The Pregnant Athlete

Learning To Embrace My Changing Pregnant Body While Swimming, Biking, Running & Practicing Yoga


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What to do running-wise for the remaining weeks of my pregnancy now that my goal race has been completed?

Week 33 | +26 lbs

I had been so fixated on my training for the 2014 Delaware Marathon, that I had not even considered what I would do running-wise for the 11 weeks after my goal race until the end of my pregnancy! Since I started running marathons in 2008, completing a spring or fall marathon season usually meant that I would enjoy easy runs and cross training for a few weeks before diving back into the next marathon season.  In 2012 and 2013, there were no breaks between seasons, as spring season was actually a precursor to the summer triathlon season, and fall season would begin immediately after the triathlon season ended. Realizing that the road to recovery from childbirth can be long and arduous, as can adjusting to my new life as a mom, I had already decided to not sign up for a fall marathon, so that I could focus on nursing and spending a lot of quality time with my husband and my daughter.  Next year, I plan to test the theory behind Performance Enhancing Babies (PEBs), and aim to qualify for Boston!

The important question still remains: What DO I do running-wise for the remaining weeks of my pregnancy now that my goal race has been completed? Here are a few things I have been doing over the past four weeks since my goal race that I suggest other pregnant runners struggling with the post-goal race blues take part in!

Suggestion #1: Volunteer for local races. The much-anticipated Brooklyn Half Marathon took place 6 days after my marathon, and, since I live in Brooklyn, had a lot of friends running this race, and still needed to volunteer for a New York Road Runner race, as part of my 9+1 for entry into the 2015 NYC Marathon, I jumped at the chance to volunteer for it! I helped out at the start corrals, which was no easy feat, as the race had over 25,000 runners and a two-wave start! I was also asked to hold the orange starting line tape, certainly the closest I’d get to the front of the line of a large race! After both waves started, I helped discard GU packets, water bottles and other trash as well as pick up articles of clothes for donations, which was the most challenging part of volunteering, as my belly made it really hard to bend down to pick up items. While I do not litter when I run solo, I’ll now also always make a concerned effort to discard trash in trash bins during races too–remember that someone has to pick up the trash after you!

Brooklyn Half Marathon Start Line, 5/18/14

Brooklyn Half Marathon Start Line, 5/18/14

Suggestion #2: Map out fun runs for yourself in your town or city. On some weekdays, I still run 5 miles home in Brooklyn from work in Manhattan, changing the bridge I run over depending on the day.  On weekends, I will usually go for a 10-mile long run, either opting to run a few loops of Prospect Park, along the water in Brooklyn, into Manhattan and back. The weather has been so perfect for running in New York City recently!

Clockwise from bottom left: Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, Chinatown from Manhattan Bridge, National Running Day swag, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Williamsburg Bridge, Hudson River Park and National Running Day swag!

Clockwise from bottom left: Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, Chinatown from Manhattan Bridge, National Running Day swag, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Williamsburg Bridge, Hudson River Park and National Running Day swag!

Suggestion #3: Support your friends and family at their races. My husband kicked off the start of his triathlon season at the Black Bear Half Ironman two weeks ago.  He has been so supportive of my races since we started dating, and has either volunteered or cheered me on at every marathon or triathlon I have ever completed, so there was no way I would miss his race! We awoke at 3:45am that morning, packed up the car, and headed to the race, which started at 7:00am in the Poconos. I was grateful that my husband brought me a folding chair to sit on for the day, and that there were plenty of trees to lounge under, as the temperatures reached the mid-80s! However, my husband couldn’t find any places for me to pick up food on the way to the race, and they didn’t sell any food or drinks at the race either, which left me parched and starving until he was finished at 3:30pm! As he entered transition after the bike leg and before his half marathon, I had to holler at him to toss me any GU he didn’t need and water because I was THAT  hungry and thirsty (Who willing ingests GU if not for training or a race?). He said he thought of our baby and me during the entire run, and was running to us to get us food and drinks. I ended up sick with a sore throat, fever and cold that week–no surprise!! Supporting friends and family is always a great thing to do, but definitely pack your own food and drinks, just in case, when you’re pregnant!

