Thoughts on Running for Two

4.13.2015


One thing I really really wanted to be able to do was continue running during my pregnancy. Of course, if something was noticeably wrong or my doctor advised against it, I wasn't going to be stubborn. At this point (and for the rest of my life now, I suppose), Baby Bum's health comes first. But I definitely love running and wanted to give it my best effort to continue as long as I felt okay.

Currently I am 2 days shy of 22 weeks along (HOLY CRAP), and I feel very thankful that for the most part I have been able to continue my 3x/week running routine. My doctor told me I was fine to keep running as long as I listened to my body and made sure I stayed hydrated and didn't get overheated. 

During the first trimester, I never got sick enough to throw up, but I did feel nauseous every single morning for months. This sounds insane, but running actually helped with my morning sickness! I felt better and less nauseous when I kept up my running than when I hit snooze.
But even though my doctor said it was okay to run, and even though Jordan and I both agreed that we feel fine with me continuing to run, a huge mental challenge for me has been wondering if I really am harming the baby. Every weird twinge. Every time I have to stop to catch my breath. Every time I lick my lips and head back home for more water. Part of me wonders if baby really IS okay in there or if I'm just being stubborn about this whole running thing.

Another challenge that I didn't anticipate being so hard was just how much slower I run now. I get why, of course. I wasn't necessarily thinking I would keep running sprints or that I would break any 5k records. But I guess I didn't anticipate how it would challenge me mentally to run slower.

Everyone is different, but for me I'm running on average 3 minutes per mile slower than I was before I got pregnant. This isn't a huge deal at all, but something I didn't consider what that not only does it take me longer overall to finish a run, it takes me even longer than that because of all the stops I have to make during a run. A relatively easy 3-miler that used to take 25 minutes takes about 40 because I have to stop at least once, sometimes twice, to go to the bathroom and get a drink and even walk a little.

I ran 2 half marathons with Baby Bum along (10 weeks and 18 weeks) that I had previously signed up for before I was pregnant. Although I will not be doing any more actual races until after she is born in August, I do hope that continuing to run and be active during this pregnancy will help both during delivery and as my body tries to recover from giving birth. (Side note: I'm choosing not to think about the fact that this baby will actually have to come out at some point. I ordered my stork, mkay?)

Basically, I plan to keep running until I can't anymore!

*This post is not intended to provide medical advice about running during pregnancy. This is my personal experience, and you should always talk to your doctor before starting a fitness regimen, especially while pregnant.

Let me know if you have any specific questions about running during pregnancy! I'll answer in the comments!

Anyone else have experience running while pregnant? Can you relate?

40 comments:

  1. Good for you! I guess I would be a bit scared too, but I'm thinking healthy body, healthy mind, healthy you, healthy baby. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah! THANK YOU! That thing took me dang near forever. I nearly killed Jordan a few times out of rage ;)

      Delete
  2. I've always wondered about this for runners! I think they say that you can continue with whatever exercise level you were at before getting pregnant, but I hadn't thought about the fact that it would be obviously a lot more difficult! More power to you though and I think you'll really feel the urge to NOT continue if it's becoming a concern for the babe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd heard that you can continue doing whatever you were doing before, so both Jordan and I were okay with me continuing to run. But my parents were really weird about it at first, which was super annoying. I guess I just didn't imagine it being SO much more difficult for various reasons, but overall I'm really happy to just be healthy and stay active! I know I take that for granted more than I should.

      Delete
    2. Amen to this. I'm glad you're healthy and able to stay active.

      Delete
  3. This may be TMI but are you choosing routes where you know there will be bathrooms or do you run into the woods?!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ha! Good question :) Let's just say there really aren't woods in Oklahoma. We're sparse on tress here. This sounds horribly boring (which okay it kind of is), but basically ever since I got pregnant I just make laps around my apartment complex so I can dodge back to my apt any time I need to pee. I figured out a 1.5-mile loop, so I just do as many of those as I want to to get a run in. I figure that way I'm never too far from water, food, or the bathroom!

    ReplyDelete
  5. so glad that you are feeling well enough to run! I think it's great! Although I'm not a big long distance runner I DO work out every day, so this gives me hope when it's my turn ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you're not a long distance runner??? Aren't you doing a half marathon like every other weekend?! I'm not sure I believe you.... ;)

      Delete
  6. I ran through most of my pregnancy and switched to walking eventually. I walked the day before my son was born. I had hoped all of the exercise would help with labor and delivery, but my boy had a mind of his own. (He still does.)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've heard great things about running (and exercise in general) when pregnant! I hope this means, like you said, that you'll have a smoother delivery/recovery because of it! Proud of you for continuing to treat your body so well and for doing something you genuinely love all at once!!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I didn't start running until after my daughter was born, but I think it's great that you're keeping it up. I definitely think it'll help you in delivery (the physical act of labor is just that - labor!) because you'll be so much stronger that if you had let your fitness go.

