This spring I was training for the Boston Marathon, a huge goal, when I found out I was pregnant. It came as a surprise, a welcome one, but it was still unexpected. I researched tips about how to make the journey easier, enjoyable and safe. There are always stories of people running marathons at all stages of pregnancy or doing CrossFit until they deliver, and I imagined I would easily keep my running routine exactly the same.
But my running took a detour even before I found out I was expecting. I was running much slower than my normal pace, struggling on my runs and my body was just achy. When I finished, I didn’t have the normal sense of accomplishment and glad-I-did-that feeling, instead I was exhausted and miserable. A positive pregnancy test explained a lot, especially when I lost all energy to train. The few times I did go for a run, I’d get about a mile away from home and end up walking back, defeated.
By the time I made it to 12 weeks, my dreams of suddenly feeling great evaporated. I wanted to run, but my body said “no,” and I canceled my travel plans for Boston. Hopkinton will have to wait until another time.
I’ve since done a few things to help me accept my new lifestyle for two. Even though I may not be running as much as usual, I’m staying happy and sane. Hopefully these tips will help you too!
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others!
Don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourself to everyone else. They say it over and over, but pregnancy is different for everyone and it’s so true, especially with fitness. What works for some people, may not work for you, and that’s okay! Your body is changing a lot, your mind is all over the place, and you’re running high on hormones.
Give Yourself Grace!
Every day I remind myself that I am healthy, I will run again after the baby is born and it’s more than okay to take time off from running. It’s important to do what feels best for you. I’ve accepted that walking is what my body is okay with for now. It makes me happy, allows me time away from the house and even delivers the same ‘head clearing’ feeling as running.
Stay Off Google!
Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. It’s too easy to head online and research all the possible things that could be wrong when you are feeling icky or off. It’s normal to want to know more, but Google can lead you down the rabbit hole of anxiety and doubt. If you have a problem or a question, call your doctor.
Focus on the Positive!
Surround yourself with people who support you. I found walking partners and now enjoy when I can run instead of being concerned with distance or pace. Leave the watch at home and go based on feel. It’s hard when running is such a huge part of your life, but focusing on the good things instead of the negatives can help your stay focused on all of the good things to come.