My husband and me at the start of the Black Bear Half Ironman, where he finished a really tough course with the steepest bike climbs and a technical half in 6:24:29, a 10th place AG and a PR, 6/1/14!

My husband and me at the start of the Black Bear Half Ironman, where he finished a really tough course with the steepest bike climbs and a technical half in 6:24:29, a 10th place AG and a PR, 6/1/14!

Suggestion #4: Run with fellow pregnant friends. Who better to have as running buddies when you’ve slowed down significantly and your pace is unpredictable due to pregnancy but other pregnant women?! Last Saturday, two of my pregnant friends and I planned to meet at Brooklyn Bridge Park, and go for an 8-mile run and post-run brunch. One of my friends was 10 days away from her due date! We ended up cutting the run short at 4.5 miles, which certainly happens on pregnant runs, sipped fresh lemonade infused with different fruit and herbs (I had one with watermelon and mint!) as we strolled along the water, and enjoyed a yummy brunch at AIMar, a charming restaurant in the area. The best part of the run and brunch date was the ability to discuss any and all topics related to our pregnancies and babies! So much fun!

From left to right, weeks 38, 19 and 31, 6/7/14

From left to right, weeks 38, 19 and 31, 6/7/14races, two of the three last official races I’ll be running for a while, since and I’ll be busy in July! Best of luck to the ‘s Moms In Training at the New York Mini 10K, for which was a partner. They’re an inspiring group of superwomen.

Suggestion #5: Continue to run shorter distance races! In addition to continuing to run regularly, I’ve signed up for a number of shorter races in New York City through the end of June, and will look for more to motivate me in July as I approached my expected due date.  This weekend, I’ll be running two races back-to-back, namely the Oakley Women’s Mini 10K on Saturday and the Portugal Day 5-miler on Sunday! I’m excited to cheer on The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Moms In Training while I’m running too at tomorrow’s race, for which my yoga studio was a partner. I had the opportunity to attend the Moms In Training Inspiration Dinner earlier this week, with my own mom as my date, and they had me in a teary mess! The moms that are members of the group are truly an inspiring group of superwomen! 

Shirts and bibs from this weekend's Oakley Women's Mini 10K and Portugal Day 5-miler as we ll as a onesie with Sacred Sounds Yoga's logo printed, 6/13/14

Shirts and bibs for this weekend’s Oakley Women’s Mini 10K and Portugal Day 5-miler as we ll as a onesie with Sacred Sounds Yoga’s logo, 6/13/14

Month 8 Belly Photo, 6/1/14

Month 8 Belly Photo, 6/1/14

Week 30 (5/18-24) training: 15 miles

Sunday: Rest
Monday: Spin
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 4.5 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 10.5 miles

Week 31 (5/25-31) training: 25 miles 

Sunday: 5 miles
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Spin, Yoga
Wednesday: 5 miles
Thursday: 5 miles
Friday: 10 miles
Saturday: Rest

Week 32 (6/1-6/7) training: 10.5 miles 

Sunday: Rest
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: 6 miles
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 4.5 miles


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Pregnancy yoga photo shoot with Robert Sturman!

Week 30 | +24 lbs

Two and a half weeks ago, my husband and I had the pleasure of meeting with Califorinia-based Robert Sturman for a pregnancy yoga photo shoot in the Greenwich Village while Robert was in town for a few weeks! I have been a huge fan of Robert’s work since I discovered it in the New York Times two years ago, and have been stalking his Facebook page ever since. Since then, he’s captured mesmerizing photos of the Africa Yoga Project, Prison Yoga Project, and yogis worldwide.  When he inquired about offering a yoga photography workshop at a studio in New York City on his Facebook page last June, I immediately responded! I was happy to learn how humble and compassionate he is during our initial phone conversation, and was thrilled when he decided to offer his special workshop at my studio!

It was a true honor to see him again, and have him document my pregnancy at our recent shoot.  I will now forever and always look be able to look at these photos, and recall this special time in my husband and my lives.  All photos below were taken by Robert Sturman on May 6, 2014 at 28 weeks pregnant. Some of his photos from his recent trip are currently featured in MindBodyGreen’s “Yoga In The Heart of New York City,” including one he took of me.

