My (Temporary) Break Up With Running

Well guys, this is a post I have been meaning to write for awhile, but didn’t because 1.) I didn’t want to come to grips with the fact that it was indeed happening, and 2.) I wasn’t ready to deal with the feelings that came along with the realization, and somehow not saying it out loud (or on the blog) made it feel like maybe it wasn’t real.

Bottom line: I was not meant to be a pregnant runner for this pregnancy. Oh, how I tried. I forced myself to do it, and did so semi successfully until about 20 weeks. After that, I could no longer deny the pain, and slowly dropped down to once or twice a week of run walks, determined to not give it up all together. Then it got to where the pain kept me up at night so I switched to walking, but I would still “try” to run once a week, all with the same results. Yes I tried stretching, yes I tried yoga, yes I tried a support belt that did absolutely nothing to help me. Most people call it round ligament pain, I call it the evil constant pains that took away my outlet, my therapy, my way of staying in shape and staying sane.

1535503_559150137495786_210444141_n

I ran Dopey and Tink pain free (and also didn’t know I was pregnant!)

So this is what happened. As I was training for the Crescent City Classic 10k, I realized that during and after some runs I was struggling with pain on both sides, low in my pelvis. I figured it was just a temporary growing thing that would go away in a week or two. I kept with it, but had to take Tylenol to complete the 10k. I made it through the race, but paid dearly for it later. I couldn’t even get out of a chair on my own because my pelvis hurt so badly. Sneezing, walking, bending, etc. was all excruciating for about 2-3 days. Again, I thought it was just because it was the most mileage I had run since the Glass Slipper Challenge, but the pain continued on my next run even after taking several days off.

ccc30

After the Crescent City Classic, my last race I would run during Pregnancy at 16/17 weeks.

I really didn’t understand why this was happening, I was in amazing shape (for Dopey!) when I got pregnant, and even ran Dopey and Tinkerbell before realizing I was pregnant. When I ran The Glass Slipper Challenge at 9 weeks pregnant at the end of February, sure I was sick and nauseated, but I didn’t have any pain. It never crossed my mind that I could potentially be one of “those people” who struggled with running during pregnancy and had to stop. I tried not to think about it, like maybe it wasn’t really happening, but in the past couple of weeks it has become impossible for me to run without severe pain, so I stopped and started only power walking.

princess half 9

Glass Slipper Challenge at 9 weeks. Nauseated and exhausted, but no pain!

I knew things were getting bad when I power walked 2 miles the other day, and that same pain started creeping in, WALKING. I know I am 30 weeks now and shouldn’t expect to be totally pain free, (which I don’t) but it is really frustrating to have these limitations when people much further along than me are running and working out like normal. I KNOW it’s wrong to compare, and I am happy for my friends still able to push hard and run, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little jealous. I guess it’s the same way I feel when I have an injury. You so badly want to be out there, especially when you see everyone’s awesome instagram photos, new race medals, and shiny new PR’s, and you are stuck on the couch unable to participate. I am trying to be open and honest about my feelings here, because I am sure there are other mamas-to-be out there struggling with the same battle.  Before I start getting hate mail about how I should just be happy to be pregnant, please hear me: Yes, I know I am super blessed and am thankful to be pregnant, but still longing to participate in my favorite hobby, which is a very valid feeling. Accepting my limitations has been mentally difficult for me, and this is my space to share and be real and honest.

19 weeks

Frustrated after a 20(ish) week run/walk gone bad.

I have ten weeks to go, so I will keep reminding myself that in the end it will be worth it because I WILL get back to running, and I will have a new baby girl to share my passion with once she is here. I will look back on these few short months where I couldn’t run as a blip on the radar, and it will be totally worth it.

30weeks preggo

30 weeks pregnant, after a sadly painful one mile walk

So running, I am sorry we have to have a temporary break up, but my body is being used for something else more important right now. However, I promise you, I WILL be back!

QOTD: Mamas, did you run during pregnancy or have any pain issues?

Is this how everyone feels during an injury? Frustrated?

Comments

  1. Praying I get pregnant this year so I don’t know how you feel exactly, but currently recovering Forman almost 8 month injury and you nailed that feeling explanation. Dying to get that bling , and run hard! Your baby girl will be here sooner than later, and then your breakup can cease when you are ready !

