The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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Last week, The New York Times ran a piece that has raised the ire of hundreds of runners across the country.
In it, the writer, Juliet Macur, explores the notion that slower runners—or “plodders” as they are called in the piece—are ruining the marathon experience for those who can run sub 4:30 (or some other arbitrary cutoff).
I was never a cheerleader, but I did spend the great majority of my childhood in middle America where the jocks and cute chicks with the short skirts reigned supreme.
I am nearing the end of the road here. Less than a month until the big day and I am nervous, excited, and starting to feel ready (or at least as ready as a person can be to run 26.2 miles).
Over the past few weeks, I have learned so much about running and about my body, things that my previous seven years spent running never taught me. Phrases like negative splits (running the first half of a race slower than the second) and hitting the wall (the final 6.2 miles, which are often thought to be the hardest) are now entering my vocabulary.
I am a bit of a running loner, or at least I have been in the past. I like to pick the speed, listen to my music, zone out and generally spend the time with me and me alone.
It’s funny because I am normally not someone who wants (or needs) to be alone much. If I could spend every waking moment with my husband, I would never have any need for space or desire to leave. Luckily, he is the same way. This works for us. But running has always been different.
The following is a summary of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ guidelines for exercising while pregnant:
1. In the absence of contraindications (see below), pregnant women are encouraged to engage in 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise a day on most, if not all, days of the week. (See “Don’t Exercise If ...” below.) As always, check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program.
First, let me say that you--and every pregnant woman--should talk with your doctor about athletic training during pregnancy. That said, I offer the following rules for a trained athlete as long as she is in good health, has no pregnancy complications and had no problems such as miscarriage or preterm labor in a prior pregnancy.
Stick with the training conditions you are used to. If you run on a track, this is not the time to start negotiating hilly streets.
Since the ligaments attached to your uterus are being stretched from all sides, don't be alarmed if you feel pulls and twinges in your groin, side or lower back while exercising or just going about your daily activities. It's also natural to feel more out of breath than usual--just back off the intensity a bit. But heed these warning signs: lightheadedness, contractions or cramping to the point of pain and bleeding. If you experience any of these, contact your doctor immediately.