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Week 29 (5/11-17) training: 37.2 miles 

Sunday: 26.2 miles
Monday: Spin
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 5 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 6 miles


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Baby’s first marathon: A race recap of the Delaware Marathon at 29 weeks pregnant!

Week 29 | +22 lbs

This past Sunday, I finally completed the 2014 Delaware Marathon in 4:54:14, my 16th marathon-plus! Although the marathon was my second slowest ever, it was by far the most special, as it was my husband’s first, and my first for two at 29 weeks pregnant! Additionally, I ran to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training, for whom I’ve now raised $12,300 over three seasons. I am sincerely grateful to everyone that donated in loving memory of my grandmother Susie Ying, and to our supportive coaches.

Finished the 2014 Delaware Marathon, 5/11/14!

Finished the 2014 Delaware Marathon, 5/11/14!

The days leading up to the race.

My husband and I drove down to northern Virginia the Friday before the race to celebrate Mother’s Day that evening with my mom and three of my sisters, who either currently attend the University of Virginia or reside there, and then my niece’s third birthday on Saturday. I was immediately concerned about how much warmer it was there, with temperatures reaching the 80s, as compared to NYC, which was at least ten degrees cooler.  My doula often reminds me, “don’t cook the baby,” as the pregnant body is ten degrees warmer than a non-pregnant one, and, being someone that usually feels warmer than everyone else, I wondered how would handle the heat.  I became even more nervous when I literally huffed and puffed through my husband and my 2-mile shakeout run on Saturday morning–not only was I sluggish and slower than usual, but I could feel the weight of the humidity suffocate me like a blanket. I promised myself during the run that I would hydrate at every aid station during the race, approximately every mile or mile and half, whereas I normally do so every 20 minutes.  Thankfully, I spent the rest of the morning and afternoon indoors at my niece’s birthday party with my compression socks on and my legs propped up on the couch. Party guests’ questions about the socks and then reaction to why I was wearing made me laugh!

Afternoon nap with my compression socks, 5/10/14

Afternoon nap with my compression socks, 5/10/14

The night before the race.

My husband and I made the 2.5 hour drive to Wilmington, DE just in time for the end of the designated bib pick up time. Although I normally put a lot of thought into researching restaurants for my marathons, my meals choices generally being almost as important as the race itself, it had slipped my mind for this race’s pre-race meal! I found a local Italian restaurant with positive reviews, Ristorante Attilio, and we headed over without a reservation. After suffering from food poisoning the night before two marathons in the past, the 2011 Paris and 2013 Big Sur, I now always make sure to eat fully cooked, hot foods for two straight days before marathons, and kept it especially “vanilla” that evening being pregnant–my husband and I both had pasta, cheese, tomato sauce and some cooked protein. We were pleasantly surprised with a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie for each of us when we checked into our hotel, and laid out all our race gear before sleeping early!

Race gear ready, 5/10/14

Race gear ready, 5/10/14

The morning of the race.

My husband and I awoke at 5:30am, an hour before we had to head out the door.  I ate a breakfast consisting of half a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter, half a banana and a quarter cup of coffee with milk, got dressed and prepped for the race, including rolling loads of Body Glide all over, slathering myself with sunblock and securing five GUs to my SPIbelt, and made sure to empty my bowels.  I’ve read constipation is a common issue with most pregnant women, but the pregnancy has had the opposite effect on me, as I now go number two up to four times a day, and always expect to at least once during a long run!  My husband and I took the ten-minute walk over to the race start, and immediately lined up on the Port-A-Potty line again, knowing that I’d also have to take a number of pee breaks during the race.  At 6:55am, when we still had a handful of people in front of us on the line, I gave up on the idea of peeing beforehand, and we rushed over to the starting line just in the nick of time!

Waiting on the Port-A-Potty line, 5/11/14

Waiting on the Port-A-Potty line, 5/11/14

Miles 1 – 6 (9:40, 9:37, 9:44, 9:36, 9:50, 9:59).

