Women’s Running: Post-Pregnancy Running Thoughts

Running through Pregnancy - Part 1
Running through Pregnancy - Part 1

This post was originally posted as part of Women’s Running Blogger Series. You can find it here. 

I wanted to share it here as well because I think it’s such an important (and potentially controversial) topic. And, to be honest, my views on it have changed considerably over the past couple of years. If you asked me even a year ago, I would have had a totally different opinion on the subject. I’ve written quite a number of postpartum running posts that deal with my return to running and training and I don’t want those to be the only side that gets shared.


Last week, Women’s Running posted a question on twitter:

Mom Runners – how long did you wait after the birth of your child to start running again?

My husband and I have recently discussed when we might try for a 3rd child. Postpartum running, as well as all things related to pregnancy, have been at the forefront of my mind.

My first two pregnancies were fairly smooth and complication-free. I was able to run until the last couple of days (Note: I didn’t run for 4-5 weeks during the middle of my 2nd pregnancy due to some lower back pain). Deliveries were also without issue. I was given the green light from my doctor to resume physical activity whenever I felt up to it.

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    Happy Bump Day (39 weeks)!!

    38 weeks

    I have entered the two week window of my due date – did you know that 80% of babies are born within two weeks of their due dates?!?

    Appointments: I have weekly appointments with my midwife and my OB-GYN specialist (for my gestational diabetes) from now until I deliver.  Definitely thankful that I have tons of family around to help watch AJ so I don’t have to lug him to numerous appointments each week!  This afternoon is with the midwife and I’m hoping to find out if there is any news (dilated, effaced, what station the baby is at).  Yesterday was the weekly appointment with the specialist.  The lab tech confirmed what I had suspected – pumpkin has dropped and is in place for delivery!!!  Although this is great news because he/she is no longer sitting on top of my rib cage (yay!!), it is not necessary a sign that L&D is imminent.

    Energy Level: Has been through the roof the last two weeks. Despite not getting great sleep at night, I feel fantastic throughout the day and do not feel it necessary to nap with my son when he does.  The “nesting” instinct is in full effect lately – I am becoming paranoid with cleaning and organizing and making sure everything is “just right” for the baby’s arrival.  Honestly, I think the surge in energy is because of how excited I finally am for the baby to be born – the house is how I want it to look, I am calm and prepared, and everything else just feels like it’s ready…

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      Perspective on Pregnant Running

      Beach fun!

      @ 37 weeks w/ baby #2 (2012)

      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.

      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.

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        Happy Bump Day (37 weeks)!!


        Today marks the start of my 37th week…one more week until I’m considered full term! The last two weeks have been exponentially better than the 5-6 – partially because I’m able to run again, partially because I feel more prepared for the arrival of #2, and partially because I know how close I am to the end!!

        Energy level: Although I feel great and have a ton more energy than I was expecting, last week was one of the most physically demanding ever.  In case you were wondering – planning a vacation to the beach while you are 36 weeks pregnant is NOT the smartest idea and I would highly recommend not doing it!  It wouldn’t have been nearly as tough if my husband was able to take the whole week off, but a few emergencies popped up last minute and he had to go to work three of the days.  It also wouldn’t have been as tough if my son were not going through a very clingy stage right now that required me to carry him from the condo we were staying in to the beach, and all the way to where we set up our blanket – all while holding a cooler of water and snacks and a beach bag with towels, clothes, and toys.  By the end of each day, I felt like I was barely able to stand up straight.

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          Random Things I’m Loving

          I have a lot of random thoughts going through my head lately and decided to share some of the things that I am currently LOVING!!

          – Third Trimester  – Today officially marks the start of the 3rd trimester.  Knowing that I am in the home stretch is a wonderful feeling.  I will do a pregnancy update next Wednesday as well as a 2nd trimester running update soon!!  One of the books that I utilized SO frequently during pregnancy #1 (and again this time around) is the Runner’s World Guide to Running & Pregnancy.  My favorite quote from the book:

          When I reached the 20-mile mark in my first marathon, a man on the sidelines yelled, “Congratulations! You’re halfway there.” I knew instinctively what he meant: The hardest part, the real test of my strength, lay ahead in those last 6.2 miles. And he was right.   So goes it with the last trimester of pregnancy…Running typically becomes less and less enjoyable as the weeks pass.

