The second trimester is now in full force and effect! As week 16 comes to a close, the most dangerous thing that I have found myself doing is comparing myself to others. I know that every pregnancy is different. I know that the most important thing right now is taking care of myself. But it doesn’t change the fact that it’s still hard!
I have been searching a lot of other running blogs for information about running pregnant. I bought a few books as well, but the “dos” and “don’t” in a typical instructional book don’t typically get into the nitty gritty day-to-day information that I am looking for. Additionally, many times these books are written for those with less of a training background (not that I am a elite runner by any means, but my body is used to some fairly high mileage to begin with). The problem with the blogs (as well as any social media site, really) is that I am constantly comparing myself.
I have already slowed down quite a bit. When my doctor cleared my mileage there were two major caveats that came with it: (1) I should be running at a comfortable pace (i.e. conversational pace) and (2) I had to keep my liquid consumption up and make sure not to overheat. While I intentionally have slowed all of my runs to a conversational pace – the conversational pace seems to be getting slower by the day! It’s also difficult to gauge “conversational” when all of your runs are by yourself. I have started intermittently talking to myself during runs to keep myself in check (if I wasn’t already the crazy runner in my neighborhood prior to pregnancy, I certainly am now).
On social media I see other runners note that they have only slowed 20-30 seconds from “normal” – I am currently about 1 to 1.5 minutes slower! Others note that they have felt strong and powerful in the second trimester. I just feel slow and like I am plodding around. While I feel “good” in that my body enjoys the running (and I feel like it has really helped me with my pregnancy symptoms in many ways) I don’t feel “runner-strong” (if that makes any sense). Don’t get me wrong – I am so happy that I have been able to continue running throughout my pregnancy, especially considering that at the beginning I didn’t think that this would be a possibility. Maybe it just seems different because I am hyperaware of everything that my body is doing. Regardless, I am so thankful that I am able to do what I am doing and hope to continue to do so.
Aside from running, I am also at a super awkward stage clothing-wise. My regular clothes don’t fit the same way (making it hard to find anything to wear that looks somewhat normal) and maternity clothing is much too big. Some days I look more pregnant and others I just look like I may have gained the freshman 15. It’s a weird, in-between stage and is becoming increasingly more difficult to manage as the weather gets warmer (and there are less layers to hide under). Running clothes are also a struggle. My sports bras don’t fit (at all). Most of my running shorts are fine but tops have been hard. I don’t know if I’m being overly self conscious, but since I don’t truly look pregnant I feel weird wearing anything form fitting or tight. I’m sure I’ll get over it real quick since today its 85 degrees and we are now entering the month of June!
As far as everything else, I was fortunate enough not to have any major first trimester symptoms (which is maybe why the honeymoon of the second trimester seems so evasive for me). My food tolerances are (almost) normal again. I am still tired a lot (but not all day) – it just hits me hard in the evening hours. I had my 16 week appointment last Friday and had some blood drawn. I also got to hear the baby’s heartbeat again (which never ceases to be amazing). The next appointment is my 20 week appointment with another ultrasound so that’s something to look forward to!