My husband and I gave each other a kiss, and wished each other good luck just before we crossed the starting line and parted ways.  I typically don’t feel great during the first few miles of a marathon, as it takes at least six miles before I start to find my rhythm, and I was even more uncomfortable during the start of this one! Our baby is now the size of a butternut squash, according to BabyCenter–is my belly too big to handle all this running at this point? Is it going to be too hot today? I’m starting too fast–will I be okay? Questions and concerns loomed over my head, especially as the first few miles were completely unshaded, and two women complained loudly about the heat at Mile 3, one of whom mentioned a female runner from her hometown in Maryland that died the week prior during a half marathon.  I started to feel better after Mile 6 when we encountered our first major, one-mile incline, as I love hills, and this one was entirely shaded by lush, full trees.

Delaware Marathon Course Map & Elevation Chart

Delaware Marathon Course Map & Elevation Chart

Miles 7 – 12 (12:03 with Potty Break #1, 9:57, 9:50, 10:05, 10:00, 10:00).

As I had promised to myself, I grabbed water at every aid station, and was confident that I was drinking enough fluids to compensate for the sweat loss when I had to stop for a potty break at the start of Mile 7.  I continued the rhythmic running and breathing that I had started just before the break, my “moving meditation,” as I often call this feeling.

Mile 13 – 18 (11:20 with Potty Break #2, 10:00, 10:37, 11:06, 12:28 with Potty Break #3, 11:25).

The Delaware Marathon is a double loop, with the half marathoners finishing their respective race at our halfway point, so I could hear the crowds roar as I approached Mile 13. Seeing and hearing the excitement of the crowds, some of whom responded with “Happy Mother’s Day!” as they saw and pointed at my shirt, as well as knowing that half the marathon was literally behind me made me even more excited about the race!! I smiled widely at the spectators, a Cool-Aid grin that was etched across my face until I crossed the finish line, and recalled why I loved about running marathons so much! I also thanked all the volunteers that I passed, especially the police officers that had to direct traffic and deal with a number of really angry drivers–apparently, the town is not the most marathon-friendly.

Smiles!

Smiles!

Miles 19 – 26.2 (11:45, 13:16, 13:07, 13:03, 14:41 with Potty Break #4, 13:02, 13:19, 14:14).

The rising temperatures, which reached 79 degrees by the finish, and the start of more hills took a toll on me, and my pace started to decline at Mile 17.  I started dumping a cup of water on my head at each aid station to cool off.  By Mile 20, my pace was slower than it had been for even the JFK 50 Mile Ultramarathon when I had ran it in 2012! At Mile 22, I remembered one of the things I struggle with the most during the last 10K of a marathon, the one constant–nausea. I realized I had only been ingesting water and GU so far, and started loading up on Gatorade at aid stations in hopes that the extra calories and electrolytes would help–my body normally doesn’t respond well to Gatorade, but it hopefully would this time. My hopes became a reality, and I was excited that I only had 4 miles left at that point until the finish, only less than a lower loop of Central Park left, as I like to think of it! A piece of advice: Always count the miles that remain at the end of a marathon, but not at the start.

The end of the race.

My smile widened, and tears of joy welled up in my eyes as I neared the 26-mile mark! I picked up my pace as I saw the finish line in my sight. The best part was still waiting for me–my husband was standing just beyond the finish line with my medal in his hands. I lept across the finish, and right into him. Our first family marathon was finally finished!! 

First family marathon, 5/11/14!

First family marathon, 5/11/14!

Week 28 (5/4-10) training: 8 miles 

Sunday: Rest
Monday: Spin
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 3 miles
Thursday: 3 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 2 miles


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The third trimester is finally here!

Week 28 | +22 lbs

I’m excited to have finally arrived at the third trimester! The second seemed significantly longer than the first, though likely because my husband and I didn’t find out until Week 5. To honor the arrival of the final phase of my pregnancy, I wanted to make note of the changes in my body that I’ve already noticed these past few days:

  1. Swollen feet and legs. With the first day of the third trimester this past Sunday came swelling more severe than I’d ever experienced before in my life! I attributed it, in part, to the fact that I spent a lot of time out with friends this past weekend, and didn’t drink enough water or eat as well as I usually do. I spent the last few days making sure to drink more water as well as my daily green juices, and eat nutrient-dense salads for lunch and well-balanced meals in the evenings, which has seemed to help.
  2. More punches and kicks as well rolls too!  I’ve noticed that our daughter has increased her activity in utero particularly over the past two weeks. Two nights ago, I woke up in the middle of the night to our baby’s foot in my side, and could actually feel the entire foot with my hand!  She’s most active in the early morning just as I’m waking up, perhaps because I start to stir at that time. Additionally, I’ve been feeling her start to roll around in my belly–the sensation is incredible!
  3. Less sleep. All the movement in my belly also wakes me up more–I seem to be hyper aware of the movement.  Unfortunately, this means I’m sleeping less these days, and much more tired during the day. Is this when the pregnancy starts to become difficult again? I truly hope not.
Ultrasound with baby's face, 5/5/14

Ultrasound with baby’s face, 5/5/14

On another note, I’m finally counting down the final days until the Delaware Marathon, which is this Sunday!  The marathon will be my husband’s first, my third to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training, and, most excitingly, our baby’s first!! I’m a bit nervous, given the amount of time it will take for me to complete the race, but excited too!

Month 7 Belly Photo, 5/7/14

Month 7 Belly Photo, 5/7/14

Week 27 (4/27-5/3) training: 18 miles 

Sunday: Rest
Monday: Spin
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 5 miles
Friday: 10 miles
Saturday: 3 miles


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5 favorite prenatal yoga poses.

Week 27 | +20 lbs

Yoga has been my means to counterbalancing my busy and active lifestyle since 2008. Not only has it helped me recover from running injuries over the past six years since I ran my first marathon, but it has also nourished my overall mental and spiritual well-being.  Amazingly, my yoga practice has assumed a deeper role during my pregnancy–it is during yoga that I feel the most connected to my husband and my unborn daughter.  With each inhale, I give life to our baby.  With each exhale, I let go of daily stresses that sometimes seem to have become magnified during my pregnancy. I am fully aware of each of our baby’s movements during yoga, that which I’m completely unaware of during my other active pursuits.

Side stretch during prenatal yoga class shoot, 4/18/14

Side stretch during prenatal yoga class shoot at Sacred Sounds Yoga, 4/18/14

The following are my 5 favorite prenatal yoga poses:

Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)  – We, mommies-to-be that are in our first and second trimesters, typically start class in supta baddha konasana at my studio, whereas third trimester moms taking side-lying pose. We each use two blocks and a bolster to help prop up our upper bodies, and often wrap a rolled up blanket around our feet (see photo below).  I’ve found that starting class in this pose has been the best way to help clear my thoughts, and focus on the connection between our baby and me. I feel closest to our baby in the pose, as I can feel all of her hiccups, kicks and slight movements.

Squat (Malasana) – Malasana helps to increase mobility in the hips, stretches and soothes the back and strengthens the abdomen–all of these benefits have a positive impact on labor and delivery.  Additionally, women are often advised to squat during childbirth. I, personally, have always loved this posture during class, though I often transitioned into Crow Pose (Bakasana) following it pre-pregnancy, whereas I am happy just to squat these days.  I magine I will spend a lot of time laboring in it.

Half Four-Limbed Staff Pose (Half Chaturanga Dandasana) – Half Chaturanga is the only pose that makes me feel like I’m strengthening upper back and triceps, as most of prenatal yoga is focused on either stretching or pain management practice for childbirth.  I love that the posture often makes my upper body sore these days, a signal that I’m really working my muscles.

Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana) – Pigeon Pose has always been one of my favorite yoga poses as a runner.  It helps to lengthen the hip flexors, increase the external range of motion of the femurs in the hip sockets, and stretch the iliotibial (IT) band.   For runners, tight hip flexors prevent full rear extension of the leg. To compensate, stiff runners achieve extension by arching their back and tilting their pelvis forward; this shifts the foot strike forward, in front of the runner’s center of mass, and creates an inefficient braking force, as well as a heavy foot strike that takes its toll on ankle, hip, and knee joints, explains USA Triathlon performance adviser Bobby McGee.  I love breathing  into pigeon pose, inhaling to lengthen and exhaling to deepen the stretch, while feeling our baby’s movements in my belly below me.

