I remember reading this article in the July 2008 issue of Runners World a few years ago: I'm A Runner: Natalie Morales at Runner's World.com. It’s an interview with Natalie Morales, co-host of the Today Show, who has trained for a few marathons and was, like me, a pregnant runner.
Here is an excerpt from the article:
You say you ran up until two days before your first child was born. How did you feel running while you were pregnant?
“I remember running in my town and I was out to here. I ran by a guy sitting on a park and he said ‘should you be doing that?’ If it helps me go into labor, I shall. Two days later, I had my baby. He was a week early. My doctors encouraged me. I had always been a runner, so I was used to running. It was my way of staying in shape during the pregnancy. I never ran crazy distances. The most I ran was by accident. We were in Nantucket and we got further out than we planned and had to run back, so it ended up being a seven-mile run. But along the way, we stopped, we had water, we went to the beach, went to the bathroom a couple times.”
Above she spoke of running during her first pregnancy. At the time of this interview, she was pregnant with her second child. She planned to run through the second pregnancy as well.
I remember this article so well. I thought, wow, she ran up until two days before giving birth. Is that possible? Here I am, 8 months pregnant, and still jogging. Similar to Natalie, I am not doing my usual long distances. I am logging less miles, going slow, and feeling good.
“Should you be doing that?”
My mother continues to harp on me about running in my eighth month. Funny enough, she read Workout Mommy’s guest post, Tips to stay fit while pregnant. My mom then emailed me to let me know that this post on my very blog did not mention running as a “tip to staying fit while pregnant”. What about walking or the stationary bike, she asked. Earlier that day I was on the phone with her and she was worried my running will cause early labor.
My mom got my head spinning. As Runner Mama said in her recent blog post:
“I know this sounds a bit doom and gloom, but sometimes I do wonder if my running will cause premature labour. I've read a lot about running and pregnancy and know that if I exercise moderately and not go overboard, then such an event is highly unlikely. But as a new mom-to-be, I do worry.”
Runner Mama’s thoughts mirror mine exactly. This morning I put on my workout clothes and stood in the kitchen with a blank stare. I wanted to run. That was the plan. But I heard my mom’s voice. I knew my husband would prefer I do something less intense in the gym.
I didn’t run outside this morning. I went to the gym instead. I did run a bit on the treadmill, interspersed with some speed walking. But I didn’t do my usual 3-4 mile jog.
I kept thinking of this picture I saw on BabyCenter, showing how Baby B is hanging out upside down. So is Baby B hitting his/her head while I run?
Is this my stopping point? And if it is, why? It’s not because I feel uncomfortable. Physically I still feel great when I run. Mentally, the voices are making me feel like a selfish brat who needs to be stretching on a yoga mat and not prancing down the street in her ASICS.
It’s not that I don’t care about Baby B. Of course I do. But for all the nay-sayers, there are the yea-sayers. My doctor said to keep it up. I read articles like this one about Natalie Morales, blogs like Runner Mama running in her seventh month, and comments from women who ran safely through their pregnancy.
But what fun is it when each step I take is fraught with guilt? And the mind can make the body feel things its not.
Less than two months until Baby B arrives. Tomorrow is supposed to be a bit cooler here on Long Island. Will I run?