Everyone says staying active is important in pregnancy. Everyone. If you’ve been pregnant before – or you’re pregnant now – you know what I mean when I say sometimes it gets to be a bit overwhelming how often you read about it or get lectured about it.
But, yes, it’s important. It’s also important to know that your expectations of pregnancy fitness may not match up to reality.
Case in point is Emily, a blogger on Babble.com, who wrote “Accepting that I am not a pregnant runner.” This woman is way more hardcore of a runner than I ever was, yet she found for a number reasons, running and pregnancy didn’t mix for her. It was hard for her to come to terms with the realization, and it was harder still to not compare herself to the women who managed to keep running with a bump.
With my first pregnancy, I had no desire to be a pregnant runner. Well, maybe I did at the very beginning, but as soon as morning sickness kicked in, what little inclination I had was set aside. With this pregnancy – and even before I got the positive test result – I was determined that I would be a pregnant runner. And funny, somehow, I became one.
Running in the early part of my pregnancy wasn’t too hard. In fact, it helped with the morning sickness. However, now that I’m in the “could be smuggling a basketball” phase, I’ve put away my running shoes.
After that half-marathon at 20 weeks along, I halted all running. Toward the end of training, I occasionally felt a heaviness in my abdomen, similar to what Emily described in her blog post. It was uncomfortable and forced me to walk more than I planned in training.
After the race, my belly grew and that uncomfortable heaviness reared its ugly head again when I went for the first post-race run. At that point, I decided I was done with running until after the baby arrived (well after the baby arrived).
I’m not terribly disappointed to be done already, honestly. Heck, I made it a lot longer than I did in my first pregnancy.
The groundwork I laid during this pregnancy will help immensely postpartum, even though I won’t still be running at 28, 34 or 40 weeks pregnant. Naomi, another Babble blogger, wrote about getting her running groove back postpartum. Not an easy task, it turns out.
Moms – What has been your experience working out while pregnant and post-pregnancy?