  2. Brianne says:

    I had the same issues when I was pregnant. During the first trimester and part of the second trimester I ran 1 5K, 2 10Ks, 2 half marathons, and a Ragnar Relay. I was so excited because I thought I would be able to run my entire pregnancy. Then all of a sudden the round ligament pain started followed by the feeling that my pelvis was breaking apart. I gave up running in February and delivered my baby in May. I was so discouraged at first so I signed up for some postpartum Disney races to save my sanity

  3. I had to give up running at 28 weeks because if preterm labor. I was in the hospital and had to have a shot to stop labor. I ended up there two more times before she came at 39 weeks. I felt the exact same way. Running is stress relief for me so it was really hard. I am now 5 weeks post partum and went for my first run the other day. Hang in there, there is an end in sight! I just kept telling myself that :-)

  4. I HATE that you’re going through this! There’s nothing like having your outlet taken away, something that’s hard for non-runners to understand. When I was trying to get pregnant with Wyatt, I had to limit my mileage to 10mi/wk and run sloooow. Yes, I was lucky to still run but I shared many of the same feelings as you have – I stopped reading running blogs, twitter, etc because I was jealous, angry, and frustrated.

    Hugs! I can’t wait to cross the finish line of Princess with you in Feb! I have no doubt you’ll run the whole thing!

  5. Bridie Rist says:

    Aw, hang in there! It’s really not fair at all and very difficult to not make comparisons.

  6. I did with my 2nd baby. They say the pain gets wirse with each one. I had no idea what it was. I hated it. I had it while walking as well. Good job taking a forced break.

  7. Jennie Howk says:

    I’m 33 weeks pregnant right now and having the same frustration. Yes I am still walking and doing HIIT, but I didn’t realize how much of myself and my identity was tied up in running! I ran an awesome half at 20 weeks, then haven’t been able to do much since. Round ligament pain, and also I’m carrying my boy soooo lowwwwww that he threatens to make me poop my pants in public anytime I try to run. That’s something to avoid every day, as a general life rule :) I am totally with you and we will both be back before we know it! I also keep telling myself that in a few years this will feel like such a short break, even though it doesn’t now!

  8. I didn’t run before I had kids, but I did have that pain all the time. It was a tough pill to swallow. With my second pregnancy I did a lot of swimming. It felt so great and was the only time I wasn’t in a ton of pain. My son, who was 2 at the time, and I spent most of the summer in the pool. The pregnancy belts did nothing for me either. Not to mention it was too darn hot to wear one in the summer. Summer pregnancies are rough!

  9. I wasn’t a runner with my first pregnancy, but I had to quit at 19 weeks with baby #2 because running was actually causing contractions. So I took to power walking, and it helped me feel like I was doing SOMETHING. The pregnancy will be over before you know it (I know, I hated when people said that to me) and this time away from running will seem like nothing at all. Hang in there!

  10. girl, i feel ya! i had to stop running in order to even get pregnant! and i haven’t started again because i’m worried it will affect my milk supply since i know my body is affected by running. so i’m a on very long break.

  11. I so understand this. I wasn’t a runner before kids but I did a lot of classes at the gym. My pregnancy with my first was really challenging, and I was exhausted. Taking my dog for a walk almost killed me some days.
    And yes. You are very lucky to be pregnant, but you can still be frustrated by the changes that come with it :)
    Hang in this. 30 weeks on was kind of the point where I didn’t want to do much anyway, just sleep and nest and get ready for the baby! (and just think how awesome it will be to be back out there pushing a jogging stroller with a baby :)

  12. I wasn’t a runner when I was pregnant so it wasn’t even an option for me. I took walks but had the ligament pain towards the end. Don’t be too hard on yourself girl. This is just your body telling you to stop. Next time may be different and you may be able to run the entire time with no pain.

  13. As a runner, I know this must be so frustrating for you. When I injured myself and had to take a few months off, I was so antsy. The good news is that your baby will be here before you know it : ) Then you can start training her for some Disney races!

  14. Hate this for you lady b/c I know what running means to you. And I swear when I’ve been injured and totally unable to run it was like going through the mourning process.

