how long will i continue to run?

Happy first day of summer!  I don’t know about you, but it has felt like summer for weeks now!  St. Louis has been extremely hot + humid, and although I prefer it over the cold, snowy winter we had, I’m not enjoying it as a runner – especially being 6 months pregnant.

My heat tolerance is all of zero now.  I used to be able to sit outside and “sweat it out”, but I’ve noticed more and more lately that after a few minutes, I feel light headed + dizzy.  Needless to say, my 8 AM group runs aren’t exactly ideal in this heat.  In fact, the past 3 days, I have had a few minor freak outs over the welfare of my little girl – Did I push myself too hard?  Was I running slow enough?  Did my heart rate + temperature get up too high?  She hasn’t moved as much as she usually does, is she OK in there?

So, I made the executive decision that I can no longer do my runs that late (ha!) in the morning.  Which means 6 AM runs every morning during my nice relaxing summer off.  Not ideal, but I am more than happy if that means I can (1) keep running and (2) keep my baby safe.

I’ve been asked recently about how long I plan to continue running through my pregnancy.  Ideally, I would LOVE to run up until the day I deliver.  However, I am starting to realize more and more that just might not happen.  And you know what, I am OK with that.

Honestly, I’m happy that I have been able to run the past 6 months – as much and as fast as I have.  I haven’t had any adverse reactions during or after a run – no cramping, no excessive fatigue, no nausea.  I am still maintaining pretty good mileage, averaging about 20 miles a week.  I have had to cut back my distance a bit, only running 3 or 4 miles each run, but I haven’t minded that at all.  And I definitely wouldn’t have thought that I’d still be running 9 to 10 minute miles 6 months pregnant.  I truly believe the walking breaks I have incorporated in my runs (4 minutes of running followed by 1 minute of walking for the entire distance) have helped me maintain some of my speed.

This is an older pic – my preggo running belly is a bit bigger now.

That doesn’t mean I don’t miss training or running fast.  Believe me, I hate the fact that I am not able to run the inaugural Rock ‘n Roll St. Louis Marathon or Half Marathon or the new MO Cowbell Half Marathon in my hometown in October.  I miss having a training plan and pushing my body to run harder, faster, farther.  I actually miss running intervals!  I would love to be able to sprint just from the front door to the mailbox!

But, I think the fact that I do miss seriously training for a race just means that I haven’t lost my love of the sport.  Sure, the break has been nice since I know I will be doing something even more challenging and incredible than running a marathon, but I still LOVE to run.  I LOVE to race and I LOVE to train.  I haven’t lost that drive and I think that motivation will really kick in once our little girl arrives in October.  And if I have to stop running before then, so be it.  It’s not like I will never run again.  A little time off isn’t going to change my love for running.

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But, I must say I can’t wait until October when I will have a running buddy for almost every one of my runs.  I can’t wait to start pushing that jogging stroller and having one-sided conversations with my daughter.  (OK, that already happens now, even on runs… yeah, I probably look a little crazy talking to my belly on a run.)  I also can’t wait to be in a new division in those shorter races – the stroller division – and start hitting some new PRs with the jogging stroller.  And the one thing I am looking forward to the most is crossing the finish line of a marathon, holding my little girl in my arms.

So, even though running during pregnancy has been difficult and I might not get to continue as long as I hope, I am ready for the next challenge.  And I am more than ready to be a healthy role model for my little girl.  I just hope she loves running as much as her daddy and I do!

  • Talking to your belly on a run – that’s hilarious!
    Meagan recently posted..Nut Mix

  • Hi! I just stumbled upon your blog, and I’m so glad I did! I’m pregnant too – 14 weeks, and i love running! I can’t wait to go back and read all of your pregnancy/running posts!

    • Kristen

      Congrats! Pregnancy is such a blessing! I hope you have been feeling well! I will be checking out your blog to add to my mommy blogs!