Please note that the following post is my personal experience with running during pregnancy. Every woman and every pregnancy is different. I suggest consulting your doctor before beginning or continuing an exercise routine while pregnant.
If you did the math from my last post, you’ll realize that I ran my first half marathon while pregnant. We found out a few weeks prior to the race and, by doctor’s estimate, thought I was only 6 weeks pregnant (actually, according to a sonogram a few weeks later, I was almost 9 weeks on race day).
If you remember, I felt like I was burning out on running the weeks prior to the race. I was getting very fatigued while running (makes more sense in hindsight) and wasn’t feeling very motivated. Once the pregnancy was confirmed, I knew I wanted to continue with the race – it was just a matter of strategy.
After receiving the go-ahead from my doctor, I reached out to a friend of mine who ran a full marathon at 5 weeks pregnant. (Yeah, I know, she’s amazing.) She told me that she ran her race in intervals and recommended I carry a water bottle to remain hydrated. Both of these pieces of advice helped me greatly on race day.
I ran the first few miles of the race straight – starting my intervals around mile 5 and switching them up again around mile 8. My knee began bothering me at that point, and I took the majority of May off from running to let it heal (and because I was still in midst of immense fatigue during my first trimester).
As my energy returned, so did the running bug. However, there were factors to consider before pounding the pavement: some areas of my routes are alongside busy streets with no sidewalks, I’m not willing to sacrifice much-needed sleep in the mornings to get up and run, and the Baltimore humidity being a few. Plus, how would my knee react? I tested it out at the end of May and made it 2 miles before pain shot up my knee.
So, what was I to do – give up running altogether? Not a chance. Not for me. Especially not when the JA’s running again. It would break my heart.
That brings us to now – my second trimester and still not running like I used to. I’m doing intervals in the morning with Watson when I’m feeling up to it. It’s been somewhat of a rough road (ok, so I may have had a huge meltdown on Sunday after only interval-ing a mile), but reading this post from Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point helped immensely. I’m slowly learning to temper my expectations, knowing that my body has another purpose now.
Have you ever had to take time off from a sport you love? How did you cope?