six hundred and sixty one miles.
1,057,600 meters. 3,490,080 feet.
and just like that, its over.
My pregnancy running journey is complete.
It’s been 10 days since I last ran and at the end of it, I think I knew inside that I was done. But I sat on it a few days before I made up my mind because there have been times (many times) during pregnancy where I’ve not felt great and then the next day woke and felt a 1000 times better and it was like the previous day never happened.
So, I waited out those days…and nahhh. I’m pretty sure my body is done and dusted with lugging this guy around!!!
I feel gratitude, for my body allowing me to continue something that is so important to me (fitness). I feel relief in a way, that its all over. I feel a little bit of disappointment in myself for not being able to make it all the way until 39 weeks when I deliver ((I guess thats the type A in me ).
But, most of all I feel PROUD, because its not easy to be consistent during pregnancy with workouts or running and I was able to accomplish that.
My first two pregnancies:
With my first pregnancy, I ran up until my due date. My son came 6 days late. With my second, I ran until 2 days before my planned C-Section (39 + 2). My last run with my current and final pregnancy was at 35 +4 weeks.
I’m sure some of you who don’t know me probably think this is crazy. Especially if I told you my first two babies were 8 lb 10 oz or bigger…LOL!! ( we will see how big this guy gets!!).
As y’all know, in pregnancy, everything is based around the baby. and how I’m feeling. which is such a catch 22 because we as women literally have no control over how we feel…!!!
Pregnancy was HARD AF for me with all babies, especially baby 1. I was so USED to just pushing through everything! I coulden’t get past how my body just woulden’t do/I coulden’t do what I wanted to! After all, I had pushed my body to the limit for so many years playing professional soccer. So many hormonal, mental and physical changes, wrapping my head around bringing a baby into the world…it was overwhelming!!
Third pregnancy running
As my pregnancy progressed along this time around, I was completely aware at how much bigger I got so much earlier. I was completely aware that it would be the middle of winter my last month…which might affect my ability to get outside. Cold, snow, darkness, ice were all things on my mind.
I know this is silly, but I set an internal goal of reaching December (knowing all these factors) and once I reached that date, I would take it day for day. ((Obviously, if I ever didn’t feel good or there was an issue with the baby I would never put anything at risk and would stop)).
I say its silly because…if any of you have been pregnant, you know there are so many factors out of your control when it comes to pregnancy! Setting this goal wasn’t just mind over matter and “how bad do you want it? or “no excuses, get it done” like I spoke about above!
And then one day, (after my goal, LOL!!) It just stopped feeling natural. Stopped feeling good. And when that happened, I always vowed to call it a day. So I did.
Why run you ask?
I like being active and healthy, pregnant or not. Enough said. You can google any study anywhere and read about pregnancy and working out. Good for mom, good for baby. Good, good, good.
It made me feel like myself…even if I was slower and bigger. This was probably my number one reason for continuing. This was especially important to me during pregnancy 1 when I struggled big time with my growing body and embracing the new use for my body. So many changes physically & emotionally…
Before, everything I did with my body was results oriented. How can I get faster? Stronger? Better on the ball? How many times can I train in one day? What can I eat to make me a better athlete?
This all quickly shifted to becoming a home for a little baby for 9 months. So….. that 30-40 minutes when my feet hit the pavement, I grinded out a sweat, and sometimes (especially early on) forgot I was pregnant. It was just me, and the roads doing our thing. It made me HAPPY and kept me grounded for those 9 months.
Running is something i’ve done my whole life and it felt natural. It’s not like I woke up one day and had a huge bump. The progression was so slow that it was very gradual and gentle as I got bigger. It probably would have been weirder for my body to just stop!!!
It kept my swelling at bay. Sure, I definitely got swollen but nowhere near what i have seen other pregnant mama’s and I know its due to my consistent activity level!
