Monday, January 21, 2013

The Ultimate Pregnancy Niggle

In the past, I've written about the importance of distinguishing between significant pains and niggles, defined as "slight but persistent annoyances, discomforts, or anxieties". In running, niggles can be short lived pain, sharp or dull, nagging GI sensations, or side cramps, just to name a few. Things that you can and should ignore to get on with your work-out. Because, let's face it, if you are looking for exercise to be comfortable, then you aren't really going to have any strength or cardiovascular gains. (When I ask my patients if they sweat or got short of breath during their exercise if they say 'no', I say 'work harder!'.)

Never is it more important to distinguish between niggles and legitimate problems than when exercising while pregnant. I assume this is one reason why so many obstetricians advice not starting new vigorous exercise routines when pregnant- if you don't know what normal discomforts to expect when running or spinning or lifting weights, you won't know when to let up on work-out intensity. 

Luckily, I'm an experienced exerciser so I can distinguish b/t scary pain and niggling pain (I think). And when in doubt, I slow down or stop. There have been about 5 work-outs during the course of this pregnancy where I've stopped early. A couple were runs where I had persistent pelvic discomfort that stopped as soon as I stopped running, and one was a swim where I felt a strange pulling sensation. Probably neither was malignant, but still, it's better to be safe than sorry.

But knowing when to stop is one thing. Finding ways to suffer through the niggles is another. And I'm finding the ultimate pregnancy niggle to be very tough to contend with. And what is this niggle I speak of? The need to pee. It's insufferable!!! No matter how many times I go, I STILL feel like my bladder is full and it is SO uncomfortable! I know it's just in my head because I KNOW after going 3 times in 1 miles (TMI) there is NOTHING LEFT, so I try, try, try to ignore it, but it's so hard! One thing I noticed Saturday during my 3.5 mile run (for my 35th birthday!), is that running faster helps! I don't know if it's a change in my stride or just the fact that I focus more on form and breathing, but the need for speed reduces the need to pee. The problem is, I'm not supposed to run too fast- the whole stay conversational rule and all. So I see lots of short fast runs with hill walk recoveries in my future. I imagine I'll develop more niggles during the third trimester and will continue to find new work-arounds. I think the key is to have lots of options for exercise. For example spinning on Sunday was fine, great even. 

I'll leave you with a couple of these belly bump photos that we are supposed to be taking. It seems that it's the thing to do. Seems kinda silly to me but I'd hate to NOT take them, then regret it later! So here you go:

I think this is the first day where I really thought 'eek! I look pregnant!' Week 24

Check out the awesome bison mittens my parents gave me to go with my bison hat! Bump week 24

1 comment:

  1. Love the bump pics!

    I have a bladder issue that if I don't take my medicine for leaves me feeling like that all the time and of course when I do eventually get preggers my doc said I can't use the meds, so that need to pee sensation is going to be my life for 9+ months! Ugh!!!