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Pregnancy & Exercise, or to Be Accurate, the Lack Thereof

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Friday, August 9, 2013

Pregnancy & Exercise, or to Be Accurate, the Lack Thereof

First things first. Who googled "gargantuan belly pic week" to get to my blog? You better be a subscriber and super fan now because that is a hit to the old self-esteem. I'm only eleven weeks pregnant in the last photos of myself posted. While it certainly qualifies as "beer belly status" I think it's a far cry from "gargantuan" thankyouverymuch. 

Let's talk about exercise. Specifically, the overwhelming lack of exercise in my life that is a dark cloud over my fitness-minded conscience.

My workouts have been spotty since finding out we were pregnant. I was running maybe one day a week in the early weeks. Then I went to see our midwife for my 8 week ultrasound and she told me to (drumroll please):

Only keep my heart rate elevated above 140 for twenty minutes at a time.

Really? Well, that is basically a brisk walk for me. I'm big on heart rate monitors and I've seen my heart rate reach 192! So 140 is, literally, a cake walk. The excitement of cake + walking + chewing/swallowing at the same time must surpass 140. I'm sure walking my crazy dogs in the Florida summer heat elevates my heart rate above that for the duration of our twenty minute walk around the block. I mean, I must keep all muscles flexed to remain vigilant should they dash off after spotting a squirrel or lizard.
This one was a leaf blowing by. . . .  I know . . . . He's as crazy as he looks, folks.
(We have our 12 week appointment next week and I am going to inquire what "at a time" means, i.e., can I go 140+ for twenty minutes, take a ten minute break, and then go twenty more? Not that I want to work out an hour every day but it would be nice to do more on the rare occasion I have the energy.)
Last week, I ran two miles in my allotted twenty minutes and walked another mile through the in-laws' hilly neighborhood in North Carolina. It didn't feel like much at all at the time, but I was SORE! A couple days later I ran in Maryland (it was hot) and could only make it a mile. Okay, so it wasn't even a mile. This week's run was no more successful (although it did inspire my first pregnancy foot-rub c/o Will Brez).

Welcome to the world of NARP-dom. (NARP = Non-Athletic Regular Person c/o of high school jockdom. Shame on me, I know.)

I really hoped to continue running throughout this pregnancy because I was really happy with my pre-preg fitness level. I had already started training for the Marine Corps Marathon. And then . . . first trimester exhaustion. I did not realize the toll the first tri would take on my body! BUT! Because I am pretty much over the exhaustion at this point (only in bed by 8:30 one day a week rather than five, woot woot!), I am ready to give myself a routine and put some goals in place. No, I'm not talking training for a half marathon (those ladies are crazy and amazing and I will have to think of an acronym for them), just something to motivate myself to get off the couch in the evenings when I get home from work.
This post from Healthy Tipping Point gave me an idea of what to do for fitness goals. And it's to just do SOMETHING, ANYTHING a minimum of three days per week. What will qualify? Well, not cake walking (mmm) but certainly surpassing that 140 heart rate threshold for my alloted twenty minutes. Okay? Okay. Declared to the blogosphere for all eternity. (Or at least until I get embarrassed about this blog and decide to delete it forever. Either/or.)

Come September, I will probably increase this to four or five days, since I will no longer be working. (That's right, my last day of work in anticipation of our big Air Force move is August 30! It can't come soon enough---I am so over suit pants and skirts it could be the subject of an entirely different post.)

Happy cake walking!

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At August 10, 2013 at 10:55 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should almost always listen to our doctor over random people who read your blog...but the 140 bpm advice is outdated. My doctor said I could keep doing whatever I had been doing, within reason, and then also told me 140 bpm...which is obviously contradictory if you've been running. So when I pushed back a little about that he said I could keep running, and when I did some of my own research later I discovered that 140 bpm is no longer considered a rule. I was able to run until 20 weeks, when I started feeling worse after a run instead of better like I usually do! :o)

At August 10, 2013 at 10:56 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

*your doctor

At August 10, 2013 at 11:10 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, I'm not TOTALLY random, I'm Rach's friend Bet. :o)

At August 12, 2013 at 10:08 AM , Blogger Theresa said...

Haha, I know, I know! The Dentons are famous among Breslin circles!

I have seen that the 140 rule is out-dated, but I was afraid to go against in, especially in those early weeks. I have an appt on Wednesday and I'm going to ask. I am ready to do more!


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