I started out (not knowing I was pregnant for first 2 weeks of program) using the Another Mother Runner "finish it" marathon plan. I followed this plan as prescribed up thru week 6, or gestation week 9. Up until this time, I was conflicted about what to do with my pregnancy and training. On the one hand, I felt great and thought I would be fine continuing with my full marathon training. On the other hand, I didn't want to jeopardize my health or that of the fetus.
A thoughtful email from Kia (Determined to be Fit) and a couple supportive, but questioning, emails from Tall Mom Mel helped me sort out my thoughts and feelings which were then further affirmed after reading a book, Exercising Through Your Pregnancy by James Clapp, that Kia recommended. And, fortunately, my doctor supported my decision.
Decision: Switch to the half marathon "finish it" program, eliminate high intensity efforts keeping my relative perceived effort at a moderate level, maintain miles, be extra vigilant about fueling & hydration, and most importantly, listen to my body during and after my runs. Try to keep expectations low regarding performance and likelihood of running the entire half marathon, accepting that I might need to walk-jog or walk my "race" if running just wasn't feeling good.
I surprisingly found that my long runs felt great, they were at a slower pace anyway, but I did get more fatigued by the effort and needed a more relaxed recovery period post long run.
I have held my breath at the beginning of each week wondering what my body would deliver, knowing that any run could be that one that told me to chill way out or even stop. It hasn't happened yet!
At gestation week 17, I started using the Gabrialla medium support belt. This helped me with my lower back weakness, which was a problem for me pre-pregnancy as well. As I grow, I'm sure I'll appreciate the belly support as well. After the Eugene Half, I'm going to give my lower back a break and just stick to shorter runs that are well under 60 minutes. I don't want to risk fatiguing my lower back to the point where I am immobilized. Instead, I'll run short & easy and work on doing some planks and other strength work.
So how did I do on this training round? I narrowed the running down to 3 days/week with the goal of supplementing with at least 2 days of cross-training (mostly biking) per week. I don't have the same nifty chart showing how well I did on the cross-training, though I can tell you I was not as consistent as I was with my running:
I'm proud of this even though I feel like it was a fluke. My last pregnancy - - I didn't run at all. It hurt to walk after about 6 months. Every person is so different, and clearly different pregnancies for the same person, can vary quite a bit. I think it's critical to remember that you can't compare yourself to others or your previous pregnancies in this situation, you have to just listen to your body and take it one day at a time.
That's it folks: My pregnancy training in a nutshell. I didn't know if I could make it this far but I'm so freaking excited that I have. As long as this week goes well, I will be at that starting line on Sunday and will be able to run the whole (half) race!
As for the full marathon that keeps eluding me...I'm hoping I can recover in time to run my first one in late fall 2014. More on that another day.