Perspective on Pregnant Running

I’m always asked if I notice any difference between my two pregnancies.  Physically, I’d say not at all.  I’m carrying almost the same (weight gain, how I look, the size of the babies)…But it’s hard to compare other aspects because the circumstances are so different – especially when it comes to running.  I was fortunate enough to work from home for most of my first pregnancy.   The last four months were spent at home.  I had the luxury of keeping my feet up, napping, and running when I felt was best for me.  I was able to log some high miles – especially during the last few weeks of pregnancy.

@ 37 weeks w/ baby #2 (2012)

@ 37 weeks w/ my son (2010)

This pregnancy couldn’t be any more different.  Having an almost 20 month old toddler makes my day not really my own.  Since my chiropractor does not want me to run with the running stroller until after the baby is born (to prevent my PPP from returning), I am limited to run either first thing in the AM or late at night when my husband is home.  I *can* run on the treadmill when my son is napping, but I have been really trying to nap (or at least keep my feet up) when he naps otherwise I’m exhausted by 3 or 4pm.

I’m usually a 5am runner, but even getting out the door by 630am while 37 weeks pregnant is tougher than I thought it would be.  I’m not sleeping great and my body feels achy and stiff for the first 45-60 min of being awake.  No matter how hard I try, I just can’t head out earlier.  So I have been limited with how far I can run because my husband needs to leave for work.  If I try to put off the run til my husband comes home, there’s a 99% chance I won’t be running – I’m just too tired by the end of the day!!!

What does this all mean for my running?  Two years ago, my priority (while taking into account the health of me and my baby) was on the mileage I was logging each week.   My day revolved around running.  These days, I’m finding that I can’t go much more than 5 or 6 miles (at this point in my pregnancy) without being totally wiped out for the rest of the day.  I would love to try to go out and run 8-10 miles.  But then I’ll likely spend the rest of the day on the couch recouping from the stress I just put on my body.  And I wouldn’t have the energy to teach my son how to hit a baseball or play with him on the beach.

Future Yankee shortstop?

So given all that, you can see why I’m on cloud 9 from my last week of running.  Most days were fairly comfortable (and I would have tried to go longer if I had more time).  I’ve logged 24 miles AND (most importantly) had the energy and desire to have some fun days with my priority – my son.

  • Wednesday: 5 miles – 48 min (9:35 pace)
  • Friday: 6 miles –  55 min (9:10 pace)
  • Saturday: 5 miles – 47 min (9:20 pace)
  • Monday: 4 miles – 38 min  (9:30 pace)
  • Tuesday: 4 miles – 38 min (9:30 pace)
  • Week total: 24 miles

(Note: most of the times/paces are estimates – I haven’t been running with my Garmin so I only know the start/end time of my runs from my phone!)

Did you take a different approach with exercise / running during each pregnancy?  

Did you find that your priorities changed?

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    13 thoughts on “Perspective on Pregnant Running

    1. I too am so happy that you are running again – and in this heat and humidity too!! I totally took a different approach to fitness when I was pregnant. I just needed and wanted to move – it wasn’t so much about the intensity as just getting my body moving. Loved doing yoga but didn’t do much running as I wasn’t carrying as cute and tiny as you :-) My favorite was going to the YMCA to lift weights and have all the old men stare at me wide-eyed because they were scared I was going to go into labor in the weight room. hee hee.
      Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Inversion AversionMy Profile

    2. Good for you for still getting to it at this stage! My doctor was very against me running with my first, so I stuck with a lot of biking, elliptical, and other xt (really boring – hated every minute!). My son actually turned out to be very small (5 lbs, 9 oz – full term), so when I got pregnant with my second I was nervous to exercise too much. After lots of reading and talking with other doctors (mine still isn’t for running while pregnant), I decided to keep up with the running (which I had been doing for over half my life – this was no big change to distance/speed), even while pushing the jogger, and just try and keep my heart rate below 150. I continued this until I was 8 months, at which time I was just too uncomfortable. The funny thing is, that my 2nd son turned out to be way bigger (2 whole pounds!) even with all the extra running I did! I’m so glad I kept it up! It’s been way easier to get my times and distance back this time around.
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    3. Wow! Look at you still getting in some awesome mileage and paces… way to go, Michelle! I was still running at the end, but my paced slowed to about 10 minute miles, and I did 3-4 miles max. But it felt so good to still get out there!

    4. I am so impressed with what you have done during your pregnancy and also your attitude. Being pregnant with my 2nd daughter was so much harder than my first, mainly because my down time was never down time because I had a 1 year old at home. You are so close to the end and everything will magically go back to normal, I love how quickly things feel better. Take care, I will be thinking of you these next few weeks.
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    5. My approach with baby #2 was to run more but with hip/pelvic pain I had to stop around 18 weeks. I really, really miss running and can’t wait to get back into it.
      My priorities have changed as with a two year, working full time and now 26 weeks pregnant I have to juggle more. I need to make it through my work day but also through my evening with our little one. Sometimes, it’s just easier to relax at 8 o’clock at night instead of working out. Sleep and resting my body seem more important at times. But I do make sure to plan some exercise when I can and be flexible that it might not happen when I want it to.
      Glad you are able to be running again!
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    6. first and foremost I am so happy your running again I had to take two weeks off because of a weird back pain and it was totally killing me so I completly understand. There are times when the desire to run is so much more stronger then my logic cause I know if I keep running past 5 miles Im going to be done for the day but just the other day I did do such a thing and I regreted it so now I stick to 3 or 4 miles and am happy just for my ability to run at 9 months pregnant. I plan to do the local thanksgiving road race as my “come back” race after giving birth and then full Marathon training after the new year.

    7. You’ve done an amazing job both times! Your second go around hasn’t been the easiest and look what you’ve been able to do. I agree, second time through is a whole ‘nother ball game when you can’t make yourself the big priority. But you’ll find that you’ll be just as strong on the return as first go around. In some ways a second is easier than the first, just b/c you are experienced at making it all happen and it’s not such a shock to the system!

      I can’t believe you will have a new little baby so soon!
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      • I definitely took it for granted…I think that you need the freedom for the first baby though – SO much more reading, organizing, researching/buying baby items, etc. I’m not sure how I would be able to do all that now!!! =)