    I'm struggling with the slow thing myself right now. Not due to pregnancy, but my training program calls for "slow" easy runs that are so much slower than I'm used to! But I'm starting to get used to it, and I see why it's beneficial. But there is definitely some pride involved there!

    ReplyDelete
  9. So proud of you! I wish I was into running... the only thing I seem to be running towards these days is the freezer for ice cream.....xoxo!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Serious question: Running + pregnancy = more milkshakes than ever?

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is awesome! I like hearing about your running journey though your pregs journey. We're no where near baby time, but I always think I'd really like to continue our daily workouts when that time does come. You go girl!

    ReplyDelete
  12. You're so impressive, girl. From everything I've heard, the fact that you have kept up with your exercise routine while pregnant will definitely help you with the labor, delivery, and recovery process. Good for you - taking care of yourself and Baby Bum!

    ReplyDelete
  13. i'm impressed! That's amazing that you could keep running - and still does! My sister is at 36 weeks and still dances ballet and goes to yoga - she slowed down but never stopped exercising! You ladies inspire me! :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. It makes sense that you'd worry about your little one, but it seems to me like staying active during your pregnancy is a GREAT idea! You're a rock star.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Love this post because my personal opinion is that many women are not active enough during pregnancy! A lot of the aches and pains and all that comes along with carrying a baby seem to be avoided/lessened by exercising (it's true for me, at least)! Running helped my morning sickness too (except when I took my dog with me and had to pick up after him... that wasn't so good)...

    I ran with both my pregnancies all the way up until I went into labor, but toward the end, it would take me an hour to finish four miles. I love running so much though that it was worth all the time! I also read an article that claimed that babies of moms who exercise while pregnant are generally happier- I can't speak for everyone but my kids are some of the happiest I know :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. I agree with you - it is really crazy how much slower I run while pregnant. It's just a weird deal because while you may not even look THAT pregnant, your body totally feels it! I just focused on being active and not on being fast. :) Baby will be here before you know it!

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is so fascinating to me and something I hope to keep in mind for later when I'm preggo. That's interesting how the mental challenge has been just as hard as anything- I can see being worried about harming the baby but it's interesting about running slower. I still think it is SO awesome that you've kept on doing it, and I think Baby Bum is being trained into a world class runner in your belly! I was also really excited to read "she" when you were referring to her. I was pretty convinced it was going to be a boy so I had to check myself on that one. :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. I think it is awesome that you are staying active while pregnant. I hear it helps a lot with delivery and recovery. I say as long as you can manage it and the doctor clears you go for it.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I always love reading the comments on posts like these! It's interesting to read about your and other people's experiences. I hope your running goes well and baby bum will come into the world enjoying it as much as you do - if she choses to :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm still a few years from this, but this post definitely gave me some encouragement for the future. I have a lot of mental struggles with running while NOT pregnant and it's reassuring to hear I'm not the only one who has [or thinks they would] worry about this kind of stuff. glad to hear you're able to keep moving, and how awesome that you found a healthy way to keep off morning sickness? :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. as you know - this is a repost... so i'm gonna do my best to replicate.... :D
    When I was pregnant with Penelope, I discovered a book called "The Panic free Pregnancy" by an MD who is a former OBGYN at UCLA Medical (my hospital) - its a great book - he takes all the questions his patients have asked him and he goes through the research that exists, explaining what it means and what the "real" rules are for pregnancy (based on the findings). From that book, I learned that I could eat sushi if I wanted (worry with sushi is about food poisoning - so if the place is reputable, or you have a place you trust, then you're OK) and that I could have up to 300 mg of caffeine every day! One other thing he mentions is that in prehistoric days pregnant women had to outrun saber-toothed tigers to survive, so running is definitely oK in pregnancy. When I would have to run for the bus, belly out in front and backpack flapping on my back, Curby would yell "Saber tooth tiger!" LOL! husbands are very helpful. Anyway, my point is that running is OK - and frankly, most of our regular life stuff is OK during pregnancy! But you're right - you will get slower... I can barely keep up with Curby when he's walking these days. :) Check out the book if you get a chance - I think you'll like it!

    ReplyDelete
  22. i think of all of the walking pregnant woman do in other countries, maybe even running and lifting...stya healthy girl, and just keep listening to your body, your doctor, and what you feel is right!

