I haven’t talked too much on here about pregnancy and running, but, with some hesitation, I think it is time to broach this subject. Ever since I began to tell people the news I have been getting more advice on this topic than I ever imagined.
Most people are just trying to help. They want me to make the best decisions and do the right thing. For the most part, I feel fortunate that I have so many people in my life who care about me and what I am doing.
Unfortunately, I can’t take everyone’s advice.
I have gotten helpful words from doctors, nurses, men, women, mothers (including my own), and non-mothers alike. Almost none of these thoughts about running, or exercise in general, while pregnant were the same. In the end, I have decided to follow the advise of my doctor, well, the American one anyway. I am still running and will continue to until it becomes too uncomfortable.
So the big question, the question that I had before I had any first hand experience with it, what has it been like?
It has progressed through different phases over the past few months. Back in June, I was super tired. What? You want me to run? Fortunately this phase coincided with my return from a foot injury, so I was supposed to limit my miles anyway. Normally, limited miles would frustrate me to no end, but at that point I was glad to have a legitimate reason to keep my miles in line with my energy level.
Near the end of June I began to feel somewhat human again. I could finally open my refrigerator without turning green and my energy level, although lower, was at a more reasonable level. Coincidentally, my return to running plan was steadily adding more minutes of running and more speed. Let’s be clear though, it wasn’t that much more speed and honestly, I was too tired to run at my ‘normal’ pace anyway.
By the end of July, my plan had progressed me to running up to five miles at and pace that I wanted. I was finally feeling pretty good. I was a bit slower than typical for me, but after taking two full months off, then slowly easing back into things, I figured that I was doing alright.
That didn’t last long. I finally was clear (foot-wise) to run freely, but I suddenly found myself going slowly once again. **Mild TMI alert!** This time it wasn’t because I was exhausted, but because running made me feel like I had a bowling ball bouncing on my bladder. Sweet. **/TMI**
After a few weeks of trial and error, I found that adjusting my stride* a bit works wonders to make running more comfortable. At this point I think I will be good to run, at least into the foreseeable future. I’m still not going ‘normal’ pace, in fact, I tend to run 2:00 slower per mile than I was back in March, but I’m thrilled to be doing it regardless of my pace.
I still have those magical runs where I begin to plan out my next marathon in my head along the way because running feels so awesome that of course I want to pile on an ungodly amount of miles. Admittedly though, I am tending to have a higher percentage of horrible, I’m never doing this again runs than normal for me. Fortunately, I tend to rebound easily from those.
At this point I hope to keep at it up until the big day, but I suppose that I just need to be patient, go with the flow, and see what happens.
*Note: I am waiting to see which strange knee/hip/Achilles problem arises due to my altered stride. I’ll keep you posted.