If there was a theme to this week, it would be puffy feet and tight calves. It’s due to a combination of almost 30 pounds extra weight and how that weight is distributed, extra blood volume, and the effect of pregnancy hormones on circulation. I run or walk daily, which does bring relief.
I’m now early term, which means tapering down running more. I ran 17 miles this week and plan on dropping down to 10-15 miles per week (or less) for the remaining 2-4 weeks.
Monday: 40 minute run
While I caught a break in the rain for my run, this meant high humidity. I initially felt decent and considered aiming for five miles, but by mile 2 my calves began to cramp and tighten. I had gardened in the evening the night before and did not stretch or foam roll after that, and let’s be honest – at this point in pregnancy, I need to stretch and foam roll after everything. I finished my 4.1 miles and called it a day.
Ryan and I (and the dogs) have been enjoying long walks lately. We took a 50 minute walk through the nearby park in the evening. Right now, frequent walks throughout the day are vital for feeling good. If I sit too long, I feel uncomfortable and tight.
Tuesday: 20 min strength training & 35 min walk
The closer I get to my due date, the more I modify my strength training. I’ve progressively lowered the number of reps, lowered weight, and modified the exercises. For this workout, I did lateral band walks, monster band walks, kettlebell goblet squats, TRX low rows, kettlebell deadlifts, TRX chest presses, Pilates-style side-lying double leg lifts, pelvic tilts, and banded clamshells.
I took the dogs on a walk during lunch, which definitely boosted my energy levels for the afternoon.
Wednesday: 5 mile run
The weather felt amazing with 60 degree temperatures, mild humidity, and a nice breeze. I felt too good and accidentally clocked my second mile at a 9:02 pace – my legs wanted to go faster than I knew I could sustain. I spent most of the run trying to reel in my legs, oscillating between an 8:30-8:45 pace and a 9:40 pace. I averaged a 9:14/mile pace for the entire run but felt pretty good even by the end.
I always prefer to run on the days of OB appointments; that way, if any issues arise, I can discuss them with my doctor. Since I’m still running without any pelvic floor weakness, pelvic pain, or other problems, my doctor says it’s okay to keep running up until I go into labor.
Thursday: Active rest day
I took the dogs on a few medium-length walks (probably 2-2.5 miles total). Other than that, I rested!
Friday: 3 mile run
Ryan had a four day weekend, so we headed out mid-morning for a run together. I was hungry by that time, although honestly right now I’m almost always hungry if it’s been more than two hours since I ate. My right calf and hamstring became increasingly tight during the first half of this run. I took a minute walk break at the 20 minute mark. Oddly enough, I felt better when I picked up the pace to under a 9-minute mile for the remainder of the run. Sometimes, trying to run very slow actually makes things feel worse since I alter my gait even more.
Saturday: Active rest day
We’re soaking up every last bit of leisurely weekends before Isla comes. Ryan and I walked down to the farmer’s market, which was about a 2.5 mile round-trip. Later in the evening, we took the dogs on a long walk. My Garmin’s daily step count keeps increasing!
I also did clamshells, pelvic tilts, and bodyweight squats as injury prevention. I do these a couple of days per week; even if it’s not a full strength session, it helps at this point.
Sunday: 5 mile run
After the tightness in my legs on Friday’s run, I tried wearing compression socks for this run. There was too much compression, and my feet started falling asleep. I rolled down the socks and we walked for a minute, which relieved the sensation. The rest of the run felt good; as on Friday, a slightly faster pace (9:05-9:15/mile) felt better than going slower.
How was your week in running?
Do you deal with tight calves? How have you treated them?
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