  15. michelle says:

    listening to your body is the right thing to do! you’re feelings of frustration are totally normal and completely understandable! who among us has not has something stop us from running? we’ve all felt that frustration and i feel bad you’re going through that right now. keep your eye on the prize, and know that at the end of all of this, you’ll have a new little running buddy.. that can wear tutu’s .. eek!!! i can hardly wait!! :) it’s all gonna be ok :)

  16. I am actually just getting over an injury, and yes this is exactly how it feels. Beyond frustrating! Felt like I had zero ways of dealing with any stresses that came long. Like you said, running is an outlet and a happy place!

    I really hope you don’t get hate mail for being honest on your blog. I say just delete those comments and emails and forget about it. Those people don’t have anything better to do and probably don’t have hobbies that pregnancy can affect. They don’t realize what you are going through!

  17. I’m so sorry you’re hurting! That is no fun! How about swimming? Biking? I’ve heard that swimming while pregnant is awesome. What about pool running? I’ve read tons of blogs about it. Healthy Tipping Point swam with her first baby, and The Hungry Runner Girl did the pool running. Try it! I hope it works for you. (For your sanity’s sake!) Keep your chin up, girl! By the way, you are an ADORABLE pregnant lady!

  18. Hugs Mama, I have been there! Last pregnancy, I barely made it to 24 weeks because my back was so,so,so sore and my leg would give out on me from the sciatic nerve pain. Then I was in a car accident and that was the end for me. It’s heart breaking and time seems to stand still but trust me when I say the time off while be well worth it. I came back stronger than ever after and with a renewed passion for running.

    This time around I’m still running, relatively comfortably at 32 weeks. I’ve definitely slowed down to only 1-2 very short wogs per week but I feel good for now. Every pregnancy is different so you just never know what the future will bring you.

    HUGS!!

  19. Allyssa says:

    I wasn’t a runner before my pregnancies (I started after them) but I was into aerobics type exercising. And I couldn’t do it either. I had the same pain you talk about. My round ligaments were always hurting. Sometimes walking to get the mail made me hurt. Stop being upset about it (because there’s nothing you can do to stop it) and just enjoy the real honest excuse to not work out all the time. Put your thoughts on other things that you only get to do during this time in your life. The decorating and preparing, etc. When I was pregnant I did some of the yoga booty ballet DVD’s and really liked them. The movements were slow enough that it didn’t cause my belly to bounce and trigger the pain. Plus I always loved ballet so it was just fun.

  20. I want to try to keep up my workout routine when I’m pregnant, but it’s hard to really say how it’ll go! Injuries are definitely frustrating

  21. I know exactly how you feel! I am 36 weeks now and my last run was at 31 weeks, but it was a very slow 1.5 miles. My last good run was at about 28 weeks. I ran a half at 25 weeks and felt great! Now when I run I have constant pressure and my hips feel like they do after I run a full. I do get that same jealous feeling, I wish I could be one of those runners who run up until delivery. I have found that lifting and riding the bike at the gym feel good, but it isn’t the same as running. I try to look at the positive and tell myself I will be back in my favorite running season, which is the fall.

  22. I have to say, I am almost jealous that you went this long! I stopped running after Tink (I did the marathon and Tink before I knew I was pregnant) and I was so sick I couldn’t even walk on my own. Now that I’m “better” I still can’t run and can hardly walk, so I think it’s amazing that you’ve done as much as you have! You’ll be back and you’ll be fantastic!

  23. Thanks for writing this! Thinking about having a kid I often wonder if I’d be able to run while pregnant and I just don’t think I’ll be able too. Of course I know I’ll have to wait and see when that day comes but so many women runners do so successfully that…it kind of seems like the thing to do if you’re a female runner. Have you found other fitness things you can do that doesn’t cause pain?

  24. Amanda Cowell says:

    I am so sorry you are going through this. I went through a somewhat similar situation with my second pregnancy. My abdominal muscles separated when I was 5 months along and because of this, I could not do anything even slightly strenuous, no walking, lifting or any exercise of any kind, and worst of all, no picking up my son who was only 12 months at that time. This was torture for me. I was lucky to have such a strong little boy because he had to learn to climb into his highchair, stroller and crib (with my guidance for safety). After delivery I had surgery to repair the muscles but I then had 4 small hernias during recovery and again needed corrective surgery. Overall I went almost a year before I could lift my son (my newborn daughter was small enough that I was permuted to lift and carry her). I am past it now, but that year was so hard for me, I thought it would never end. Your difficult time will end too, just take it one day at a time :).

