Right after the news came out – “We’re expecting baby #2!” – the question was asked, “You’re not still doing the half-marathon, are you?”
Yes, yes I am. As long as my body lets me, I’ll keep working out, if only at a more scaled back intensity.
First off, let no one being mistaken: I’m not running sprints or anything. I’m what you’d call a penguin when it comes to running.
My midwives are on board with it, too, with the suggestions staying hydrated and taking precautions not to overheat added to their blessing. Their biggest concern is the risk of falling. It’s a legitimate concern, but I run on mostly paved, smooth surfaces, slowing to a walk if needed to get passed a tricky spot.
The idea or a pregnant runner is not so crazy. Google “running while pregnant” and you’ll get at least 10 pages of hits. PregnancyToday issued some good tips worth repeating here.
– Talk to your doctor. Every pregnancy is different and there may be good reasons why you may not want to keep running.
– While running is a wonderful form of exercise for pregnant women, if you haven’t been doing it before your pregnancy, now’s not the time to pick it up.
– Be careful stretching.
Runnersworld.com had a good Q&A regarding the preggo runner question.
They recommend following the talk test (can you talk while running without huffing and puffing?) or Borg’s Rating Scale of Perceived Exertion where you rate your effort level on a scale from 1 to 10. I go by the talk test, which works great when running in groups, but I bet I look a little funny talking to myself on my solo jaunts.
The best endorsements for running while pregnant come from those who have done it before, though. In the blog 21 Days, mom-to-be Jess wrote about her running plans as a newly pregnant woman in 2009.
The experience went so well, here she is in her running shorts two years later and expecting #2.
Rachel, another blogger (who writes Sol and Rachel do a Blog), kept up her running and entered the super fun Wall Disney World full marathon. Her plan never was to do the full 26.2 miles, though. She did 12.5 and by the looks of the pictures, enjoyed every minute of it.
I came across this inspiring article (and check out her baby bump) about Tara Zimliki who has completed three marathons while pregnant. Talk about fit mama.
I’m unlikely to run the day I give birth, like Tara. I think I’ll be more like Jess and Rachel, the bloggers, running for as long as I enjoy it and slowing down when my body tells me to.