Pregnancy: Guest Writer
What follows is our first guest writer in our pregnancy series. If you'd like to contribute, please do! Scroll to the bottom of this page for the form. Thanks, Broeck, for sharing your experience. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy!
I have never done this before. I have never been pregnant and I certainly have never experienced running whilst pregnant. Each week I am discovering more about what running and pregnancy mean for my body and each week I am surprised by the ever-changing challenges presented to me.
The first trimester had me more or less “couched”. Initially, I had planned to run a 20-mile race at ten weeks into my pregnancy. However, at only five weeks in, I began spotting immediately after completing a 13.5 mile training run. I do not know if there was any correlation between the long run and the spotting but without much hesitation I made the decision to back off running for a while. Little did I know that nausea, headaches, and exhaustion would soon follow and keep my desire to get out and run at bay for the remainder of the trimester.
At thirteen weeks in I had made it to the second trimester and was feeling so much better. Despite my eleven week running hiatus I was ready to run again. The Sun Mountain 25k was coming up and I was determined to give it a shot knowing that I was going to take it very slow and might even drop at the Thompson-Ridge 8.6-mile aid station. And so, at sixteen weeks pregnant off I went. The high brought on by running again kept me moving and I was feeling great as I (slowly) rolled on through the aid station and eventually made my way to the finish.
And that brings me to now, week eighteen, with another shift in my running. I have gone out for a few small runs since Sun Mountain and things have already changed again. My body is achy in new ways. My leg muscles are cramping a lot, my back is weak, everything feels incredibly heavy and the smallest of hills have me sucking in air and walking up them. Despite this, it still feels so good to get outside and move my body in this very slow run mode.
I cannot predict what comes next. Is week eighteen just a bad week, will I rebound again, or are there greater challenges waiting to greet me on the trail tomorrow? Despite the unknowns, I am so grateful that my body is trying to keep up with my spirit as much as it can. I am learning that pregnancy does not have to stop a woman from doing what she loves so long as she listens to her body and her growing baby and goes gently on them.