  25. Do you think you have more of a SPD vs just regular round ligament pains? I do know how uncomfortable even just walking can get with pregnancy, but maybe wearing that support band even when just doing regular activities might make that area feel better? With my first I stopped running at 20weeks, this one was at 24, right now I do little if at all exercise except running after the first kiddo (which isn’t running…)

    • Yes I do think I have SPD, but haven’t officially been diagnosed. The support band makes me cramp badly and feel like I have to pee!

  26. I get ya, I have had to break up from running a few times for various injuries but you will come back :) Give your body the rest it needs and take it one day at a time after giving birth. It will be worth it :)

  27. You are doing a great job of listening to your body. It sucks, I know. I was a lucky one – I ran up until 36 weeks (had too much amniotic fluid and my belly got to look like I had triplets), but have had so much post partum running pain this last year. I hope you don’t have to deal with that kind of pelvic pain and that everything is good again after baby girl comes! Until then, rest up! I found mall walking enjoyable during my summer pregnancy – it was air conditioned and I could sit and rest when I needed it :)

  28. Thanks for being so honest about your pregnancy journey! I’m sure when you get back to running you’ll appreciate it even more after this temporary hiatus!

  29. My doctor was an odd one who wouldn’t allow me to run while pregnant. Now that I am 31 weeks there is no way that I could run. I can barely walk up 2 flights of steps. I’m already planning a brief couch to 5k as soon as I am cleared to run again.

  30. I’m still “running” at 31 weeks although it’s extremely slow and involves many, many walk breaks. I always thought pregnancy running would be hard because of the extra weight and being off balance – who knew it was sooooo many other things? I’ve been lucky and the round ligament pain has hit more during aerobic class type workouts, running is just average uncomfortable. I kind of hate saying this because it’s so trite and cheesy but I avoid frustration by focusing on how much it’s worth it. Sounds stupid but I am insanely grateful to be pregnant and just can’t bring myself to be mad about giving stuff up temporarily (although last night I was mad that the baby was crushing my lungs while my husband could breathe just fine). Also, after years of training and running around 50 mpw, I am loving how much extra sleep/time I have by just doing a quick 30 minutes on the elliptical or whatever. Everyone’s different, but that helps me deal! Good luck!

  31. Heather – kudos to you for hanging in the towel. Focus on your blessed baby, and a year from now you will be rocking the road. I’m so excited for your 1/2 marathon early next year and you will once again experience the great runner’s high when you cross the finish line!

  32. Girl, I get it, and I think you have every right to feel this way.
    I am a novice runner (stopped around 16 weeks but was not running very often, and just 2-3 miles, before that), but I can’t express how frustrated I was when I completed the Azalea Trail 5k this March at 10 weeks at a MUCH slower pace than a year before. (This was the first 5k that I actually ran the whole way, so I naively thought my pace would be faster!) It took a few days (& wise words from my hubs) to realize, “duh! my body is NOT the same.” Eventually I ran an even slower 5k in April & a faster 8k and became proud of my “pregnant pace.” Soon, though, I stopped because of discomfort (not even pain). I also stopped my beloved Bikram yoga the day I found out I was pregnant. I’m sure I could’ve stuck with it a while, but knowing how hard I push myself in there and being unsure of the safety, I decided to take a break. I cried when I suspended my account!
    The thing is, as tough as it is, you have to remind yourself how far you DID make it. So, you’re not a 38-week marathoner, but you’ve accomplished so much. It sounds like you were in excellent shape before your pregnancy, so I’m sure your body will appreciate that during delivery & postpartum. You’ll bounce back more quickly than most, I bet!
    Good luck with your next 10 weeks, and remember it’s ok to feel disappointed AND grateful at the same time. It’s human nature.

  33. Jeri May says:

    Your feelings are completely valid! You will get back to it.

  34. I ripped a calf muscle last summer and it was devastating. I’m listening to my body a lot more now and it helps me a lot. I’ve never been pregnant but maybe look at this as an opportunity to explore different ways of stress relief (ie meditation, yoga, swimming, or whatever you come across that could be comfortable). Good luck!

Mentioned elsewhere:

  1. My (Temporary) Break Up With Running

    Well guys, this is a post I have been meaning to write for awhile, but didn’t because 1.) I didn’t want

  2. […] anything: Feeling normal, running, good […]

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