Wait…did she just say those words? Yes, yes I did.I have made the conscious decision to continue running during my pregnancy for a few reasons. First being fitness, second being that I had a half marathon over Labor Day weekend that I was training for, and third, for peace of mind. I find I get one of two reactions from people when I tell them that I’m still running during my pregnancy:
“WOW! Good for you! That’s wonderful you’re still doing that!” and
“WHAT?!? Are you crazy? There is no way I would continue to run if I got pregnant! Is it even safe?”
Sometimes there are days where I feel a bit like each of those reactions. One day I’ll be rejoicing in my run and proud that I’m out there pounding the pavement, then there are days that I feel like I’m crazy for wanting to get out there and putting my body through those rigors.
Regardless of how I feel one day, undoubtedly I will feel differently about it the next day, which is why I have continued to run. The perspective running during pregnancy has given me has been a valuable lesson and one I never would have learned unless I had laced up my shoes and gone running. I’ve been taught (harshly in some ways) about how different your body reacts to running when you have a little one growing inside of you. Your body reacts to situations in ways you never would have predicted and you have to be ready for anything to happen (kinda like have a child, right?).
So I would like to share some things I have learned as a newer runner (been running two years) and first pregnancy/first time mommy-to-be that I haven’t seen talked about much online.I’ve personally had issues with stamina. The baby has been very good at stealing that from me from the very get go. When I first learned I was pregnant, my running didn’t feel like it had changed at all. I could still run the distances and there were no issues. Then as the weeks went on, it became tougher to stick to the longer distances and my time started to slow down. I noticed this especially with my longer distances, especially during my half marathon in June, I crapped out around mile 10.
I’m going to give you a bit of a TMI warning here…so don’t say I didn’t warn you. But almost from the beginning my nipples HURT when I run. It’s not immediate and it kinda comes on quickly, but before I know it, 4 miles into the run it feels like my nipples are being pulled out with pliers! Just aching, sharp, stabbing pain. It doesn’t matter what kind of bra I wear or how much Vaseline and band aids I put on them, they always hurt. I have found that I can mitigate the pain a bit by walking for a while and letting them "rest" a bit. Then usually after a mile or two I can get back to my running and they are usually good after that. So strange, but something I've been battling from the beginning and I've NEVER had nipple issues before I got pregnant.
Energy is always a tough thing to battle when you’re pregnant. I’ve actually been quite lucky in that my energy levels have been quite steady and I’ve been able to get my runs in and still make it through a full work day. I try and run in the morning so I am able to tap my energy reserves that I accumulated overnight. Also, with the heat that this summer punched, running in the morning was the only viable option as running in 80+ degrees and humidity (yes, Seattle was humid this year) in the afternoon was non-negotiable.
Me at 15 weeks