Pregnancy and Running- Second Trimester

And just like that we are in out of the second trimester.  It is hard to believe but we passed the 26 week mark this past weekend.  Time is seriously flying by!

I managed to continue running throughout my second trimester, including pacing a 5k and coaching 75+ runners for a half marathon.  In fact, I marked my 25th week with 16, albeit slow, miles during that half marathon.


The second trimester was fun.  Different, but fun.  Early on it became evident that it was not going to be nearly as easy as the first trimester.  As much as I have approached this pregnancy with the mindset that I was not going to be lazy or let it change my running too much, there were certain limitations that came with the past few months.

The biggest change (sorry if it’s TMI) came in the form of my bladder.  Baby Olive, our nickname for the baby since we don’t know what we are having, decided to prop itself right on my bladder very early into the second trimester.  This was especially difficult when half marathon training started in late February through March because we ran on the Lakefront Path and the bathrooms were all closed.  There were some hectic mad dashes to area hospitals (where they were kind enough to let us runners use their facilities) along the runs to make a pit stop.  As a coach it was frustrating because I didn’t want to leave my runners alone on the path.  But I will assume this is great training for parenting where I will have limited amounts of time to make a run for the bathroom.


Beware the belly!

I opted for the gym a lot in the past few months because the weather was so up and down between warm days and cold ones and the wind was something fierce for several weeks.  But it was also nice to have the option to hop off of the treadmill at any moment and make a run for the bathroom (sometimes after every mile….ugh!).

On the mileage front, I was able to maintain my same mileage and my doctor was totally on board with this.  Every time I have an appointment I make sure we are still okay to continue running and she has given me the go ahead without any hesitation.  My pacing has continued to stay approximately a minute per mile slower than my average pace and I can tell that as my belly continues to get bigger it will probably begin to slow even more.  For someone who is rather competitive and usually concerned about pacing, I have to say that this is no big deal and I have learned to enjoy the slower pace.  Being able to stick with my daily 7-8 mile runs and get a longer one in on the weekend is still pretty awesome.  I will take that over speed anytime!

Besides the running clothes getting tighter the only other major change I have noticed is cramping.  Holy calf cramping!  Rock and I were apart for five weeks while he was in NYC for work and I was in Chicago coaching runners and skaters.  He came back two weekends ago to do the half marathon with Team Momentum.  The first night he was there I woke up around 4 a.m. with killer calf cramping.  I tried grabbing my toes to pull them back and I couldn’t reach.  The pain shot up through my hamstring and I wanted to scream but we had three house guests sleeping at our place and a puppy outside of our bedroom.  I jumped out of bed and was hobbling around trying to get rid of the cramp.  I was unable to talk and I am pretty sure Rock woke up and thought I was going into labor.  It was a horrible wake up; funny now but horrible then.


My biggest craving these days is fruit.


Sigh…..and Slurpees!

Sadly, these calf cramping wake ups have become a new norm.  All of the books say to exercise more and drink more to avoid this problem but I think I am pretty good about doing both!

How is your running going?  Anyone else run through their second trimester?

26 thoughts on “Pregnancy and Running- Second Trimester

    • I have no idea….it is funny to read some of the suggestions. I can only chug so many liters of water a day and I think 7 mile runs seem sufficient! Of course there are nutrients to get in, but believe me, I do all of that as well. I think my legs just hate me.

  1. Are you using a good bellyband? It totally help me with the bladder issues.
    For the calves? I just stretched more, and it got better when I let my body pick my gait too. I figured my body had a better idea of my new center of gravity than my head did.

    • No, I really need to get one, especially if it helps with the bladder. Rock keeps asking me if I am stretching and I lied and said yes. I then immediately started laughing because he knows I can’t lie to him. It is like foam rolling, I know I should do it. I know it helps and only takes a few minutes. But I get lazy and don’t do it.

  2. CUTEST BELLY OF ALL TIME!!! I feel like your pregnancy is flying by too! And from experience I can tell you that the end goes by even faster than the beginning parts. Baby Dudek is going to be here before you know it! (I’m so excited for you!)

    I wasn’t running yet when I was pregnant with B, but I continued on with my normal-ish workouts until around week 34 when she really started to drop and then it was hard to walk 5 feet without almost peeing my pants. 🙂

  3. So inspiring. If/When I get pregnant, I hope to remain active, ideally running, through the whole thing. Running is going well – just adjusting to the change in temperature ! Hope you have a great week!

    • Thanks Jamie. Every pregnancy is of course different and does require you to work with a doctor you feel comfortable with. The changing temps are always so difficult this time of year. You will get used to it before you know it!

  4. Are you getting enough micronutrients? Maybe you should discuss with your doctor about magnesium, calcium and sodium supplements intake – those might alleviate your cramp issues, and I guess they should be pretty safe in pregnancy but it’s better if you ask a professional first. Other than that, I am happy to hear your running is still going strong!

    • Good question. I definitely am. Unfortunately, the cramping is a common side effect of pregnancy and they are unsure what it comes from (a lot of pregnancy issues have the same inconclusive reasons). My nutrition according to my doctor has been spot on. But I am always striving to eat better and better!

  5. In glad I found this blog! I’m a runner and am currently 6 weeks pregnant. Many people keep saying once you get pregnant you are supposed to eat for two and not exercise. I will admit I’ve cut back on the long distance running (7+ miles – mostly because of bathroom reasons) but am keeping up to doing a mile a day at least and swimming. Yesterday I did a 5k! Hope I can keep up with the running into my second trimester! 🙂

    • Congrats! So exciting. You are at a great spot. I have heard exactly the opposite from SO many people. You really don’t eat for two….our bodies only need something like 300 more calories per day for the baby and there are so many things we have to get in there isn’t a lot of wiggle room. As for the running, I have asked numerous people and the general consensus is that if you have a healthy pregnancy you can do any activity you were doing before you were pregnant. You definitely have to make modifications but in many ways it is great for you and the baby to continue exercising. Best of luck and so glad you found this spot!

    • Haha thanks so much. I love tracking my work on Jawbone and seeing the progress and watching you guys too. It’s definitely motivating. And yes Slurpees are a great summer refresher to look forward to 🙂

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