The Joys of Running While Pregnant

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So I started experiencing pelvic pain a few weeks ago and was really bummed because I figured I wouldn’t be able to run for the rest of my pregnancy. I started doing upper body weights about 2 weeks ago because I couldn’t stand being inactive, and then I added a few leg exercises including wall sits, and finally I started doing planks. I was feeling a lot better, and although I still had pelvic pain, it was a lot less. I talked to my OB at my next appointment and she was sympathetic but she basically told me pelvic pain happens to some women during pregnancy, it’s nothing to worry about, everything else looks normal, the baby is fine, and the pain probably won’t completely go away until after birth.

Huh. So I’m going to have pelvic pain no matter what I do?

My options were then: remain stationary (and miserable) or start running again (yay endorphins!).

So last weekend I ran the Arctic 5k, thinking it’d be my last race. But after realizing my above options, I changed my mind.

Today I ran the Charlotte Ultra Run 10k. They call it an Ultra Run because most people ran the 50k, but there was a decent showing of us 10k-ers to round it out.

Amusement one started when I put on the long sleeve shirt I had brought to run in…Whoops, my belly was peeking through like a beer gut in a wife beater. I had to put on BRIAN’S short sleeve shirt over top to make sure I was decently covered.

It was pretty safe to say I was the only obviously pregnant woman at the race, one guy commented, “You’ve got a hitchhiker!” before we even lined up at the start.

SO we start. Brian takes off because he has to run 5 of my little 10k to finish his part of the race, and I settle into what I affectionately call my kimono shuffle. The pelvic pain hurts worse when I have to take longer strides (so, actually walking hurts worse than this shuffle) so I bounce/shuffle my feet like I’m wrapped from head to ankle in silk and that’s how I bobbled along. It may not have been super fast (I averaged a little over a 15 minute pace) but I maintained it for the entire race AND I beat several other 10k-ers. Not bad for being 3 days away from third trimester.

What was cool was all the encouragement I got while running. It was an out and back course on the Charlotte Greenway, a decently flat course-just a gentle rolling, and mostly pavement. The majority of the runners were much faster than me, so I saw them coming back (some of the 50krs lapped me a couple of times) and I got several high-fives, a lot of “You go!” and “Running for two!” comments, and one “That’ll be one healthy baby!”  The other women runners were especially supportive, I think some of the guys just thought I was nuts.

One of the 50krs who stands out in my mind, however, was one of the top three finishers (he lapped me 3-4 times before I finished my ONE lap). Tall asian guy, he didn’t say anything, his face was in “the zone” but he’d catch my eyes and give me a few quiet claps with his gloved hands on his water bottle every time we passed, and I’d smile and say “good job” or something equally simple and that was it. After I finished I was waiting for Brian and chatting with the race volunteers, cheering on the finishers as they crossed the line. This guy finishes, promptly leans up against the fence and all his friends come over to congratulate him on how fast he ran. I smiled and said, “yeah, you lapped me several times!” And he started laughing and was like, “I couldn’t speak while running, but thanks for actually responding when I passed you!” I couldn’t figure out if during the race his clapping had just been some sort of weird obligatory encouragement since his face was so devoid of expression but nope, turns out he really was cheering me on and my random comments had a return positive effect. Yay running!

I did, however, have the medics a little concerned. They had signed up to cruise on 4 wheelers and chat at aid stations until this pregnant crazy lady (me) apparently decided to run the race. One actually asked one of the volunteers what they should do if I went into labor. They were driving up and down asking all of the runners if they needed anything, but I definitely got a lot of “Are you sure you’re ok?”s. They needn’t of worried, a woman who had had her baby 10 months prior introduced me to her two running partners who were both midwives. I was covered. 😉

My all time favorite part was this one guy on a bike with an Irish accent (I’m pretty sure it was Irish) who was also riding up and down the course keeping an eye on the runners and who passed me several times. I had made the turn around and just passed the 7k sign when he rides by and goes, “Yeah! You’re fookin’ almost done!” I laughed out loud and gave a slightly breathless “woohoo!”. A few hundred feet later Brian is coming towards me (he’s running 5 of these 10k laps remember) and we pause to steal a quick kiss as we cross paths and the same biker who was apparently now coming back down the course goes “You can’t do that on the greenway! That’s illegal!” and rides on by with a wave.

To sum up. I’m sore. I’m definitely waddling a little more when I walk to minimize the soreness. I miss being able to actually run instead of shuffle. But Potato is kicking around like crazy (as usual) and running pregnant is kindof fun.

 

Oh, and Brian ran the 50k in 4 hours and 38 minutes, which is pretty awesome, but whatever. 😛

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