The Ups and Downs of Pregnant Running…12/10/12

I felt like last week ended on a pretty good note.  I passed my glucose test, my run on Thursday went pretty well despite burping up the glucose drink a few times, my back had still been feeling good and I was getting more sleep at night again.

 I had high hopes for Saturday’s run.  I figured since I ran 3 miles, 3 times in the week I could aim for 4 miles.  Even though all my runs last week were little loops of maybe a half or quarter mile and circled by my house several times “in case” I had any issues, I hadn’t once needed to stop so I figured for Saturday’s 4 mile attempt, I could go out a mile, back a mile, and repeat.  I also had signed up for a virtual run, Race for Recovery and felt confident that I could at least get 3.1 miles done.

 Well, that’s what I get for trying to plan.  Before I even ran, after I got dressed in my running clothes I felt pressure on my bladder.  I assumed it was from my running tights maybe being a little too tight over my belly bump.  I wear my maternity belt now on every run, but I’ve also felt like sometimes the tightness of my running tights helps pull my belly in a little so it doesn’t bounce so much.  Well, I decided at the last minute to change into some much looser running pants that I usually only wear on really really cold winter days as a second layer.  It felt a lot better, and I made sure to empty my bladder yet again just seconds before heading out.  There was not much more than a tiny trickle so I felt good thinking that my bladder issues shouldn’t flare up.

 Before I even got a mile in the pressure on my bladder was pretty intense.  I stopped, walked a bit and tried to see if it would calm down.  It didn’t.  I started running again and got to the mile point and turned around as planned and had to stop and walk several times on the way back home because my bladder hurt so bad.  I was starting to get a really bad feeling that I was going to pee blood again.  When I finally got back to my house, my fears were confirmed.   Thankfully, this time I wasn’t quite as scared as I was the week before when it happened for the first time.  Still, it was enough for me to call off the rest of the run.  I had told myself that if I got to my house and peed and it was clear, I could at least get in the 5K that I had signed up for.  Since I am unsure what was causing this and don’t want to take any risks to Alexandra’s health, I was done running.  I wasn’t happy about it.  I started doing a massive google search to try to self diagnose my problem since my doctors didn’t seem to know.

 When Tim woke up and found me curled up on the couch on my iphone he optimistically asked how my run went.  I was pretty upset and told him what happened and was thankful that I had a husband who listened to me complain the way I did.  My whole demeanor was very down and I felt bad about that.  It wasn’t Tim’s fault and I wanted to be happy on Saturday but I was really upset.  Tim started helping me with my search.

 While there isn’t a lot on the web for “blood in urine after running while pregnant” when I searched for them separately, “blood in urine after running” and “blood in urine while pregnant” I did get some results.  Apparently, its pretty common for runners to sometimes get blood in their urine after running.  Obviously, this had never happened to me, so I had no idea.  The consensus seems to be that it doesn’t really do any damage, and could be caused from the impact/jostling of the internal organs.  The logic of it made sense, especially considering I have an extra 17 pounds of weight sitting and bouncing on my bladder.  I read something else interesting, a suggestion that NOT completely emptying your bladder before running seems to help.  That theory being that an empty bladder gets compressed and the sides rub together…leaving some fluid inside of it creates a sort of cushion. 

 The other possibilities that I found were kidney stones or interstitial cystitis—both of which didn’t seem to be what I had, especially given that both my episodes happened immediately after a run, and I also noted that both times it was after a run on a Saturday morning.  Since both days I ran first thing, I hadn’t had anything to eat or drink before and started to wonder if my bladder was too empty both times and that when I run later in the day, maybe its harder to completely empty my bladder.

 So, that brings me to today.  I had planned on going for a 3 mile run at lunch with my friend Darla.  I warned her that I may have to stop if my bladder starts to hurt like it did on Saturday.  I was nervous, but decided to test out a theory.  So, instead of peeing immediately before the run, I held it and ran with not quite a full bladder, but definitely more full than I would ever run with.  Amazingly, it seemed to work!  I ran 3 miles with her without stopping once and my bladder didn’t hurt the entire time.  After the run my pee was clear!

 So now I’m incredibly happy, once again.  After Saturday’s run I was starting to think this was it…I was going to have to stop running.  I had begrudgingly accepted it.  Now I’m not throwing in the towel just yet.  Besides just that, today’s run felt really great.  Darla and I went a slow pace, my legs didn’t seem to go numb, and I felt like I could have easily done another mile.  I’m tempted to try running again tomorrow, but I don’t want to get too carried away and should still stick to my swimming schedule instead.  But right now, I’m just enjoying the feeling that I don’t have to give up something I love quite yet, and that maybe I can still enjoy it during the rest of this pregnancy instead of just “getting through it”.  I think having a friend to talk to really helped too, so hopefully she’ll keep running with me!

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