running no more

I’m going to do my best not to cry while writing this because there are so many other things that matter more than my ability to run, but with my pregnancy hormones raging, it’s going to be tough.

After a rough couple of runs last week, I had to say “good-bye for now” to my beloved sport of running.  It’s been a good run (no pun intended) so far through 7 months of pregnancy, but my body just couldn’t handle it anymore.

I would get about halfway into my run (less on a bad day, more on a good day) and I would start experiencing some pains throughout my abdomen.  It was never anything terribly bad, although I do have a high pain tolerance, but enough to make me worry that something might be wrong.  And with all the worry I would do after a run (it would lull my little girl to sleep in my stomach and she wouldn’t move for hours), I just found that it wasn’t worth it to continue running.

I’m mad at myself for having such a difficult time dealing with this, because it’s not like I’ve never been injured before and had to take several months off running (like 6 months in 2006 due to a stress fracture in my foot and then an inflamed tendon/bone where my stress fracture was).  I think I am so upset about it because I so badly wanted to be able to run up to the point I gave birth.  It’s so incredibly silly, but to me, it makes me feel like a failure.  Like my body failed me in some way.  Like my mind failed me for giving up so easily on something I love so much.  Like I failed you guys, my readers, for not being able to continue doing something that I know inspired + motivated many people.

I feel so fortunate to have been able to run the first 7 months of my pregnancy.  I know there are a lot of people who weren’t as fortunate as I am.  I have to continuously remind myself that I don’t have to give up fitness entirely – I am still healthy and able to continue doing the elliptical, walking, and weight lifting up until I do give birth.  That’s still something, right?

And I’m not going to lie, I have interspersed a few minutes of running in with my walking.  I might not be able to run for an extended period of time (what’s it like again to be able to run 3 miles without stopping?), but I can run for a minute at a time 4 or 5 times during a walk, albeit much slower than I have been.  It’s not ideal, but it’s at least something for now.  I know that I probably won’t be able to continue doing even that since my belly is growing at an exponential rate these days, but as long as I’m comfortable with no pain, I will continue doing that.

Like I said, there are much worse things that could happen than not being able to run.  I am thankful for my health + fitness and the fact that in 3 (hopefully short) months, I will be rewarded with a beautiful, healthy baby girl.  I know she will never think I’m a failure for not being able to run up until the day she arrived.  Now, I just have to start believing it myself.

  • You didn’t fail anyone even if it feels like it right now! I think you’re doing the right thing by doing what you can to still stay healthy and fit. If running made your ankle hurt or your knees hurt, you’d stop and rest and resume when you could right? It’s kind of like that here. For now you’re just taking some time off until you can run again when it doesn’t cause pain.

    It’s awesome that you’ve been able to run as much as you have! You’re one fit momma and you’re going to have one beautiful and healthy baby girl!

    • Kristen

      Thanks – I hate being a perfectionist! I keep telling myself that it’s just like if I had an injury (well, I ran on a stress fracture until the day they put me in a boot – I’m really stubborn). It’ll be nice to run without a 20 pound bowling ball strapped to the front of me!

  • Jen

    Aww hon, you are the furthest thing from a failure! You’re seriously my inspiration. I am soooo impressed that you ran until the third trimester. That’s seriously amazing. Right now my goal is to make it to 25 weeks, but I’m not even sure if I’ll last that long. So you should be super duper proud of yourself!

    I know the next few months will fly by, and you’ll be running- with a jogging stroller 😉 – before you know it!

    • Kristen

      Thanks – I am definitely happy I was able to run as long as I have, it just wasn’t as long as I wanted/expected. Like I said, there are worse things in life than not being able to run!

      I think about you + your pregnancy, and it reminds me how lucky I am to not have dealt with the things you have. Not being able to run is nothing compared to that. I love reading about your pregnancy and I hope you can run at least for a few more weeks! We can complain together if you do have to stop! ;o)

  • OH Kristen! I wish I could crawl through the computer monitor and give you a hug! You are a superwoman for making it to 7 months! I’m sure I will write a similar post when my running days are done for a while. Allow yourself to be sad and then dust yourself off. You’ll be back in no time. When I was told in February that I had stress fracture and wouldn’t be running my march marathon, I was crushed. I found the best advice on a blog – think of yourself 6 months from now and wave to yourself. In 6 months you and your baby will think nothing of the 3 months you took off from running!

    • Kristen

      Excellent advice! I love thinking ahead even 3 months because I know how wonderful my life will be when I have my baby in my arms. But 6 months, I know that I will be in much better shape and much more comfortable!

  • Oh girl – now don’t you worry!! Goodness – please thankful – thankful for what you have. Never get attached to something so much that it will tear you up not to have. The “going” without – it will build your strength and character.

    I have suffered injuries and have not been able to run. My pace times are 8 minutes slower than they used to be per mile. I die. It felt like a part of me died – running was my life. I have/did/am in depression from it – and desperately trying to find my identity.

    Remember – there are far greater things in the world – think outside of yourself 🙂

    I came cause I seen your comment on OSG saying you loved Mama Pea’s recipes but not Angela’s!! I admire your honesty for saying that!! (and was wondering why ?I haven’t made any of her recipes yet but I’ve wanted to…)

    • Kristen

      Oh, I hope I didn’t come off that way on Angela’s blog! I love Angela’s recipes but I also love Mama Pea’s (it should have said “NOT that I DON’T love your recipes” – because I do). I hope you get through your rough patch with running. I’ve been handling my not running better than I thought – I just needed to vent a little bit!

  • Mom

    You are a remarkable, beautiful, amazing athlete and daughter! It is so wonderful that you were able to run as long as you have! I am so proud of you! You will be running with the stroller before you know it! I can hardly wait until you pop out my beautiful granddaughter — but wait until October to do that!!! Love you so much!

    • Kristen

      Thanks Mom! I love you! You always make me feel better!