    ReplyDelete
  23. That's awesome! I am so glad you are able to keep running. I'd say time doesn't matter. You are doing the best for your health.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I SO get this. It worried a good bit too---finally had to give up running around 25 weeks because I was diagnosed with asthma induced by pregnancy so I was constantly short of breath (had to use inhalers etc👎)....
    But no doubt you are listening to your body and I'm sure the sweet baby girl is just fine!
    Now---after birth running---my stomach felt like total jello! Weirdest sensation! Haha. There are other details I'll leave out here--but will be glad to fill you in via email. Lol. But definitely got back to running quickly because I missed it so much!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I totally understand your fears.. although okay I guess I don't because I'm not pregnant, but I feel like I would be scared of the same things. My best friend is pregnant right now (due any day! eep!) and she ran a lot of this pregnancy and her last. she even did a half ironman whilst pregnant. with both though, she had to eventually give up and she told me the same things - she was much slower and had to stop to walk a lot. she did say that her doctor said that she was carrying so much extra weight - not in a bad way, just in a pregnancy way - that walking burns way more calories and gets your heart rate up more when pregnant than not pregnant.. i mean duh but i didn't even think about it.
    i hope staying active during the pregnancy makes the stork's delivery easier so that you can report it and let me know. haha.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I bet you still run faster preggers than I run normally. Still, I think your doc is right, and as long as you're really listening to your body - as in the "I'm taking care of my baby" part of your body and not the "Oh dear God in Heaven I need to stretch my muscles!!" part of your body - you're good!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Good for you! It's easy to get worried about nothing, but I'm right there with the people who said the healthier you are, they healthier your baby will be. I had a coworker when I was waiting tables who worked up until the moment she went into labor. Her doctor told her that staying active was the best thing she could do for an easier birth. Granted, waiting tables isn't the same as running, but it can't be easy when you're 9 months along!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Oddly I got some kickback from my in-laws about my choice NOT to continue running while pregnant (immediate comparison to their other daughter-in-law who ran a full marathon in that condition). But I think ultimately every pregnancy is different, everyone's intuition and concerns are different, and I think the pregnant woman (and her doctors) are ultimately the only ones who can make the decision about what's healthiest and safest for her baby. I have heard that for many/most women, continuing whatever consistent running routine they had before they got pregnant is probably safe, and that the fitter they are the easier the labor may be. I understand too that babies are affected by the stress/depression of their mothers, so I imagine it can aid a baby's health for the mother to continue pursuing what she loves to the extent it's safe/possible. Just because I decided it wasn't worth the risk in my pregnancy doesn't mean I think that's the best decision for every woman. I admire you for following your OWN intuition. Good job, Mama. This is the baby God entrusted to YOU, and so I believe he's guiding that intuition.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so hard not to compare to anyone, no matter what it is. A few weeks ago I was all worried because she wasn't kicking me yet, and my friend who is due 5 days after me said she had felt kicking. Dumb! Why stress myself out like that? I definitely would stop running if my dr said no or I felt weird, but so far I've felt fine, and I'm so thankful in general for good health for both me and Baby Bum. Just had my 23-week checkup yesterday! I've gained a whopping 10 pounds since my appt 5 weeks ago! Hello. I don't feel like I gained that much, though. Good grief.

      Delete
  29. I'm so glad you posted this. I know the slowing down has been a struggle for you - that totally makes sense to me. I've always heard that staying active throughout pregnancy does help with labor and delivery so I really hope you find that to be true! It's awesome that you've already found it helpful with morning sickness.
    Since I've gotten into running/fitness, one of my biggest fears about when/if I get pregnant is what that will mean for my workouts. It's such a part of my lifestyle now and something I can't imagine giving up, and I'm so afraid I won't be able to keep it up for whatever reason (although I know that's totally silly and illogical and that there are plenty of pregnant women and moms who have no problems staying active even with kids). Of course, everyone is different and there's always a possibility that I really wouldn't be able to run during, but reading stuff like this helps me see that having a baby doesn't necessarily mean I have to give up my entire lifestyle as it exists now.

    ReplyDelete
  30. That's so neat that running helped with your morning sickness! I'll tuck that away for later. :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hang on, how did I miss this?!?! Major congrats! And way to be running for two... I know exactly what you mean about the struggles of worrying about the baby (even though it really is safe to be doing it if you're listening to your body) and about feeling so slow. But I also looooved the benefits of feeling better in the first trimester because of it (staying active really did help), and of having a really comfortable pregnancy over all and an easy delivery, which I attribute a lot of to staying in good shape. I hope you're able to keep going! I mostly had to stop by about 20 weeks because of pelvic ligament issues (those things get really stretchy during pregnancy apparently), but I switched to spinning classes up until 2 days before I delivered. I got the weirdest looks but I loved it!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Peaking back at an old post since I'm (very newly) pregnant and I'm a runner. I was considering running my first half-marathon this spring but now that I know I'm knocked up, I'm questioning the feasibility. I'm worried about the peeing!?! On your training runs, did you pee in the woods or go on routes that included bathroom stops. I don't know why this is what I'm fixated on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha! That's a good question and a valid concern :) I always just ran routes that included bathroom stops, so like circles around my neighborhood or things like that. Although, peeing in the woods would work! During my half marathon, I had to stop and pee like 5 times maybe, which was annoying, but at least the course had a lot of bathrooms stops! You can do it :)

      Delete
    2. Just realized I totally asked you this question when you originally posted it! Hahaha too early to blame pregnancy brain. Oops! Clearly I'm obsessed with peeing. Thanks for your response (Both times!)

      Delete

Thanks for the comment! I will respond via email and also occasionally in the post thread if you are asking a question that other readers might be interested in.

・ DESIGNED BY ECLAIR DESIGNS