Child’s Pose (Balasana) – Child’s Pose calms the brain, helps relieve stress and fatigue, and alleviates back and neck pain with the head is supported, often with a block.  I love practicing kegels in Child’s Pose during class. Not only does it feel especially intimate to practice kegels in this posture, as opposed to doing so sitting up, but I am thrilled to feel our baby kick during the practice. It brings a smile to my face every time.

Supta baddha konasana during prenatal yoga class shoot at Sacred Sounds Yoga, 4/18/14

Supta baddha konasana during prenatal yoga class shoot at Sacred Sounds Yoga, 4/18/14

Week 25 (4/13-19) training: 38.1 miles 

Sunday: 13.1 miles
Monday: Spin
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 5 miles
Friday: Yoga
Saturday: 20 miles

Week 26 (4/20-26) training: 23 miles 

Sunday: 3 miles
Monday: Spin
Tuesday: Yoga, 3 miles
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 5 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 12 miles


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Heartburn and knee pains and calf cramps. Oh my!

Week 25 | +18 lbs 

It is true what people say–my second trimester has been an wonderful time of my pregnancy so far! The fog of the fatigue from the first trimester dissipated in Week 16, I finally adjusted my fuel and water intake for my long runs so as to prevent the migraines I was suffering from early on in the pregnancy, and I’ve been really enjoying finally feeling our baby daughter kick in my belly throughout the day (as has my husband whose face lit up when she kicked his cheek after he laid his head gently on my belly one evening).

Suffocating my husband with my belly, 4/9/14

Seemingly suffocating my husband with my belly, 4/9/14

Although I have genuinely enjoyed the last few weeks of the pregnancy, I have had to deal with a few new pregnancy pains during the second trimester. I’ve noted them, and how I’ve tried to deal with them too.

  1. Heartburn. The first time I experienced heartburn was on an easy 5-mile run a month ago.   I had had a green juice comprised of kale, apples, lemon and ginger and a bit of cheese an hour prior to the run, as fuel for my run home from work.   Boy was I unpleasantly surprised when the cheese and acids from the juice immediately started coming back up after only less than a mile into my run!  My doula Caprice Abowitt explained to me that relaxin is a hormone that relaxes the muscles, joints and ligaments in the pregnant body to prepare the body for childbirth, but also softens the muscles of the esophagus and the valve at the top of the stomach, causing heartburn. I try not to eat solids or drink anything acidic up to two hours before a run, whether short or long, opting to drink coconut water for short runs and fueling with water and gels for long runs instead. However, my heartburn will likely only get worse over the coming months. Some pregnant women have suggested taking Tums to help with the heartburn, which I will try if my food avoidance tactic pre-runs doesn’t work.
  2. Knee pains. The pains in my left knee from an injury that had cut my marathon season short early last fall and forced me to cancel my entries to the New Hampshire and New York City Marathons started to bother me again a few weeks ago, sadly.  I presume that the pains had come back as I gained more weight. The increase in weight meant greater impact on my joints. I’ve been able to lessen the knee pain through daily stretching and foam rolling, however, exercises I learned from physical therapy sessions I had attended for three months last year with Finish Line Physical Therapy, whom I highly recommend.  The recurrence of knee pains served as a reminder not to stop stretching.
  3. Calf cramps. A non-running induced pain, calf cramps have shaken me from my slumber twice in the past three weeks followed by loud yelps, waking up my husband too, so far.  As BabyCenter notes: “No one really knows why pregnant women get more leg cramps. It’s possible that your leg muscles are tired from carrying around all of your extra weight. Or they may be aggravated by the pressure your expanding uterus puts on the blood vessels that return blood from your legs to your heart and the nerves that lead from your trunk to your legs.”  Apparently, it’s also an issue that may worsen over the course of the pregnancy. The only proven remedy seems to be to stretch your calf muscle when this occurs by straightening your leg, heel first, and gently flexing your toes.
Freshly made green juice, comprised of kale, apples, lemon and ginger, and red juice, comprised of beets, carrots, apples, lemon and ginger. No more juice pre-run!

Freshly made green juice, comprised of kale, apples, lemon and ginger, and red juice, comprised of beets, carrots, apples, lemon and ginger, both in our wedding souvenirs. No more juice pre-run!

