Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nurse of midwife. The information expressed in the series “Mom on the Run” should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before running during pregnancy and postpartum.
Welcome to a new series called “Mom on the Run!” Every month I’ll be featuring a mom-on-the-run and her story of running during and after pregnancy. My hope is to provide a resource for women who are thinking about running during pregnancy. The overarching theme: everyone is different. No two pregnancies are the same and of course no two stories of running during pregnancy are the same. My hope is to provide a wide range of stories that both inspire and comfort runners who are pregnant or have recently given birth.
I’m excited to feature Ashley from the RunningBun.com as our first Mom-on-the-Run!
I’m excited to feature Ashley from the RunningBun.com as our first Mom-on-the-Run! Ashely started running in 2009, two years after having two hip surgeries. Over the past few years Ashely has grown stronger as a runner and has raced extensively. This spring Ashely gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Jennie. Who is so stinkin’ cute!
I had a chance to ask Ashley about all related to running during pregnancy and postpartum.
Tell me a little bit about your pregnancy, delivery and your little one:
My pregnancy was full of emotions! I was equal parts nervous and uncomfortable as I was infatuated and excited. Thankfully, my delivery was complication-free and relatively short! It took 10 hours exactly from the time my water broke to the time she was born. I was in complete shock and fell so deeply in love with my daughter when I finally met her!
Prior to pregnancy about how often were you running ?
I was in the middle of marathon training when I became pregnant so I was running 4-5 day and averaging approximately 30-40 miles per week.
How would you characterize your pregnancy, labor and delivery?
Low-risk. No major complications during pregnancy, labor or delivery.
Once you found out you were expecting did your running change?
I actually took a pregnancy test because my running had changed. I was exhausted and moving much slower so I knew something was up!
What was your running like during the 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimesters of your pregnancy?
I ran comfortably through the first trimester and slowed down a ton during the second. I stopped running very soon into the third trimester because of extreme discomfort and round ligament pain.
Did your run any races during pregnancy? If so what was your approach to racing, was it different than normal?
Yes I ran the RnR Philly half at 15 weeks and the Runner’s World Hat Trick (5k, 10k and half marathon) at 18 weeks. I took it easy
Did you incorporate cross training into your weekly exercise routine? If so what did you do? And what did you find most enjoyable?
Yes! I taught spin class through the first trimester and I was able to attend one of my favorite cross-training classes through 36 weeks! Refine Method (located in NYC) is a small group, high-intensity circuit training class. I loved that I was still able to get my heart rate up without the pain that came from running.
Did your attitude towards running change during pregnancy?
Yes, I actually started resenting it when I wasn’t able to continue. I was upset that I couldn’t run as far into the pregnancy as I had expected.
What was the most challenging aspect of running during pregnancy?
Fighting through some pain during the weeks leading up to my eventual stop date. I felt that I SHOULD be running because so many others did. My mind was not a fun place to be during that time.
What was your return to running like postpartum? How soon did you start running and did you feel your attitude towards running was different?
It was slow. I started around 6 weeks but stepped back for another 2-3 because I was still very uncomfortable. I did not have any pain after that but I didn’t feel quite right while running until 12-13 weeks postpartum. My attitude immediately changed. The changes in my body were very apparent and it helped me appreciate the work it did during pregnancy, labor and delivery. Taking it easy while running was necessary for my recovery. I found that I enjoyed each run I was able to complete and felt an entirely new sense of accomplishment.
What advice do you have for running during pregnancy?
Enjoy the break from training and remember that your experience is individual. Try to avoid comparing yourself to others. It is much more harmful than helpful!
Have you ever felt like you SHOULD run during pregnancy because others have? Do you feel like you can “enjoy the break from training” as Ashely advised?
If you or someone you know has run during pregnancy and would like to share their story please email me at runfargirl [at] gmail [dot] com to be featured on “Mom on the Run.”
I love connecting with readers! You can find me here:
Email: RunFarGirl [at] gmail [dot] com
Daily Mile: dailymile.com/people/scanney