Just keep swimming… or running

I realise my blog has suddenly become quite pregnancy focused. Somewhat understandable as that’s what’s currently going on right now for me, and let’s be honest there’s not much else happening anyway!

I’m now a couple of days away from 15 weeks and feeling miles better than I was during the first trimester.

Some days I get a little bit of random nausea early in the morning but mostly I’m out of the woods. Just general tiredness really. And other than the increasing size of my boobs, I pretty much look the same as before. I don’t currently have a noticeable bump. If I eat a lot in the evening (like when we get a takeaway at the weekend) it definitely pops out more, but I’m guessing this is mostly bloating and the food I’ve just eaten. By morning I’m back to “normal”.

Other than my pregnancy, Kyle and I are just pootling along through Lockdown 3.0… WFH during the week, Facetiming family and friends and then getting a takeaway or two at the weekend to keep us from going mad.

Last weekend was nice as my friend Mark was able to join me for a 10k run on Saturday morning. It was just so nice to run with someone else! I did used to run with Kyle at least once a week but he’s struggling a little with motivation (no races, no parkrun) and doesn’t particularly want to get up early in the week like I do. For me, if I don’t run in the morning I’d really struggle to go later as my motivation just dips completely.

So anyway Mark and I were able to run together and it just reminded me how easy running feels when you’re chatting away with someone. Hopefully we’ll do it again soon. He’s coming back from injury so my pregnancy pace was luckily not too slow for him! (He’s quite zippy normally).

I’m trying not to think too much about the coming months if I’m honest. Kyle and I deliberately didn’t take any holiday other than the Bank Holidays over Christmas so we could carry more holiday over to this year. The plan being that we could go on a little “baby moon” (hate that phrase) before the baby arrives.

We have to take this holiday though before the end of March and I’m panicking we won’t be able to go anywhere because we’ll still be locked down. Obviously I don’t expect us to go anywhere abroad, but I’d love to go somewhere other than Portsmouth right now! A little AirBnb, some walks, some time together just the two of us.

I’d dread that we’d have to take the holiday and be sat inside our house. I would go mad. And I don’t really want to take any holiday after March for the 2021 allocation because this is going to help boost my maternity leave pay. Argh. But it’ll be what it’ll be.

So we just work weekend to weekend and try to find little things to keep us going. Like ordering doughnuts from the local bakery. Or trying new takeaways near us.

Delicious cake from The Parade Tearooms

Or going for walks down to Southsea and getting takeaway coffees and cake.

Anything to just keep it from feeling too much like Groundhog Day.

How are you doing?

Are you planning any holidays this year?

First trimester – running and how I’ve felt

In general I think I can say I had a good first trimester.

The worst part was, by far, the nausea. At the beginning, from about five weeks to eight weeks, I felt incredibly sick. The nausea would start as soon as I woke up (or even waking me up from 4am) and then continue throughout the day until the late afternoon. I found it very hard and I’ll admit I ended up in tears a number of times, saying to Kyle I wished I could be put in a coma until the second trimester.

I wasn’t actually sick but I wonder if I had have been that would have been better. I wanted to be sick and was close a few times but it never happened. There were foods I had to immediately cut out. Foods I had been eating for YEARS suddenly became trigger foods to intense nausea.

Now eating became purely functional, which was really sad for me. I’m the kind of person who enjoys my food, looks forward to every meal and enjoys eating big meals. But suddenly that disappeared. All my usual food loves vanished. The thought of porridge made me feel so sick. At first I tried to continue to eat it and I’d just feel a bit queasy afterwards. But then quickly I couldn’t even be near it. I had to switch to a very bland scrambled egg in a warmed pitta bread.

Food was no longer about tasting good or bringing enjoyment, but about filling me up just enough. Not too much because if I ate just slightly too much (not even too much for me as I can eat A LOT, but too much like slightly past the point of just hitting satiety) I would feel rubbish for hours afterwards. Because feeling rubbish was so bad and mentally draining I just avoided anything that wasn’t plain, carby and easy to digest. It wasn’t worth trying to see if I could risk it.

The 1st thing I’d eat in a morning

I stopped eating my salads at lunch time (salads I’d been eating since I started working over 10 years ago). Vegetables quickly disappeared from my diet unless they were hidden away. Gone were the days I’d pile up the plate with broccoli and cauliflower. Nope. I remember watching Kyle eating a Dominoes – which is something I’d never eat as I’m not a takeaway pizza fan – and have such a strong desire for it. Dominoes suddenly became a staple Friday night meal.

I quickly learnt how to navigate through the day – keeping my foods simple and eating small portions spaced out. I started to get some weird cravings as well. I watched a scene on the Crown where the queen ate a Greek salad and I suddenly couldn’t think of anything else but large chunks of cucumber, olives, feta and tomatoes.

And things like cheesy chips, Wotsits, Doritos and tangy Haribo’s occupied my thoughts regularly. I couldn’t get enough. But things like ice cream, cups of tea or coffee, my usual favourite crisps and evening hot chocolate quickly disappeared.

Other symptoms were spots (delightful) and incredible feelings of tiredness. I started ot regularly have a 20-30min afternoon nap as my energy just dipped so much. Other than that, I can’t say I suffered from much else thankfully!

In terms of my running, it was incredible how quickly pregnancy affected it. Like the night before I found out I was pregnant my run was terrible. I was running going “why does this feel so hard and yet I’m not even pushing the pace?”. It was another reason I thought I was coming down with something or that my iron levels were low. I literally went from running 8min/miles nice and easy to finding 8.30s to be like sprinting. But I was just happy to still be able to run. And as soon as I realised the reason for my runs feeling hard was because I was pregnant, it became a lot easier mentally.

I also found running an escape from the nausea. It was nice to be outside with the fresh air. Amazingly I’ve managed to keep my mileage around 30 miles per week but take each run as it comes. I literally don’t care about pace anymore. I just want to be able to continue running for as long as I can. If that means going a lot slower – that’s fine! But of course I’ll listen to my body and if anything feels off or wrong, I’ll stop. And I have no ego about maintaining my mileage or speed. I’m fully prepared for everything to decrease (or potentially stop) the further along I go through this pregnancy. But so far so good!

I still love my long weekend run, but it’s not at a max of 13 miles. And sometimes I feel absolutely great afterwards and sometimes I feel utterly drained. But on the whole, I believe running is good for me and I’ve had no ill effects from it (other than the tiredness occasionally). But as my boobs become bigger I have had to buy some new bigger sports bra as the friction and tightness can cause a lot of issues!

I’m now comfortably in the second trimester at almost 14 weeks (we are week ahead of what we thought after having our NHs scan!) and I feel pretty good in general. Running is a bit easier as I have more energy. Nausea rarely crops up unless I eat something a bit off (apples are very hit and miss sadly). As I said, I’ll continue working out and running while it feels comfortable and I have no issues. I’ll take each day as it comes, with no goals or targets (i.e. pressure) in mind.

Do you have any goals for 2021?

Did you run through your pregnancy?

If you were pregnant, how did you find the first trimester?