Thursday, July 28, 2011

still running!

Photo Credit: Steven White, Getty Images

Yep, at 33 weeks pregnant, I'm still running a little! And no, I do not look as toned and lithe as the woman in the picture. My belly's only a little larger than hers is though. A compact belly definitely makes running while pregnant easier.

Pre-pregnancy, a five-mile run was my standard exercise routine before work a few mornings a week and sometimes, definitely if training for a race, I'd run a farther distance on days off or the weekends. I haven't run farther than three miles since I've been pregnant. I probably could have early on, but I was scared to push myself, so I arbitrarily decided that three miles was my limit. If short on time, I only run two miles or even a mile and a half.

I now realize how much I relied on 10+ mile runs to help me catch up on miles when I lagged behind my goals. I can't do that now, and I won't come anywhere close to meeting my 2011 running goals. But at least I'm still out there, doing what I can. 

I don't run up hills any longer, and I can't run for miles straight without taking breaks. It's too hot, even at 6 a.m., and I get side stitches so easily now that as soon as I feel the slightest bit of pain, I stop and walk until it subsides. So, I run a few blocks, walk a few blocks, and then run some more.

Running while pregnant is incredibly humbling. I used to pass other runners as I lapped Lincoln Park; now nearly everyone--except for my dear, 87-year-old park walking friend Ellis--passes me. I am out of breath in ways I never have been before. I run at a snail's pace, not just because I'm carrying extra weight, but to allow plenty of time to catch myself in case I stumble or lose my balance.

I don't know how much these walks/runs a couple mornings a week are doing for me physically, but mentally, they are huge. My runner's high has never been higher. Even though I run slowly and don't go far, it feels like a huge accomplishment to do it at all.

Hoping I can keep running through the end of pregnancy and beyond...


Organized Living by Amy said...

That's awesome! Running wasn't the most comfortable for me, and I was always worried about falling. I became the spinning least until my knees start to hit my belly. Your physical stamina will really pay off during labor. :)

Diane Mannina said...

I'm impressed you're still running! Two other exercises to try if need be:
Swimming- it feels awesome to be weightless in the water! And it's cool for the hot summer!
Yoga or pilates- any type of stretching was hugely helpful for back aches and tightness.

Red Stethoscope said...

You are my hero! I can't believe that you're still running at 33 weeks! Who cares if you're doing it fast or're a champ!

Kelly said...

Way to go!

I'm jealous of your exercise! Wish I could just walk around the house... ;)

Jennifer said...

You will feel so much better post-delivery than if you'd sat around for the whole pregnancy. Good for you!

Heather Nelson said...

Good for you! I'm so impressed as I find every reason in the book NOT to run. :-) I agree wtih Diane that swimming while pregnant is heavenly - instant weightlessness. We have a pool, and you are more than welcome to come use it! Seriously!

Leslie said...

Just came across your blog! LOVE that you're still exercising and moving about!! I'm 25 weeks now and ever since I got prego people look at me like I'm crazy when I say I'm still exercising - ridiculous how people automatically think you should be sitting in bed eating ice cream...which is something I enjoy doing, but before that I have to get in some sort of exercise! Even a short walk makes me feel more accomplished and happier mentally. I'm still keeping up with spinning, TRX/interval training (although running during the intervals is harder on my bladder so I stick with some good hill walking now), and more recently equipment pilates (great for stretching and modifying exercises I normally can't do on the floor).