Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Rest, Rambling, and Newton's Law

Picture found on www.activeWoMOM.com.
Sunday I didn't do a thing.  Not a single thing.  Well... that's not entirely true.  I think I folded some clothes and washed a few dishes, but other than that I was on the couch watching Army Wives on Netflix.  It was lovely.  I felt sort of guilty about it, but we lost an hour and I'd had a busy week and day before, and all I wanted to do Sunday was veg and be left alone to do so.  I did get up at one point and look at my running clothes for a few minutes, but when I thought of changing, running, and showering, it all seemed like too much work. 

By Monday, however, I was ready to go.  I woke up Monday morning and decided it was time to incorporate pilates and weights into my routine again.  I've fallen off the wagon where those two workouts are concerned, but I think they will help with flexibility, strength, managing weight gain, and possibly labor and recovery afterward.  My prenatal workout DVD set contains yoga, pilates and a weights DVD with several different things on it. Monday morning I chose the weights DVD and did the 20 minute pilates workout and the 15 minute full body weights routine.  It was just perfect.  I get bored with non-running activities quickly, so the shorter the better.

Monday night my client needed to reschedule her run so I went out on my own.  After hitting the grocery store for healthy eats for the week, I quickly changed clothes and headed out the door for 3 miles.  Mile one was a 10:00 mile, mile 2 was 8:49, and mile 3 was 9:29.  I was all over the place!  I was very winded during that second mile, but I enjoyed it.  I didn't really know how fast I was going because when pregnant a little effort feels like a lot more.  Many times when I am running I feel like I am flying only to look at my watch and see that I am not (so I've stopped looking at it while running). The actual 8:49 split was surprising, but as you can see I couldn't hold it.

I stopped after mile 2 and stretched for a few seconds before finishing the run at a slower pace.  My lower abdomen and back had begun to ache a little.  When I finished I was sweaty and out of breath and it felt great.  The day had left me feeling really good.  I've come to see that exercise breeds more exercise, just like being sedentary breeds more sedentary-ness (which is basically Newton's law of motion).  I've also noticed that everything is just a little bit harder while pregnant. Not impossible, just a bit more challenging (and being in my 2nd trimester this will probably become more so as things progress).  Waking up is harder, even though I've had a full night's rest.  Running is harder, even though I want as many miles as my body will allow and most of the time it feels really good. Recovery from workouts takes longer, even when I feel there shouldn't be recovery necessary at all.

This morning I forced myself up and out of bed to get in a 3 mile jaunt through the neighborhood. I have class tonight, so I knew if I wanted exercise, it had to be this morning. It was difficult to get going and once I got out there running did not feel as comfortable as it had yesterday. I did a run/walk combination, completing my 3 miles in 38:09. Walking felt really good and I tried to keep a quick clip so that my heart rate still increased even though I wasn't running. 

Another thing I've noticed to go along with my version of Newton's law is that when I'm exercising on a regular basis, my eating tends to match.  I make sure to fuel with fruits and veggies, I stay away from too many sweets and try to pack a healthy, well-balanced, energy providing lunch to take to work. I think exercise gives me that extra motivation to treat my body (and baby) right with nutrition, since I've already been treating it well with exercise.  Today I have strawberries and grapes, celery and peanut butter with some back-up apple if I run out of celery before I run out of peanut butter.  I have a turkey and cheese sandwich as my main course and Yoplait vanilla yogurt for dessert. That is sort of my guilty pleasure because I think Greek is better for me, but I really love Yoplait. 

In conclusion, I think a little rest helps me get going again.  I think this holds true for both pregnant runners trying to stay fit and healthy while cramming a lot into their days, as well as non-pregnant runners training for a specific event.  Rest is a powerful training tool, and one often overlooked or viewed as slacking off.  I'm guilty of this same viewpoint, but as a coach I'm trying to grasp it more firmly and not only require it of my runners, but set an example by resting myself when needed.  And just like I've seen this week, I think my body will thank me for such thinking. 

For more info on exercise and pregnancy, check out this article on activeWoMOM.com.


  1. Thank you for a good entry about eating well and exercising while pregnant! Your approach makes a lot of sense. I am looking forward to seeing how you progress through the whole pregnancy!

  2. You are doing awesome!! Oh how I wish I would of been more like you during my pregnancy (next kiddo I will but that won't be for at least another year)! You are very right pure rest does wonders even if you feel like you are slacking. Balanced is a wonderful thing to be :) Great post!

  3. Thanks for the encouragement!!

  4. I love Army Wives! Are you catching up on past seasons?

  5. Yes, I'm all caught up now...at least I've finished season 5. I think season 6 is on now... right?