Weight Control: I’ve gained a healthy 33-35 lbs, with my first, 40 with my second and I’m on track for around 35-37 with my current pregnancy. Being active and running has definitely helped keep my weight in a healthy target area and made recovery A LOT easier.
It’s no walk in the park though…
I’d be lying if I said I enjoyed every run. I’d be lying if I said I wanted to be out there every single time. I’d be lying if I said it was easy, or didn’t take any discipline. It sure as hell did. But I look back on my journey with great pride, and so fondly as memories with my babies before they came into this world.
Advice for Pregnant Runners/ Beginner Runners:
If I could pass along any advice to fellow runners who have just become pregnant and want to continue their regiment, I would offer the following as advice. Some of this advice can be applied to people who aren’t pregnant who are looking to take up running!
SPEAK TO YOUR DOCTOR FIRST. Everyone’s pregnancy is different, and what i did may not be right for you!!!
Change your mindset: Whether you are a recreational runner or a competitive runner, changing your mindset is CRUCIAL. Knowing that you’re out there for the movement, the sweat, the endorphins, etc. rather than actually hitting mileage, splits, times….if you don’t change this mindset, you won’t last long and it certainly won’t be enjoyable!
Invest in good workout gear: Without comfortable running clothes/proper gear running while pregnant can become virtually impossible. I’ve shared my favorites over the course of my 600+ miles (see below)
Find your time: For me, I always felt better early in the morning. My bladder and stomach were fairly empty which led to less bathroom breaks, pressure and any digestion issues. Try out different times of day to see when you feel best.
One day at a time: Don’t get too high off a great run, or too low on a bad run. 9 months is a long time and there will be days where you’re running pre-pregnancy times and feeling like a 100 bucks…and other days where you can’t finish your run, never go, or just feel tired and lethargic. Don’t jump to any conclusions and just roll with it! The part that counts is YOU SHOWED UP.
Intervals: So many of my runs were intervals, whether it was “sprint” for 100 yards, then jog…and repeat for time or a number of sets… or repeat 400s with 3 minutes of rest in between! I always felt like this made the runs more enjoyable knowing I was able to keep a faster pace than a longer run, and knowing I was torching some fat as well!
Take breaks: there’s no shame in stopping to walk, or stretch for a minute or two!
Know when to call it a day: I felt great with my first two pregnancies and tried to not put too much pressure on myself to make it to “running full term with all three babies”. I’m super goal oriented and tbh I would have loved to do that ((sighhhh)). In saying that, Know when to call it a day…when it doesn’t feel good, or feel natural. Any running while pregnant is something to be proud of whether its 3 weeks, 3 months or 9 months!!
Now…on to share my pregnancy running/workout must haves!
Gabrialla waist support: I ran with this with all three babies and was a life saver!! This is a must!
Body Glide-With my first two pregnancies I had a litrle bit of chafe going on because it was so hot. This was a life saver where my sports bra was, and on my thighs! Things start rubbin when you get bigger! You can get this on amazon!
Good running shoes- your feet will naturally swell so having a good pair is important. The brooks ghost is my favorite!
A good sports Bra- my fave is the Brooks Juno. The girls don’t move AT ALL and the straps allow for nursing when the baby comes (cause once that milk comes in…sister watch out! LOL) I do have to say its not super easy to get on but its worth it to keep them strapped in! Perf for running or any high impact!!!
My zella leggings- great to run in especially in cooler months. I wear these also 24-7. These are the ULTIMATE leggings for pregnancy. You can work out in them, dress them up, wear them casually. They are just bomb. If they come back in stock, SNAG them ASAP!!! Great quality.
These Gap tank tops are my favorite.
these Old Navy fleeces are super comfy, great for layering and working out in.
I love this long sleeve mock neck top from Gap to run in
Unfortunately the patterned Isabel Maternity for Target leggings are all sold out…but those were big on my workout rotation! Check out target for some of their maternity leggings to work out in!
I hope this post helps any of you mamas to be with questions about running while pregnant!