I’ve been asked a few times why I am still running while pregnant, and I thought it might be interesting for you all to hear a few of my reasons, both traditional and no so traditional, as to why I am still heading out to the Lakefront each morning. Join the Running Coaches Corner Link Up!
I want to state outright that this is not meant as a defensive post (though I’m sure it might seem that way). I just thought it might be interesting to discuss!
Why I am Still Running While Pregnant
I am running with my doctor’s permission and blessing. Consult your OB/GYN first!
First and foremost, mental health. We saw what a ****show I have been over the past year of hormone fluctuations and anxiety attacks. During the 7 weeks I did not run at the start of my pregnancy, I noticed that the stress of the unknown–such as when dealing with my subchorionic hemorrhage— really could have used a run or two to help level things out. I have no doubt in my mind that my running in between IVF cycles and my walking during my IVF cycles helped to keep me on an operational level as well as helped me process the motions I was going through.
Right now, I have several “types” of mental health runs–I listen to podcasts to just exist for a bit and get out into the world and the sunshine; I run without music or anything while I run with Alex, an act that helps me feel connected to him. Regardless of why I am going out there, I always come back better.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t have to convince myself sometimes!
This is a BIG one for me. You have seen the picture of my jumbo feet from Aspen. I wear compression socks at some point on most days throughout the week, and I wake up and go to bed with swelling every day and night. But running helps with my circulation so much: I will start a run with my feet barely fitting into my shoes and finish the run with my shoes actually loose.
Yes, running truly does give me energy. I often leave for my runs feeling lethargic, creaky, and tired, as if I had already run 10 miles. About a half mile in, I start to feel better, I start to loosen up. I may still feel a bit tired, or I might already be thinking about the number of miles I have left to go, but my body loosens up, and I return with a fresher mind and body than I left with.
When you are pregnant, a lot of your body’s fluids are going to the baby, resulting in a higher likelihood of dehydration and constipation. Well, I already run constipated thanks to Crohn’s Disease! Running is helping keep me at least somewhat regular as well as working out any ahem air that might be lingering in there.
Bone Health, Overall and Core Strength
As someone with a history of osteopenia, the impact of running is actually helping with my bone density and health, even while so much of my body is given over to caring for the baby. As I get further alone, my ability to and interest in doing core work or strength work in any form is waning, so running is great as a way of working my core and arms passively and my legs actively. My tendons and muscles are still strong!
Mental Health>> Feeling Accomplished
As someone with a highly active past and someone who used to do a ton of strength training, etc, and who now doesn’t do as much (ok none), running while pregnant helps me to feel accomplished on multiple levels. No, I am not as fast as I used to be, I don’t run as far as I used to, but I am still getting out there. I don’t need to push it
push it real good each time I go out. In fact, I’ve only done a few workouts over the past few months (at Runner’s High and the Runn Chicago Relay), and I took them relatively easy compared to many, but I still got to see numbers that I hadn’t seen in a long time.
Otherwise? I am just out there to soak up the sun and come home feeling, “You know what? I did something good for myself and my baby today.”
And that is all that matters, frankly. There are days that I run farther than others, days that I push myself. But the vast majority of days, I am just getting out there to get out there. To feel the sun on my skin, have some private time for myself. To put thoughts on hold. To get my moving meditation.From a cure for swollen feet to a cure for frazzled nerves, why Suz is still running while #pregnant #runchat Click To Tweet
And, obviously, if my body tells me no, I will respect that. I don’t have anything to prove!
But I am currently looking at jogging strollers 😀
What did you do to feel “normal” or like yourself while pregnant?
What makes you feel capable?
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