Monday night my husband and I were doing our nightly search to find a documentary to watch and came across Run Mama Run. I have been an avid follower of Sarah Brown on Instagram for a while, but I had forgotten that she had come out with a short documentary. Each episode is only 8-10 minutes and there are a total of 5, but I really found them fascinating!
Running during pregnancy gets a lot of mixed reactions. Some people are so supportive, some don’t get it, and some just don’t agree. Everyone has their opinions and is entitled to them; however, I always believe that we should build each other up!
The documentary got me thinking about why I am running during pregnancy. For Sarah Brown, it was so that she still had a chance to run during the Olympic Trials, but for me it’s a bit different as it is for everyone.
There are four main reasons why I’m choosing to run as long as I can during my pregnancy:
My Mental Health
Running for me is much more than just a physical workout. For me, it has also been a way to help improve my mental health. It’s not always easy but it always leaves me better than when I started regardless of how hard of a run it may be. That is what I try to focus on when it gets tough. Running during pregnancy was never a question (assuming there were no health issues with the baby) because I knew for my own mental health I needed it.
Most of you have been injured before or have had to take time off due to one reason or another. Coming back after not running is really hard. It’s not the end of the world, but I knew that one of my goals during this pregnancy was to maintain fitness of some sort. I lost a lot of speed, but I know that can be gained back in time. I want to maintain an endurance base for as long as I can so that when I do start running again after little man comes I will have at least a small base to work from.
I’ll start this one by saying this goal is still up in the air, but is something that I keep in the back of my mind. I didn’t get to run Boston in 2016 since I was 7 weeks pregnant and didn’t feel comfortable. I had already qualified for Boston 2017 in Chicago and knew that I would be about 3.5-4 months post-partum for race day. My stretch goal right now is to be able to train to complete it next April. I know there is a LOT that can change between now and then and I’ve tried to go in with the attitude of “whatever happens happens”, but it does help to keep me moving and motivation!
Because I Love It
At the end of the day I think this is what it all comes down to. Sure, there are days where I really struggle and I’d rather be in bed but the real reason I run is because I love it. It makes me feel better, it makes me want to strive to be better, and it helps to release stress. There is nothing that can quite replace even though some things can come close. I never imagined not running during pregnancy, though I knew that there was a possibility if something comes up.
I think the biggest key with running during is pregnancy is to go with the flow, which I haven’t always been good at. Some days you will feel pretty good and others will feel like death, but regardless you have to listen to your body and know when to cut back or not run. It’s been a learning curve and still is but in the end it is what makes you stronger.
It’s also important to go easy on yourself. Sometimes running during pregnancy isn’t going to work out, and in the back of my head I had to keep that in my mind. I would do my best but my main goal is to keep this baby healthy. Whatever that takes at the end of the day and that’s always important to keep in mind.
Even if you’re not pregnant tell me, why do YOU run?