Third trimester running (again)

Some aspects of this fifth pregnancy are surreal. I get busy with the four other kids and the business and then I suddenly remember that, if all goes as it should, there will be another little person around here in less than three months. Hope I remember to buy diapers and wipes!

Of course, other times I am less able to forget the realities of gestation. Like at 5 a.m. when my little buddy is up kicking me in the ribcage, for instance. Or when I’m running.

I have run at least a mile every day since December 24, 2016. So that includes the first six months of this pregnancy. I’m officially in the third trimester now. I’m still running daily. I’d like to make it to Christmas Eve (36-37 weeks) and hit three years, though since I already ran for 1000 days straight — my original goal — I’m just taking it as it comes.

For the most part, it still feels good. I run slowly, rarely averaging faster than 12-minute miles (my easy non-pregnant pace is more like 10:30). I wear two sports bras. I wear an Amon maternity band (sort of like a sports bra for my belly) and then a second non-sports band on top of it to make sure it stays up; I welcome suggestions on people’s favorite support gear. My running tights hit under my bump so they’ll keep working, though what I’m struggling with right now is the cold weather gear. My winter running jackets are fitted, and are getting hard to zip. I imagine that a good (wind-proof, water-resistant, breathable) cold-weather maternity running jacket is going to be a difficult piece of gear to find. So maybe I’ll make due with old fleeces.

In past pregnancies, I had a lot of tightness in my shin muscles by this point. It always got better once I warmed up, and I now realize that running every day means my muscles don’t get the same chance to grow cold. Fingers crossed, my shins have not been an issue so far. So, chalk one up for the streak!

I will admit to being a tiny bit self-conscious. I’ve only had one person actually say anything to me, though there are some puzzled looks. That’s one reason I like my weekend morning runs around 7 a.m. Fewer folks out and about to deal with. But I so vastly prefer running outside to the treadmill that I am willing to deal with the fact that not everyone is up-to-date on the research showing that exercise is so good for mom and baby that not exercising is generally more risky for pregnant women than running.

And even though I’m slow, that runner’s high, and the sense of wonder that comes from running through the autumn landscape, is still there. I’m glad that I’m still running now, and I’m looking forward to how fast I hope to be flying in 6 months!

10 thoughts on “Third trimester running (again)

  1. I have a friend who ran until the day she delivered her third child. She was in great shape because she had been exercising throughout pregnancy. She was also able to start running again soon after delivery and was back to her pre-pregnancy level of exercise not long after pregnancy. As long as you are having a healthy pregnancy and are still enjoying it, keep it up!

  2. I ran with my first until 29 weeks and my second until 2 days before delivery (39 weeks). I did the same as you – double sports bras, support belt, etc., and generally felt good the whole time as long as I slowed down. I ended up going to a local thrift shop and buying a few cold-weather pieces in larger sizes than I typically wear, and those got me through the winter of running while pregnant (I’m typically XS and bought M). I don’t know if you have anything like that near you, but I scored some great stuff – an Under Armour cold-gear jacket ($9), some base layering shirts, and another zip-up. I do tend to carry very small, though, so was able to get away with non-maternity stuff for the most part – if you tend to carry larger, I have no idea if this will work. My tights fit till the end since they could go under the bump, though I do recall running in maternity leggings once or twice.
    There are a few good articles about exercising while pregnant, and I found that I had to break them out and have a chat with my husband, who voiced his concern (dislike) for the fact that I was still running 100 miles/month while pregnant. I showed him the literature, cleared it with my doctor, and promised that I would take it easy (and did – there were a few runs that just didn’t feel great, so I stopped and came home). In general, I found that people were more impressed than concerned – at least to my face! I say keep on keeping on, since you’re a seasoned runner and know your body. Good luck!

    1. @KGC – I probably could make do with some M/L cold weather running gear. Maybe I’ll check out one of the second hand stores like ThredUp for that.
      It’s interesting to me that people persist in viewing exercising during pregnancy as “risky” – one of those funny things of risk assessment. When things seem different, we tend to view them as risky, though the stats seem to run the other way. It’s not just a good thing for people to try if they can. The guidelines are starting to shift to that if a pregnant woman doesn’t exercise, she should start.

  3. Zip up hoodie one size up from your usual? Maybe in a men’s size? I wore a men’s medium hoodie from old navy up through delivery, and the bump was always completely covered. If you don’t want to go to the store, Amazon has some great knock offs for cheap.

  4. Don’t be self-conscious – be proud!! (And careful – I did once fall while running and earned myself 24 hrs of hospital monitoring while pregnant with Annabel. She seems to have been unscathed 🙂 ).

  5. My cousin is an avid CrossFitter (she coaches as well), and she worked out every day (with modifications and the approval of her doctor) right up until delivery, and started back up as soon as she was cleared to. Many family members expressed concern and disapproval but I was always very quick to defend her. I wasn’t up to her level (or yours!) and I know there are lots of factors, but I think being active during my own pregnancy helped make for an easy pregnancy, labor/delivery, and recovery.

  6. Awwww, I had no idea with how much you do that you are also pregnant. Congratulations. That is awesome news…and whew…a fifth child. Wow! Good luck with everything and the running. It gives me that extra kick in the pants for me to get in that gym or to be more active in general. If you are still doing it while lugging around a little one internally, there is no reason I shouldn’t be able to do the same!

  7. I really like the Shefit sports bras. They’re really supportive, and perhaps the best of all for an ever changing pregnant body, the ultimate in adjustable fit.

  8. Running through third trimester is a dream!! I have a two-year-old, and had to stop running at around Week 15 during my pregnancy due to early round ligament pain and what I later realized was “Symphysis pubis dysfunction”. It sucked, but I continued being active and did something every day: spin class, yoga, swimming a few days a week (never had any back pain, and I attribute it to swimming!) So all in favor of exercising while pregnant, and I hope to do the same if I ended up having a #2!

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