          Cooler Temperatures – I don’t know about you, but last week’s heat and humidity came a little too soon for me. I am fully expecting days like that in August but was not ready for them in June!!  The last few days have been blissful – A/C off and windows open in the house, long sleeve running shirts in the AM, and sweaters for early morning/late night walks with my son.  Perfect.

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            Running During Pregnancy: Monitoring Exertion

            *Note: I am NOT a healthcare professional.  This post is in response to many questions I have received in regards to my running pace during pregnancy.  The below information is what I have learned from my current OB-GYN as well as research on this topic.  Before you engage in physical activity during pregnancy, talk to your doctor about his/her recommendations and guidelines.   

            Over the last few months, I have received a number of emails, comments, and tweets regarding running during pregnancy – with the number one question being whether or not I track my heart rate (HR) as a measure of exertion during my runs.

            During pregnancy #1, my Dr advised me to keep my HR below 140 bpm during my runs and any other physical activity I was engaging in (biking, elliptical, etc).  For the first few months, I ran with my heart rate monitor and was a SLAVE to that number.  I would freak out if it was even slightly over 140.  It was extremely frustrating because it forced me to run extremely slow – sometimes I even had to walk to get my heart rate under that magic number.  It seemed that my HR jumped to 140 without almost no effort the first few months.  As my pregnancy continued, I became a little more relaxed when it came to that number – I would check my HRM (heart rate monitor) every few minutes to ensure it was within reason.  But I was still pretty cautious to keep it close to 140 bpm.

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              Happy Bump Day! (27 weeks)


              Holy Moly. I have one week left until I am in the 3rd trimester – the home stretch!!

              Overall, I feel great.  There are definitely those days where I really feel like I’m pregnant, but for the most part, I am able to do most things I was doing prior to pregnancy.

              Running – Running has continued to be one of the highlights of my day (on the days I run!).  I’ve had some absolutely amazing runs the last couple of weeks and am still maintaining an 8:30-8:45 pace on the majority of them.  My weekly mileage is ranging anywhere from 20-35 miles/week with runs between 4-10 miles.  I ran 10 this past Saturday and felt that I could easily have run further.  But I’m really trying to not overdo it with high mileage since I have my son to return home to and take care of.  I had the luxury of only worrying about myself during pregnancy #1 and so if I was exhausted from a long run, I could kick my feet up and nap for the rest of the afternoon.  Having a 17 month old toddler makes that difficult!!  So the mileage is not as high as I would have wanted but I’m beyond ecstatic with my pace.  I ran the Mini 10k (6.2 miles) at a 7:51 pace at 25 weeks and the 10 miler at an 8:33 pace (26 weeks pregnant).

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                Happy Bump Day! (18 weeks)


                Happy Hump Day!!!

                I’ve been asked a lot recently to do an update on my pregnancy…I don’t want my whole blog to be focused on my pregnancy, so I have decided to update you on my bump on hump day every other week! =)

                I just started my 18th week of pregnancy!?!?  I don’t know where the time is going.  It’s both scary and exciting to think that in just a couple of weeks, I will be halfway through pregnancy #2.

                Since this is my first official pregnancy update, it’ll be more of an overview of my pregnancy so far…

                I started getting nauseous early in my 7th week (that’s when the lightbulb went off that I was pregnant) and it got progressively worse until the 12th week.  It was so bad at times that I spent large portions of the day lying down on the floor next to my son while he played.  I had major lulls in blogging/reading blogs/tweeting during this time because doing anything upright was a struggle for me.

                My diet was awful – I alternated between wanting to eat only fried food (umm, hello Wendys!) with having no appetite at all to not being able to even smell food.  There were countless nights where my son and husband ate dinner while I laid on the couch or in bed with my nose covered to prevent the smell of food from reaching me.  On top of the really unhealthy eating, I wasn’t running much.  Energy-wise, I felt okay, but the nausea totally consumed me and I actually felt worse when I tried to run.  I spent about 6 weeks eating poorly, not running, and just feeling terrible!! 

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