I ran a race this week! I certainly didn’t race it, but running 5 miles at a faster pace than recent runs felt like a huge accomplishment at 38 weeks pregnant. I waited until the last minute to sign up, but I’m really happy I did this race – especially since it’s time to taper down running soon!
Since I wanted to feel fresh for the race, I took it easy this week. I took a couple of days off of running to let some tightness in my calf subside early in the week. I did walk a lot this week to stay active, especially since daily walks or runs feel really good right now.
Monday: 1 hour long walk
Some calf pain and hamstring tightness lingered from Sunday into Monday, so I opted not to run. In the evening, once it felt better after rest, icing, and foam rolling, Ryan and I took the dogs on an hour-long walk through the park.
Tuesday: Pilates & strength
My calf and hamstring felt better, but there was still enough lingering tightness that I opted to give it one more day of rest. My approach is that it’s always, always better to cautiously take two or three days of rest/cross-training than to risk an injury. In this case, I wanted the tightness and discomfort to subside, rather than accidentally run too soon and prolong the problem.
Instead of running, I did 20 minutes of prenatal Pilates and about 10 minutes of simple strength exercises (banded monster walks, lateral band walks, banded squats, banded clamshells, pelvic tilts). I thoroughly foam rolled as well.
Wednesday: 30 minute run
30 minutes for turning 30! My calf and hamstring felt back to normal and the run felt good. I ran 3.2 miles in those 30 minutes, without any walk breaks.
In the evening, we walked downtown (~2.5 miles total) for a celebratory birthday dinner.
Thursday: 30 minute run
After the run and walk the day before, my legs were more tired on this run. I ran for 30 minutes at a slow effort (~3.1 miles). I think it’s time to switch to running every other day or run-walk intervals on consecutive days. My recovery is slower than ever!
We went for another long walk in the evening. Even though it’s darker earlier, it’s been nice to get out for a walk after dinner.
Friday: Rest day
I took a few shorter walks, but overall I stayed off my feet more to rest up for Saturday.
Saturday: 5 mile RACE (45:38)!
Yes, I signed up for a race at 38.5 weeks pregnant. The Saturday after Labor Day is our town’s annual Popcorn Festival. Orville Redenbacher was born in Valparaiso, IN, so each September the town holds a huge festival in his honor. One of the big events is the 40+ year tradition of the Popcorn Panic, a 5-mile race. I wasn’t planning on running it until a couple weeks ago, when I realized I was likely to be able to run through this entire pregnancy. The race circled twice by our street, so I wagered I could quit if I didn’t feel good or if something happened.
Ryan and I ran together and both had a really, really enjoyable race. We kept the effort comfortable throughout and finished in 45:38 – a 9:08 average pace, the fastest I’ve run in weeks! The final mile clocked in at 8:31 and I felt strong. I really enjoyed the course also!
After the race, we logged several miles of walking around the festival – over 22,000 steps! The walking, more than the race itself, really tired me out by the end of the day, but it was worth it for a fun day.
Sunday: Rest Day
After a long day on my feet, I needed a rest day. I have to remind myself that I won’t always tire out this easily!
How was your week in running?
Receive Weekly Running Tips & Motivation
Subscribe for my weekly newsletter and receive a free download of injury prevention exercises for runners.