blood than usual (one of the perks of being preggers) so going from extreme hormone overload (from the first trimester) to feeling great from getting all of this extra blood, I can seriously fly when I am out there running! I am literally on natures form of blood doping and it’s a shame that I have 11 extra pounds hanging off my ass, chest and stomach otherwise I would seriously consider getting out there to try and PR in the half marathon!
In addition to feeling pretty awesome from the extra blood, I think a lot of me feeling good this time around has to do with the fact that this is baby number four. Like the marathon, the more you do and the more you train for, the more efficient your body gets. You get used to the miles, how you feel after workouts and can handle more volume and speed leading up to each one that you do. It has literally been the same for this pregnancy. The feelings and changes that my body is going through don’t feel scary and foreign. Experiencing a rapidly changing body while running is not something that bothers me anymore. Moreover because as a non-pregnant runner I am able to handle more, this has for sure translated into the pregnant runner version of me.
So pretty much to conclude, my advice to women out there who want to run throughout their pregnancies is just to have a lot of babies and by the fourth one you will feel great! Totally joking, but on a more serious note, I feel very thankful that this fourth one has been going so smooth. It has made me keep my eyes on my non-pregnant runner goals (the trials!) and has kept me excited to get out and hit the trails and roads.
Kind of a bad pic below, but here is my latest “selfie” of the bump while playing with my crew of three soon to be four!