Running while pregnant

It’s crazy to think that just 5 weeks ago I was writing about my struggles with running (or not running, rather). Initially I was discouraged by my doctor, then I was uncomfortable and  by 20 weeks it was too exhausting. But just one week after writing that post, I couldn’t resist continuing past the elliptical onto the treadmill. Bored with the elliptical, my plan was to just walk for an hour, but after 30 minutes, I had to run. I ended up only running a mile and a half but it felt so good. From that point on, I decided that I was going to give running another chance and just do what felt right to me.

I’ve been running consistently now for the past 4 weeks, averaging about 20 miles a week.   Every run is completely different from the last. One day I can run nonstop feeling great the entire time, and the next I have to stop for a pee break between each mile (TMI?). Besides that, the major notable difference is how long it takes me to sweat. I am naturally a super sweaty betty (TMI once more?) yet now, I can run for around 12 minutes before I break a sweat. I’m doing 10 minute miles, so that’s a really far distance to run and not sweat. As for the belly, aside from the occasional rub up against the treadmill, it hasn’t made a huge difference for me. I tend to lock my back when I run so I think that’s helping to support the gargantuan thing. What is getting in the way, however, are the boobs (TMI for the last time!). I am so glad that these things are not normally a part of my body! It is uncomfortable and quite frankly, annoying to run with anything besides an A cup 🙂 and I feel for women who are cursed blessed with a big chest.

Mentally, running continues to be the equivalent of prozac. The endorphins make me happy while the accomplishments keep me happy. When I got into running two and a half years ago, I felt so much pride in accomplishing something so big on my own. Especially something that so many people view as being so difficult. Now, doing it while pregnant makes me feel like nothing short of a bad ass. Especially last week when I outlasted the Company Commander who was running next to me.

Something that is funny to me, is the reaction that I’ve gotten from strangers, as well as family. Two weeks ago, I accomplished something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I ran a 5k race alongside Parker. Throughout the race, we had lots of people cheering and encouraging Parker and then cutting me and the belly the eye. There was also the lady (who was probably about the same age as me) who blatantly pointed me out to her running partner like I was a side show of the race. Maybe it was because I was passing her. 😉  I also get a kick out of the family members who have questioned my choice to continue running while overlooking the many family members who chose to continue smoking throughout the duration of their pregnancies. Of course I know the naysayers are just so because they’re worried for the safety of me and the baby, but I would never do anything that would compromise either of our health. Along with the negative, I’ve also received some really great responses too. I’ve gotten sweet compliments and had many people tell me they wish they would have stayed fit throughout their pregnancies.

Running while being pregnant has really shown me how much the human body is capable of. It’s amazing to me that my body can go through so many changes and still continue to perform. Besides what I gain from running currently, I have a few hopes for what running will bring me in the next 4 months. I hope that I can continue running at least through week 35 (9 more weeks). I hope that the stress my body works through during a run will help to ease the work that my body will have to accomplish under the stress of labor and delivery. And I hope that running will keep my body in decent enough shape to make weight loss a little easier after the baby is born. But if nothing else, at least I know that running during pregnancy will make running while not pregnant seem like a walk in the breeze!

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