Somehow, I’m still running. Granted, my pace is a full two minutes slower and I look like a beluga whale learning how to walk – but I’m running. Yesterday it was a mile followed by a two mile walk with my neighbor… but I’m running. Reflecting on yesterday’s post a bit, the ‘demise’ of a pregnant runner obviously happens gradually. Observe.
A positive result at your 4/5 week mark – 12 weeks :: Your days are filled with a nervous excitement, checking your belly daily for any kind of bulge whatsoever. You Vomit. You sleep constantly, or wish that you could. Your hormones are haywire, and you will cry about that time Bobby McSmith spit in your hair in art class in 2nd grade and how he was oh-so-incredibly-mean, or you’ll cry about how your husband came home with LEMON Pellegrino and not ORANGE like you asked. Running wise, you might not feel any different. In fact, if you lace up and get out there amidst the tears and exhaustion, you will find that this running thing is actually quite the nice break in your day; the birds will sing, the fresh air will feel invigorating to your lungs, and everything in the world will feel right again. Until you start crying about how beautiful the day is. Or vomit. Again.
12-20ish weeks :: You WILL start to slow down. Don’t fight it like I did. I became uber depressed about being a ‘runner’ and felt foolish even calling myself one. Try not to hate me for saying this, but don’t be silly. Baby is growing, shifting your gravity around, which will make your hips ache a little, as well as your knees. If you’re blessed, this won’t happen to you until later, but I found with pregnancy #2 all of this happened MUCH sooner.
20-30ish weeks :: At this point you’re wondering why you’re even doing this. You will start to wear your husband’s shirts for runs (or just 24/7), because your shirts will show too much of the underside of your belly. The babe will also be growing even MORE, making runs super awkward. He or She will be either be up high and in your lungs (like my daughter), making it hard to breathe and rendering you to a walk about a quarter mile into your run… or the baby will be super low (like my son) and you’ll panic because you think they’re going to fall out at any second. Either way, you’re also probably having *awesome* round ligament pain right about now, which is rightfully named because it IS painful and it will cramp the hell out of your midsection, making you want to curl up on a stranger’s front lawn and beg them mercilessly for water.
30-35ish weeks :: You’re wondering how the hell you can do this, but you’re proud to call yourself a runner so you do it anyway, and you’re determined to be THAT lady that had a 3 mile jaunt the morning she went into labor. Long gone are the days where you’re pushing yourself to have one LAST run at your pre-pregnancy pace, and you’ve come to terms with that. At this point, you are just focusing on keeping fitness at a decent level, and hoping it carries you to into some form of postpartum movement that once resembled your running.
35+ weeks :: You’re done. You want this kid out, for a variety of reasons. Yes, you want to meet this little miracle because, well, let’s face it – having a kid is pretty damn exciting. For the past 9 months your sole purpose has been to keeping this little individual safe and growing, and you’ve been daydreaming about what they’ll look like and how their lives will be shaped with your never-ending wisdom. With that said, you’re also looking forward to getting back on the road sans freeloader [a loving term, I promise!], even if this means lugging around a 75 wind-catching contraption that your child may or may not hate. But you’re willing to take that risk, because dammit – you’re a runner.