On a positive note, my second trimester pregnancy pains haven’t affected my marathon training, thankfully.  This past Sunday, I ran the More Magazine / Fitness Magazine Women’s Half Marathon in Central Park. Although it’s always one of my favorite local races, this experience was my favorite half marathon one ever!! Not only was it amazing to see and run with so many female friends before, after and especially during the race, I was excited to run it for two with my favorite female in my life (other than my mom), my daughter.  How is it possible to love someone so much whom you’ve never even met yet? It just is.

More Magazine / Fitness Magazine Women's Half Marathon, 4/13/14

More Magazine / Fitness Magazine Women’s Half Marathon, 4/13/14

Week 24 (4/6-12) training: 19 miles 

Sunday: 6 miles
Monday: Spin
Tuesday: Yoga, 3 miles
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 5 miles
Saturday: 5 miles


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Nostalgia: A look back at my progress as a runner.

Week 24 | +18 lbs

We, endurance athletes, rarely mull over all of our previous race times.  We also usually do not correlate races with events in our lives.  We often only remember our personal records, or PRs, for our favorite race distances, and, once we beat a PR, that last PR time is forgotten, with a new time ingrained in our minds as the one to beat. For example, I can tell you that I ran my PR marathon at the 2011 Chicago Marathon in 3:44:15. However, I could not tell you what my marathon times were for the marathons before or after that significant race. Sadly, I often forget exactly how many marathons I’ve completed so far–was it 14 or 16? And I certainly cannot tell you off the top of my head what my best times were for my shorter races.

2011 Chicago Marathon, 10/9/11

2011 Chicago Marathon, 10/9/11

As a pregnant runner, however, it is truly nostalgic to look back at my progress as a runner, perhaps since I now could not care less about my PRs or how to beat them.  I only care about how running makes me feel each day–each day is certainly a different day.  I am excited about each run I accomplish these days, and each race IS correlated with an event in my life, my pregnancy–even the number of weeks, specifically–and my growing baby.

6-mile run in Venice, Italy during which I ran over 29 bridges at 20 weeks! 3/14/14

6-mile run in Venice, Italy during which I ran over 29 bridges at 20 weeks! 3/14/14

A look back at a few significant races (and life events):*

  • 3/5/06 – First 5K – 27:02 (8:43/mi) – I had not yet met my husband, and worked at financial firm #1 post-college.
  • 5/4/08 – First marathon – 5:25:17 (12:24/mi) – My husband and my 6-month dating anniversary, and we both worked at financial firm #2.
  • 10/9/11 – PR marathon – 3:44:15 (8:33/mi) – 3 months after my husband and I got married, and less than a month before I opened my yoga studio. Also, notice that my pace per mile is faster than that for my first 5K!!
  • 11/17/12 – 50-mile ultramarathon – 10:44:14 (12:53/mi) –  5 years after my husband and I got together, and a year after I opened my yoga studio.
  • 8/18/13 – Ironman – 14:03:10, 4:31:36 marathon (10:21/mi) – My husband and I had always planned to start trying to start a family after this bucket list race.
  • 9/7/13 – Most recent marathon – 3:46:20 (8:38/mi) – I got injured during this race, and had to cancel my next two marathons in October and November. It worked out well that we got pregnant in October!

*It’s also significant to note that my husband has either volunteered or cheered me on at every one of my marathons, triathlons and ultramarathons I’ve ever completed!

On vacation in Jamaica just a month into our relationship, 12/07

On vacation in Jamaica just a month into our relationship, 12/07

I’ll be running the Delaware Marathon in 4.5 weeks at 29 weeks.  Although it may rival my first marathon as the slowest one, it will be the most special one yet. It will be my third marathon to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training in memory of my late grandmother, my husband’s first marathon ever, and my first running for two.  The race will be so much more than just a family affair.

Month 6 Belly Photo, 4/9/14

Month 6 Belly Photo, 4/9/14

Week 23 (3/30-4/5) training: 38 miles 

Sunday: 10 miles
Monday: Spin
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: 5 miles
Thursday: 5 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 18 miles