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hanging up my running shoes

April 13, 2011


Over the past week, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m probably done running for the rest of this pregnancy. It’s not that I can’t run anymore, it’s that I’m simply never looking forward to it. Mostly because of my large belly that now bounces along and takes on a life of its own when I’m running. I thought I could keep going well into the third trimester and read of enough pregnant runners doing that that I didn’t think it too bold of a wish. I even wrote of my plan to run/shuffle in a local 5K this May. And I still get such strong desires to put on my running shoes and hit the trail by my house on warm and sunny days, but what I’m really longing for is to hit the trail with my pre-pregnancy body.

I actually stopped listening to my favorite running podcast (Run.Run.Live, find it on iTunes!) because it reminds me too much of hours spent running last Spring while training for the Salzburg and Vienna half marathons and that feeling of joy and strength that accompanied most of my runs back then.

It’s not that I don’t want to run, it’s just that I don’t feel like running with the extra 19 pounds on my frame, my racing heart, and my big boucing belly. So I’m hanging up my running shoes for the time being.

This makes me sad but I’m also trying to focus on the bright side of things. I was able to keep running into my second trimester and I’m now happily settling into long walks on the trail with my dog. Walking feels good and is easy and gives me a similar sense of enjoying the fresh air and outdoors minus the midsection turbulance.

Complimentary Colors Panda

I also started prenatal yoga, which is keeping me relaxed and focused on stretching, and I’m still enjoying almost daily bike rides around town. Cycling has been wonderful during this pregnancy because it’s been such a forgiving form of excercise for my growing body. I’ve noted this before, but I’ll just say it again: the fact that the bike supports my weight and my belly and my legs just do the work while I’m essentially sitting down has proven a very sustainable form of mobility for me. I bike to campus and home from work and I’ve been using my bike for increasing number of errands and trips around town now that the weather is nicer. I biked to my midwife appointment last Friday, my husband and I biked to dinner and the movie theater recently, and I’m now making plans of how to best bike to the nearby lake where I could spend the day reading and swimming once summer arrives.

Although I’m sad to say goodbye to my running habit for now, having cycling, walking, and yoga to keep me fit does ease the blow. And I’m already looking forward to that first race I’ll train for after the baby arrives, so this is just a temporary sabbatical.

bike tee

21 Comments leave one →
  1. April 13, 2011 10:07

    I’m so proud of you, Sandra. You an amazing (and amazingly beautiful) pregnant woman.

  2. April 13, 2011 10:22

    Aww, I know the feeling! While I’ve continued to mostly love running while I’m doing it, the SPD pain I experience both during and (mostly) afterward has gotten to the point where I’m just…not comfortable anymore. It’s hard to quite explain the weird grief involved in having to mostly stop doing something you’ve loved, and all the complicated ways this ties into the already complicated package of feelings about pregnancy and body image (etc.!). I’m so glad to hear you’ve found other activities that are working well for you and have helped you have some of the same feelings you get from running in the process, though!

    I’ve been meaning to ask: are you still able to ride your road bike? Have you been able to go on longer rides, or has it gotten uncomfortable?

    • April 13, 2011 11:00

      S – I have been wanting to still try the roadbike but wonder how that will feel. There is a longer (paved) trail ride I want to do at the end of the month and I was planning on trying the roadbike for it. It it’s too uncomfortable, then I’ll use my mixte for it. The roadbike has been in storage in the basement so I haven’t had a chance to hop on it and give it a try, but I will before this month is over. We’ll see how that goes :)

  3. April 13, 2011 11:10

    You are such an inspiration. You will get those running shoes back on soon enough.

  4. April 13, 2011 11:41

    you are just so awesome! don’t feel bummed about not running you are still riding and that is still totally awesome and so so good for you and your little cute nugget! have you thought about swimming? if i ever become pregnant i think swimming would be fun and not to harsh on the joints. i love your bike shirt by the way, you are so so cute!


    • April 13, 2011 12:04

      cb – I haven’t tried swimming yet but I want to now that it’s getting warmer out and especially once the semester ends and I have a bit more time to work that into my day. I’d like to swim outdoors so I’m checking out my best options for nearby lakes or pools. I also think that that will feel soooo good. :)

  5. April 13, 2011 11:44

    Your commitment to fitness during your pregnancy has been very inspiring for me. I’m sorry running has been uncomfortable for you! I’m experiencing some of the same emotions about having to give up and modify activities that I love due to pregnancy, and these posts have been so useful for me in that respect as well. Thank you!

  6. Laura permalink
    April 13, 2011 12:07

    I was reading the headlines of one Spanish newspaper today and came across this picture that made me think of you: A house façade in Alttlandsberg, Germany decorated with more than 100 bikes?! Check it out!

    • April 13, 2011 14:06

      Wow, that is intense! I love it, what a crazy but cool idea! Those bike-obsessed Germans…

  7. April 13, 2011 12:25

    I think it’s great that you’re listening to your bod and doing what makes you happy. And of course, you have many other ways that you stay active and keep your blood pumping strong, which will make it easier to return to running when you’re ready.

  8. syd permalink
    April 13, 2011 13:28

    You may be happy to know that science says you’re not the only one who’ll benefit from the exercise:

    • April 13, 2011 14:11

      Thanks, syd, what a wonderful article! I just forwarded it to my parents and husband :) I just assumed that baby is passively along for the ride, so interesting to consider that she’s actively involved and benefitting from the excercise as well.

  9. April 13, 2011 16:55

    I really don’t want to sound feminine but, where did you get the bicycle shirt in the third photo?

  10. April 13, 2011 18:29

    There’s nothing wrong with that and it’s perfectly normal. I admire that you took it this far. You still have cycling and walking during the last trimester is the best thing you can do. Relax and enjoy the rest of the pregnancy it will be over before you know it. And ditto to the cycling shirt – I love it!

  11. Erin permalink
    April 13, 2011 19:06

    Giving up running during my pregnancy has been REALLY hard for me. Running makes me feel strong and centered, and giving that up feels a bit like giving up some of my identity. I remind myself, though, that my body is working plenty hard growing a tiny human — running or no!

    I hope you’re able to keep biking well into your pregnancy. I just got a shiny new bike (at 32 weeks pregnant!), and riding it leaves me with the biggest grin on my face. There’s a lot of pressure, however, on the bladder when I ride. Oh well — comes with the third trimester. :D Just have to take everything slower these days!

    • April 13, 2011 22:33

      I feel your pain, Erin! But yay for the new bike, I hope you find as much pleasure in cycling as I have and that it also helps mitigate the dissapointment of not running for a while. Have a safe and happy rest of your pregnancy!

  12. April 13, 2011 19:48

    Thanks for all the encouraging words, everyone!

    As for the awesome bike tee – it came from J.Crew last summer. I got it on clearance at the end of the season and then my mom suprised me with the exact same shirt at Christmas. She had also gotten it for me not knowing that I got it. I love it and since I have two, I figured I could stretch one out into a maternity top. :)

    You can see a better image of the tee here. Maybe something to be found on Ebay now?
    – S.

  13. April 14, 2011 19:08

    I’m sorry you had to give up running, but you will love it that much more when you can resume.

    Swimming in your 3rd trimester is a very odd and wonderful feeling. The water makes you feel weightless–all the aches and pains go away–but you still feel the baby moving or hiccuping to remind you she’s still in there. I went into a pool when I was 8 months pregnant. It was not zero depth, and it didn’t have stairs. The only way in and out was by ladder. Getting in was no trouble, but getting out? With my shifted center of gravity and the big bump out front, I could NOT haul myself onto the ladder. I needed a boost from behind. That was embarrassing!

  14. April 14, 2011 20:02

    I think listening to your body is the smartest thing. Take care of yourself and your sweet little growing baby! And swimming and reading by the lake sounds wonderful!

  15. April 15, 2011 19:07

    you are so brave. i want to bike so much but i’m 7 months pregnant and my balance is just not there right now. i can’t believe you can still do it!


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