Monday, May 26, 2008

Is That Pregnant Lady Running Toward An Ice Cream Truck?

There are so many awesome things about running while pregnant. Everyone knows that pregnant people get to eat more. Well pregnant runners get to eat a TON.

Seriously, after a nine mile workout I have a lot of calories to make up. 900 calories for the 9 miles and 300 calories extra for the baby. That's like two Dairy Queen blizzards, 8 fudgcicles, 6 ears of corn, 6.6 bowls of Cream of Wheat, 4 bowls of cereal, or one whopping Red Robin Hamburger. So much to eat, so little time. :)

It's interesting that there is not much info out there about what happens to your body and your baby when you run through pregnancy. It would be nice to find out more than the usual "don't dehydrate, don't overheat, don't hold your breath while running." Well, duh, who holds their breath when they run?!?

I recently came across some interesting information published by a doctor who actually STUDIED the effects of running during pregnancy. His findings are definately encouraging
  • Women who exercise deliver babies 5-7 days earlier than those who don't.
  • Babies of runners are slightly lighter- they are just as fully developed just not as fat. I'd definately rather push out a 7 lb baby than an 8 lb baby!
  • Runners have larger placentas, so if you stop running halfway through your pregnancy, you will have the fattest baby possible (more than a non-runner) because a larger placenta gives the baby more calories. Note to self: can't stop running now!
Most websites I have read about preggo running talk about all the problems, pains and complaints that preggo runners have to endure. So far, I really have no problems. My muscles feel more tired and breathing comes a little harder but running a little slower solves those problems. I often have to use the bathroom a couple times during a long run- but the quick rest is probably good for me. Running still feels great, especially when I run long enough to get a runner's high.

In fact, I don't have any real pregnancy complaints. After my morning sickness completely wore off in week 17, I haven't been bothered by anything else. No heartburn, no aches, no ligament pain, no headaches. If it wasn't for this big kicking belly, I wouldn't even know I was pregnant.

I do tend to get weird looks from people I pass on the trails. They see me running towards them and we exchange smiles. Then my profile angles into view as we pass each other and I see their smile fade to a look of either confusion, astonishment or something that says "what the hell is wrong with her?" But rain or shine, I will be on those trails. Running helps me feel constant and sturdy. It's a piece of me that never changes. As my life transforms, my role changes, my daily routine begins to center around a new being, running is the one connection that I will have to my old independent self. I cherish it so much.

Now time for 5 and 1/2 ice cream sandwiches.

1 comment:

Tranny Head said...

Heh - sure you feel great NOW . . . wait until week 40! Hell, I could hardly WALK much less run anywhere. I was waddling like a duck.

A fat duck...