I will never forget the look on the woman’s face as I jogged through Kensington Gardens on August 3, 2003. She pointed at me and shouted, “What are you doing, darling?”
I’m guessing this lovely English lady had never before seen a pregnant woman jogging on her due date.
Fair enough, I suppose, but I felt fantastic. Physically, the pregnancy had been very easy. Continuing my running– albiet at a slower pace and in shorter distances– gave me mental strength. There was no reason for me to abandon my running just because I was pregnant.
(In the interest of full disclosure, I will tell you that that run was my final run of my first pregnancy. In the week that followed before The Bear made his journey into this world, there was a massive heat wave in London. I didn’t think it was smart to run in the extreme heat when I wasn’t conditioned to do so.)
With my second pregnancy, I ran until 28 weeks. I had some pain in my shins, and it just didn’t feel so great to run anymore. While I was disappointed to leave the running shoes behind so early (relatively) in the pregnancy, I continued with walking and yoga several times a week to maintain my fitness.
Now, here I am nearly 27 weeks pregnant with Number 3, and I think the time is near. Running has become less comfortable. I’m certainly larger at this point than I was with the other two, and that doesn’t help make running easier. Also, most of my runs involve me pushing The Monkey in the BabyJogger, which means my stride is compromised and my upper body can’t help on the hills. While I’m still doing some running, the amount of walking during those outings is certainly increasing.
I’d rather stop while I still feel good. I always urge my clients to listen to their bodies and act accordingly. I’m going to take my own advice, and after a final run (by myself) this weekend, I’m going to hang up my running shoes for a while.