Last night, I attempted a run of 4 miles. I had not had a run of this distance since my last half marathon, Big D, on April 11 - 7 weeks ago. Since then, I'd had a couple small small runs and had managed a few 20 minute chunks on the elliptical, along with dealing with growing a baby inside my belly, a pretty distracting process. :-)
I was having a slightly better day with my allergies (after a weekend of awful congestion and wheezing). I took my nightly allergy pill about 30 minutes before the run to capitalize on how well I felt shortly after taking the Zyrtec. I committed in my head the goal of completing 4 miles and headed out the door about 8 pm.
I've been concerned about acclimating to this heat while running during a pregnancy. There's a big concern when you are pregnant to not get overheated (keeping your body temp below 100 degrees). Further, there seems to be this generic rule to keep your heart rate below 140 beats per minute when exercising during pregnancy. I hate generic rules - so not helpful for me who has historically known that I have a higher heart rate both at rest and when running. In the past, I found that my running had my heart rate around 150-155 for a casual run and 180 for harder speedwork. I haven't used a heart rate monitor in years so not sure where I stand now. My Garmin Forerunner GPS is a little over a year old, and I'm actually considering replacing it for one with a heart rate monitor.
So instead I went with how I felt, especially with this heat. It was a little under 90 degrees, 50% humidity, and an on-again, off-again light wind. When the wind was going, I didn't feel too bad. But when it stopped, I thought I would melt.
I decided right after my warm-up walk (not counted in mileage) on my plan for this run. I did intervals of 5 minute run, 1 minute walk. The goal being to manage my cardio and pulmonary stress and recover from the heat during these walk breaks.
It was so nice to be out running again, and I made it through on the intervals - I'm glad I laid it out that way. I hated having to keep my 4 miles close to home in case I started feeling super sick for any reason. I started out with my run segments being around 12 minutes per mile (taking it easy for the baby and my lack of recent running) but slowed down as I tired out towards the end. Run segment paces: 12:03, 12:04, 11:57, 12:06, 12:28, 12:28, 12:59, 13:00, 13:26. Total time: 52:45, a 13:09 average (includes the walk breaks to bring down the average).
I feel like I'm gaining back my running, and I hope this isn't a one-time event. The hardest part is to feel well enough to run, so I hope for more nights like last night. And hopefully acclimating my body to this heat so I can run at least a few more months in the pregnancy!
And Happy National Running Day today to everyone!