Monday, April 27, 2009

running dilemma

So as most of you know, I'm expecting a baby in October. (Yay!) And I'm signed up for the See Jane Run half marathon on May 30th. I signed up knowing full well that I would be 20 weeks pregnant at the race. Gotta have a goal, right? I'm not too proud to drop out of the race if I need to, but I will admit that I really hope to do the race.

Here's my dilemma.

I'm 15 weeks pregnant and am barely even starting to get a belly. I've noticed that my joints and muscles in my hip area are easily irritated and I tentatively attribute that to the relaxin hormone. But other than running slower, I'm feeling great.

I ran my 8-miler with my sister on Saturday. We ran about 12-minute miles and took stretch/pee breaks every 2 miles. I felt great up until mile 6. As I got closer to our 6-mile rest stop, I noticed my lower back and deep in my upper glutes aching more and more with every step. By the time we stopped at mile 6, my lower back/upper glutes/deep hip joints felt like I had just pounded them on a 20-miler. You know, to the point that when you start running again, you're practically limping til your body warms up. It wasn't sciatica, since I know what that feels like, but it was a deep aching.

Once I warmed up again, I didn't notice the aching too much until we stopped (probably because we were too busy screaming "Coming up on your left!!" to the millions of March of Dimes walkers blocking the last 2 miles of the trail). But as soon as I stopped and for the rest of the day, the aching was pretty bad. And when I would get up to walk, the first couple of steps felt like something was getting smashed where my lower back met my legs (so deep in my upper glutes). It's almost gone today, but not 100%.

Anyone have any advice? I'm reluctant to even attempt a 10-miler next week if this is how it's going to be. Would it make any difference if I do a walk/run? I mean, we took significant breaks every 2 miles, so it wasn't like we went non-stop. Other than the lower back, I felt awesome (breathing, stamina, etc, was not a problem). We were able to chat non-stop the entire time, which means I wasn't overdoing it in the least.

What do you think?

PS--Our training runs from here on out are 10, 6 or 8, 12, 6 or 8, race day.


  1. I hope you get a good answer here, Molly. Giddy excited for your news!! I hope the pain subsides and that you are able to run.

    If I HAD to answer, my guess would be a good run/walk regiment.

  2. first of all, CONGRATS!! i hope you are having a great pregnancy so far.

    i have never really ran while pregnant, so I don't have a lot of experience. but i would say a walk/run routine might be good. i doubt that the baby is in any distress, especially if you are not cramping or having any abdominal/pelvic pains. it is probably just extra pressure and hormones doing a nice number on your body. i'd say try your 10 miler with lots of breaks like you've been doing. maybe don't stretch so much during your run. i am not an expert, but i don't THINK you want your joints too loose, especially when they are already loose with the pregnancy. just try doing a REALLY long and thorough stretch when you are done. it may be that your body is just having to get used to running for longer again, since your body is so different right now. maybe once you work through it on your weekly runs, and keep stretching really well after all your runs, your next long one won't be so bad. but if it is really bad, then i would do the walk/run.

    i would talk to my sister whitney. she ran all the way through her pregnancy. she said it was hard and painful, but i think that was mostly towards the end when she was big.

    good luck, and again, CONGRATS!!!

  3. i never ran long distances when i was pregnant either, so i'm going to have to go with morg's advice on this. i don't think you're doing any harm to the baby (no cramping, like she said). I'd just take it slow.


  4. hmmmm. i really have no idea. my guess is what you and others have already guessed... the hormones are making your hips loose and your body is still trying to adjust to it. while i never experienced your issue when running during pregnancy, i had other aches and pains that i just pushed through (taking it easy, of course!) and my body gradually adjusted to it after a few runs. believe me, there's always something new to deal with during pregnancy! :)

  5. Thank you, ladies! I think I just needed that boost of confidence. I'm not so much worried about hurting my baby as I am messing up my body. :) I'll let you know how my 10-miler goes. I'll probably be taking more breaks (probably walking breaks instead of stopping and stretching breaks).

  6. I obviously have no advice, I'm just so excited for you! I think it's great you are keeping your running up - it's definitely inspiring! I hope you have a great time at See Jane Run, however it may turn out.