I have to say, I’ve been totally frustrated by my weight during this pregnancy.
I was still struggling to lose the weight from the massive size I accumulated during my third pregnancy with my son (who, by the way, is still off the growth charts–does that count for anything?) when I found out I was expecting another bambino. You can say I was less than thrilled about the prospect of trying to “bounce back” to something I’m pretty sure was never there to begin with.
So while I’ve been making tweaks to my diet here and there (it’s a process, for sure) and focusing on getting more exercise this time around, there is one activity that I definitely am fine with giving up in my pregnant quest for health:
Outside of pregnancy, I actually really enjoy running. I am what I call a “Winnie-the-Pooh” runner, in that I will probably always be a little slow and stout, no matter how much I run, but it’s definitely an activity that keeps me energized, and most importantly, it gets me out of the house (I have three other littles at home) and moving.
After those two lines pop up, however, and even after I’ve surpassed the hanging-out-by-the-toilet-to-puke-every-five-seconds stage, I draw the line at strapping on my tennis shoes. The fact is, I don’t run during my pregnancy and honestly never even considered trying to keep running with my baby bump in tow.
But there are some women out there who are refusing to let pregnancy slow them down.
Meg Robinson didn’t yet know she was pregnant when she ran her half-marathon race. The miles were nothing new for her — a devoted runner, she had logged several races before this one. And although she says she felt “like crap” during the race, she still managed to shave 30 minutes off of her previous time.
Turns out, Meg was four weeks pregnant with her third baby.
And with numbers like that to back her up, why should she stop running just because of a little ol’ baby?
When I interviewed Meg to find out if she was seriously managing to continue running during pregnancy (after I hid the ice cream I was eating and picked my jaw off the floor, of course), she explained that her decision to continue running was pretty simple — she had worked really hard to get in shape before the pregnancy and maintaining her level of activity was a priority for her.
“I was running between 30-40 miles a week when I got a pregnant,” Meg explained. “So I planned to run as long as my body felt good and could handle it.”
OK, so she was a super star before she got pregnant — awesome and good for her. But what about the dreaded first trimester with the puking and the exhaustion? Surely no sane woman can run through that, right?
Meg admitted that she listened to her body during the tumultuous first trimester and slowed down her exercise regimen. “I was pretty sick from 6-12 weeks, so I didn’t run or work out a ton,” she related. “Around 12 weeks I slowly worked back into it.”
And she didn’t slow down after that. Meg says that “around three miles” is her comfort threshold — and the all-important bladder threshold. She also invests in really good sports bras and control pregnancy tops to support her while she exercises.
Now in her third trimester, Meg is continuing to run and states that “it still feels pretty normal to run,” so who knows if she will be stopping anytime soon? (Also, having seen Meg’s adorable baby bump, I can attest that her running is working for her — she looks awesome.)
Meg is not alone in her incredible pregnant running abilities; one women even recently made headlines for running while 8 months pregnant, and many bloggers out there document their journeys to baby and beyond, all while literally running laps in the motherhood department.
I have to say, that although women who can continue to run during pregnancy totally impress me, I can admit that I am also totally not one of them. After I interviewed Meg, I was all inspired and thought to myself, yeah! I can do this too! and went downstairs and jumped on the treadmill.
And lasted about precisely four minutes.
I just felt so incredibly awkward and uncomfortable, not to mention, completely out of shape. To me, the running felt more discouraging than empowering, although part of me really wishes I could be so cool as to run a half marathon while pregnant, goodness.
So, no I won’t be running anytime soon during this pregnancy, but I am inspired by women like Meg who make exercise such a huge part of pregnancy, and hopefully, by continuing to exercise this time around, I won’t make myself the only huge part…
What about you? Any other pregnant runners out there?
Image courtesy of Meg Robinson