Saturday, February 12, 2011

Running these days (she says) - the good, bad & ugly of pregnant running

Yes, I am still running. Snow, ice, cold and all. I know I am lucky.

That hip pain I last wrote about is gone thankfully. It turned out to be the SI joint and is common among pregnant women, not just runners. I biked inside for a week and then cautiously returned to running, starting with painful 2-mile shuffles and working my way back to 5 miles of comfortable jogging. I always feel good at the end of a run.

Running is supposed to help ease pregnancy and childbirth. (So far, check.) But based on my blog stalking, I’m running at the upper range among pregnant runners at this stage of the game. So I don’t know if I should run more. No one knows, it depends on the person. I’m just supposed to listen to the body.  So there, if you’re wondering what pregnant running feels like, it feels like uncertainty, maybe guilt. Every run can be my last run, every mile can help or hurt for two. This feeling trumps all others, which also includes loneliness (I’m too slow to run with people these days) and jealousy (Everyone gets to run more than me). This is the ugly.

The bad thing about running while pregnant is that I have to diligently empty the bladder and intestines before every run or else I experience great pain. Actually, even if I do, it still feels like I have to pee. I just know it’s a bluff. My bladder is small these days, so if I leave a little in there, every step I take would feel like someone is punching it. Imagine having your full bladder punched 100 some times per minute, and you’ve got the experience of me running. I also have no idea where my intestines are anymore, but they will always make themselves known if I run having underpooped. In fact, the entire abdomen would hurt so much that I have to immediately stop running.  

That’s it, though. Physically, running with almost 20 extra pounds doesn’t feel nearly as hard as walking with a 10-pound dumbbell. My belly sticking out doesn’t affect my balance as much as I thought. I am just slower, about 2 minutes per mile slower than before, and I’ve cut back by 50-60% in distance.

What’s cool about pregnant running is that when I’m out running, sometimes I do feel like I’m running with the little guy, like the two of us are on a little adventure. Like last week, I took him to the trails to experience the serenity and beauty of the Wissahickon and the fun (and dare) of snow running. What’s good about running these days is that I can just do it. It’s simple. Once I’m out, I’m so free. Once the kid comes out though, it will actually be harder to run together, and it’ll be harder to just get out the door at a moment’s notice. That’s why I’m savoring these last weeks of freedom and trying to run for as long as I can.

No comments: