No, not a marathon but where I’m at in pregnancy right now. I’m in the twenty sixth week and it seems like my body changed drastically from last week to this. Almost overnight, my pre-pregnancy athletic clothes, which fit well enough that I expected to get at least another month out of them, stopped covering my expanding abdomen. And today, the velcro straps on the maternity support belt I wear while running bust open several steps into my run! Not surprisingly, last Thursday’s appointment with my midwife revealed rapid weight gain: four pounds within the past three weeks. In recent months, I’d been gaining less than a pound a week, so this sense of suddenly becoming way bigger than I have been wasn’t my imagination.
My increasing size necessitated a small shopping trip to buy some new shirts to wear for the next few months. There are surprisingly few athletic clothing items designed specifically for pregnant women, so I decided to experiment with simply buying a larger size of what I usually wear. I own and like Lululemon’s Cool Racerback tank and thought this shirt would be a good option because it’s long. Success! Going one size up from my normal size fit worked great and has meant for more pleasurable runs because I wasn’t constantly pulling my shirt down over my gut.
In the past few days I’ve started to feel the burden of carrying around all this extra weight. The stairs in my apartment building are getting harder, as is bending over to pick things up off the ground. I feel weighted down, literally, and I have growing pains. Late last week I started experiencing round ligament pain, a jabbing sensation in the abdomen caused by the uterus expanding to accommodate the growing baby. I’ve been getting round ligament pain while walking and running. It’s pretty unpleasant but my midwife assured me pushing through the round ligament pain (which goes away about fifteen minutes into my walks and runs) poses no harm to myself or the baby.
With the round ligament pain and the constant feeling that I need to use the bathroom, running is getting pretty uncomfortable. How much longer will I keep on running? Barring an unforeseen pregnancy complication that will make the decision for me, it’s all going to depend on how much physical discomfort I’m willing to put up with. Right now I feel like I can’t really put up with much more than I’ve been experiencing in recent days. If I were to quit running now, I wouldn’t be able to run again for three and a half months, minimum; I have three more months of pregnancy to go, plus at least two weeks postpartum for recovery from childbirth. The thought of not running for three and a half months makes me a little crazy, so I’m going to stick with it… for now.