Tag Archives: running

Why I’m Doing This Thang Naturally

10 Feb
Yes please! {source}

Yes please!
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I’m one of those people who likes to have a full supply of painkillers on hand when I get sick. Nyquil, Tylenol, Afrin, Theraflu (which, btw, is no longer made. Tragedy), pass them my way! Which is why it came as a bit of a shock to some people (Michael, are you reading this?) to find out that I am planning on having a natural birth. After all, if someone hates being in pain, it should naturally follow that this person would opt for an epidural during childbirth, right?

Well, not this girl, turns out.

In all honesty, I’ve wanted to write about this for a few weeks but have struggled with putting the right words to my feelings. I have felt very strongly about going the natural route for awhile now, but I couldn’t quite figure out exactly why it struck such a cord with me. But (yep, get excited for this) I think I figured out my internal struggle.

Here’s the thing: I believe that some pain has a purpose. Sounds nuts (and not just a little eccentric), right? Just wait til I get going…

If you know much about me, you know that I am absolutely in love with running. And not just any running, distance running in particular holds a special place in my heart. To the point of obsession at times, actually… I mean you can’t run marathons without being just a tad bit obsessive, after all.

Anyway, here’s my point: I would never take drugs before going on a run. Even though I know I’ll be in pretty significant pain in an hour (or two, depending on the workout), feeling pain is important because it tells me if I’m doing something wrong. If I’m pushing a little injury too far, if a previous injury flares up, or if a new injury starts to form, it’s important to be aware so I can make adjustments. See what I’m saying? Pain with a purpose. When I get home from said run, I’m all about the Tylenol though, because I don’t see any reason to continue subjecting myself to pain.

I think of childbirth in pretty much the same way.

The human body is pretty freaking awesome. And the female body was made for childbirth (minus the stretch marks… I feel like there’s a flaw somewhere in the plan on that one). If pregnancy has taught me anything, that’s it. Even though I’m fully aware that it will be painful, I think there’s a purpose to the pain. Feeling contractions will allow me to work with my body to deliver my little guy quickly and safely. I don’t like the idea that I’ll have to be told when my contractions are going on, and I really don’t like the thought that I won’t be able to feel how hard I am pushing or should be pushing. Plus, just like with running, I think it’s important to know if I need to make adjustments in order to avoid unnecessary pain once the epidural wears off.

Btw, I don’t think the pain that goes along with the flu or a cold is really that productive. I take more of a “thanks, I’m aware that I’m sick, now stop bothering me” approach to viruses.

Long story short, I really believe that natural childbirth is the best and safest option for me. I have a really hard time with moms/books/professionals who try to impose their beliefs and values on others because each person and circumstance is so different, so don’t think I’m writing this to try and convince you one way or the other. I just wanted to explain to some of you out there (ahem… you know who you are :)) why I’m choosing this route.

Anyway, happy Sunday! Look forward to a bumpdate tomorrow 🙂 For now, I’m off to bed!

Running & Cocaine

23 Oct

A few weeks ago Michael’s cousin, Melissa, and her husband, Kimball, invited us over to their house for dinner. They live in a little town called Maple Valley, which is a little ways away from the city, and it was so nice to drive through a canyon, see some open land, and spend time in a neighborhood. I forgot they existed! Can you tell that living in the city is killing me a little?

Anyway, Melissa and I were talking about running during pregnancy and she told me something that just blew my mind. During her first pregnancy, her doctor flatly told her that she absolutely should not be running during pregnancy, so she asked about her friend who ran 5 miles a day while she was pregnant. He said: “Well some women use cocaine when they are pregnant and sometimes their babies turn out fine, but that doesn’t mean you should do it too.”

Is that just crazy or what? Running and cocaine? I mean, they’re both pretty addictive, but I really don’t think they have much in common besides that.

Fortunately, we live in a time when doctors (with the exception of Melissa’s OB…) generally agree that exercise is healthy and completely safe during pregnancy. A lot of things have changed over the last several decades, apparently.

Pregnancy in the 1950's

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Anyone else think that “bump” looks a little lumpy and suspect?

Even though we are a few years past the whole be-careful-not-to-break-a-sweat-when-you’re-pregnant mentality, some of it obviously still lingers.

When I found out I was pregnant, I immediately dialed back my running. In fact, I had registered for the Wahsatch Steeplechase (which I hadn’t trained for…) and just skipped it completely after finding out I was pregnant. See, I’ve wanted to run this trail race for years, but after I crossed the finish line of the Ogden Marathon (in late May), I needed a serious break from running. So I took one.

Unfortunately, I had signed up for this beast several months earlier (it took place in late June):

Wahsatch Steeplechase

This race is seriously hardcore.
It gains 4,500 feet of elevation in the first 7 miles.
Someday I’m going to actually do it, but it will be when I want to do it.

Anyway, the day before the race I freaked out. I knew that a positive pregnancy test was the only plausible out, so I took one out of sheer desperation. I knew there was an option it would come back positive, but I didn’t feel any different and was genuinely expecting a negative result. Obviously the positive result was a complete shock. So much of a shock, in fact, that the only emotion I felt for a few days afterward was relief (at not having to run the Wahsatch Steeplechase).

Looking back to that day, I probably could have run it. I might have hated it (okay, let’s get real. I most definitely would have hated it… And there was a pretty high chance I would have come home with the Bloodiest Runner award at the end–yep, they give that out), but I probably could have run it without any harm to my little guy (who is kicking me quite ferociously at the moment).

Pregnancy Exercise

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Yesss. This is EXACTLY what I need for jogging in Seattle. Who doesn’t love a sexy maternity unitard? Oh wait…

Back in the day (think 80’s and even 90’s), doctors thought it was really unsafe for your heart rate to rise above 130 bpm during pregnancy. These days, we know there isn’t much truth to that. In fact, you don’t need to worry too much unless you start getting close to your maximum heart rate, which you usually can’t accomplish without an impressive amount of effort.

Exercise during pregnancy isn’t just okay to do, it’s healthy for you and your baby! According to WebMD: “Regular exercise during pregnancy can improve your posture and decrease some common discomforts such as backaches and fatigue. There is evidence that physical activity may prevent gestational diabetes (diabetes that develops during pregnancy), relieve stress, and build more stamina needed for labor and delivery.”

Health benefits aside, exercise makes me feel just a little hotter 🙂 Trust me, that goes a long way when the size of your belly is the most noticeable thing about you… It’s pretty emotionally tough to see your waistline quickly expanding and finding that your clothes don’t come anywhere close to fitting. Let’s not even talk about my arch-nemesis, the bathroom scale. But when I get out and sweat, I feel so much more attractive. I never realized how vain I am! Maybe it’s just me (though I suspect it’s not), but how I look is really important to me. And even though pregnancy has definitely forced me to alter my ideas of what is attractive, running gives me a little boost in the mornings. Shallow? Maybe. Worth it? Definitely.

Ps: If you’re pregnant and have never really been into exercising, you can start today! Seriously. I feel like I’ve heard all my life that you can maintain the intensity of your workouts after you get pregnant, but you certainly can’t start exercising if you haven’t already been doing it. FALSE! Unless your doctor gives you the thumbs down, you can start exercising for the first time when you are pregnant if you start out easy. Make sure to read this for more information if you’re thinking about exercising during pregnancy!

And on that note, I’m going to bed. And I have a doctor’s appointment in the morning! Am I the only one out there who absolutely adores these appointments? I’m just hoping this one doesn’t involve… an exam. You know what kind of exam I’m talking about. Eek.