First let me start by saying, I'm by no means an expert. This is just my journey. If you have any questions or concerns, always remember to consult your doctor :) Also, I know and understand that I've had a normal and healthy pregnancy and I'm so thankful for that!
With that being said, many people have asked me how I'm able to be almost 39 weeks preggo and still running (hmmm..I like to call it trotting).
1. If you are thinking about getting pregnant, start being active now. Start running now. If you aren't doing this before you are pregnant, then you won't be able to while you are pregnant.
2. Know your body. Remember that running isn't easy. Even when I wasn't pregnant there are many days where my legs hurt or I seem more tired than normal. This continues in pregnancy. Know what aches and pains are normal and what are not. I consulted my doctor a lot and he was great about telling me, what was dangerous for my baby and what wasn't.
3. It hurts....I started swelling during my runs at 20 weeks. That means for the last 19 weeks, my legs burn while I run from the extra swelling. I chose to run through it (that doesn't mean you have to). This has been by far the most difficult running I have ever done (worse than a marathon).
4. Run at the coolest time of the day. I'm lucky. I live in Minnesota and it is just starting to get hot and humid. However, the humidity will make swelling a little worse, so run when it is cooler. With this I should also say, that mornings are way better for me. I tried waiting until afternoon and evening and my pregnancy body was a little bit too tired for this. Mornings definitely have worked best for me.
5. Listen to your body while running. (Similar to #2) You may have to walk. That is ok. I walk...this has been my progression.
Weeks 1- 15: I ran about 3 -4 miles every day at about a 8.5 min mile
Weeks 15 - 20: I ran about 3 - 4 miles ever day at about a 9 min mile
Weeks 20 - 30: I ran about 3 miles every day at about a 9 min mile, but had to stop and walk once during the 3 miles.
Weeks 30 - 34: I ran about 3 miles every day at about a 10 min mile, but walked about a block every mile.
Weeks 34 - 36: I couldn't run through the pain in my legs.
Weeks 36 - Current: I have been running about a 1.5 miles every day and walking 1 mile. I only run about .5 mile at a time and walk in between. I call my running trotting. I have no idea the pace, but I'm moving faster than I do when I walk and it kicks in those endorphins.
6. Hydrate: Those of you that know me well, know that I am not a fan of drinking water. I needed some flavor people. Obviously during pregnancy, I've had to make some changes (don't worry I still have coffee and Diet Coke everyday). But I have been drinking a lot more water. This includes a glass of water before I go for my run and a glass after. Then a couple more throughout the day :)
You may be thinking is this worth it? That's up to you to decide, but I believe it is. Yes, it is difficult...From what I hear labor is difficult (I'll let you know in a week or two what I think about that) and exercising only will help make your labor, delivery and recovery a little bit smoother.
Also, It makes me feel good about my growing body. Yes, I've gained weight, but not excess. It's helped me to stay on my feet and like endorphins do, makes me feel happier, better and to have more energy (don't worry by the end of the day I still put my feet up and relax).