Mom on the Run: Stories of Running During Pregnancy and Postpartum

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. 

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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!

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Ashely with baby Jennie.

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!

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Baby Jennie.

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!

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You can find more from Ashely on her blog, on Twitter and on Instagram. She has also chronicled her pregnancy and postpartum experience on her blog, you can read about that HERE.

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.”

–Sarah

I love connecting with readers! You can find me here:

Email: RunFarGirl [at] gmail [dot] com

Twitter: @RunFarGirl

Instagram: instagram.com/runfargirl

Facebook: Facebook.com/runfargirl262

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Daily Mile: dailymile.com/people/scanney

 

 

Comments

  1. Amanda N says

    Great new series! It will be interesting to hear other women’s experiences. I stopped running pretty much as soon as it became uncomfortable. However, I did wait until after I ran a race that I was pre-registered for. I took it very easy, it was my slowest 5K ever, but I shuffled along. I could have (probably should have) stopped a week or two prior. I certainly “enjoyed the break” as the weather was getting hot, but I was a little jealous whenever my husband went out for a run or raced. Walking just isn’t the same!

    • scanney says

      I’m hoping that a variety of different experiences will be helpful for women to read. We are all so different and our bodies are so different, we have to learn to respect our limitations and differences, especially during pregnancy.

  2. says

    Not comparing yourself to others is the BEST advice!!! In the age of social media, it’s hard to be proud of your two mile run when another prego just posted about a 10 mile run! Being at peace with yourself is priceless.

    • scanney says

      I agree! Social media is a huge influence on fitness during pregnancy and on fitness goals in general. We just have to trust that everyone is different and be OK with the limitations of our body…and respect them!

  3. says

    Great feature! I agree, as Kristin said too, that not comparing is SO important! There is always someone doing more, or going faster or further and pregnancy is such an important time to honor your body and it’s need to slow down. I definitely enjoyed the down time the last few weeks of pregnancy and couldn’t think about running for the first few newborn weeks. I’m now starting to get motivated again but don’t feel quite normal yet and know that my pace will be super slow for another month or more!

    • scanney says

      I totally agree: not comparing and trusting your body and your health professionals is so important. We don’t have to push through and prove that we are supermom!

  4. Whitney says

    Love this series concept! I ran up until 4 weeks before I delivered because I couldn’t find a bathroom every 30 feet!

    • scanney says

      Whitney I totally felt the same! I thought I had to pee every few feet…and often I was! I had some serious leaking issues when I ran late into my pregnancy. That should have been a warning sign that my pelvic floor wasn’t fit for running during pregnancy. Live and learn!

  5. says

    I love this series you have started. As I read through all of my social media and blogs there are so many ladies who are pregnant. It is really awesome to see everyone’s perspective and how each manages to incorporate their fitness while pregnant. I have loved following Ashley’s blog so I was really excited to see she was your first Mom on the Run! I laughed as I remembered back to both of my pregnancies and still can’t believe that I ran 3 miles in the morning the day I had my 1st angel.

  6. says

    I’m glad she brought up the pressure we put on ourselves simply because we compare ourselves to other people. It’s a head game and we play it. I’m always impressed with women who listen to their bodies and work within their own limits. Way to go!

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