Well friends, I've officially found myself in a place I never thought I'd be--running while legitimately pregnant. In the past I've run until I was 11 weeks along or 17 weeks along, but this time around I'm almost 23 weeks along and I see no end in sight. I'm beyond showing, my sweat smells like garbage, and despite this exercise, my thighs are still covered in an inch-thick layer of cellulite. I'm the real deal if I've ever seen it, and let me tell you, the real deal is just about as pretty as Al Roker in a bedazzled tube top.
In other words, not so much.
I'm not sure if it's the endorphin high that keeps me going or maybe deep down I enjoy being heckled by gangs of dirty little skateboard punks, but either way you slice it, I can't seem to help myself.
Just last night, I huffed and puffed past a group of high school aged skaters and offered up a friendly little wave. When I was ten paces past the group I heard three skateboard decks hit the pavement and all kinds of hideous, half-brained laughing. I looked back over my shoulder and sure enough three of the burnouts were imitating me--bellies sticking out, legs kicking in every direction, arms flailing like drunk monkeys.
I must say, to an outside observer, their impression was dead on. But I'm pregnant, and I was tired, and it goes without saying that I was in no mood for the highest form of flattery. So instead of ignoring my three young friends I stopped dead in my tracks, turned to face them, calmly removed my headphones and said, "Guys, I'm pregnant. Do you know what hormones are?"
"Well," I continued, "my hormones are totally out of control right now. Seriously, I'm crazy. Do I look crazy to you?"
They shook their heads.
"Well thank you, but I am," I kindly offered. "And if I ever catch you making fun me again I will kill you dead."
They nodded. I waddled off. From this point forward I expect them to remove their hats and genuflect when I pound past them.
The fact that I subject myself to all manner of ridicule is funny because really, I kind of hate running. Sure I've been doing it for fifteen years straight, but honestly, it sucks. It's really hard, I don't look anything like Carmen Electra, and at my current rate of progress, I'll never ever be able to bounce a quarter off my backside. Yet I continue on--pregnant or not, I just keep on running.
On that upbeat note, I'd like to reveal some truths and debunk some myths about running while pregnant. So here goes:
#1. If you run while your pregnant, there's a good chance that you might pee yourself. TRUE!
Last week, I was running down Main Street and saw a set of Mormon missionaries walking in my direction. Obviously, in an effort to impress the two handsome young men, I picked up the pace from a 12 minute mile to a 9 minute mile.
And then I peed myself.
#2. Running while pregnant will keep your weight gain at a reasonable level. FALSE!
I'm so fat.
#3. Exercising while pregnant might help prevent constipation. TRUE!
Maybe that's why I do it--beats the hell out of an enema.
#4. Running while pregnant will keep the aches and pains at bay. FALSE, FALSE, FALSE!!!!
If anything, running brings 'em out. Most nights, when I come home from my 3 miler I can walk about as well as my 87-year-old neighbor lady. My low back seizes up and it kind of feels like I've been stabbed in the pubic bone with a serving fork. Jared (my chiropractor husband) told me to flip-flop my run-walk ratio from 70/30 to 30/70. I told him to get in ma belly.
He told me, "Fine. If you won't take more walk breaks, then need to buy a maternity belt to support that thing." So, being the bargain hunter I am, I searched "Belly Bra" on Ebay.
And a pages full of theses things popped up:
"Really Jared? How could this possibly help my running?"
And call me crazy, but if coffee's against my religion, then there's a good chance that the belly bra is, too.
Turns out, he had something more like this in mind:
I was like, "Screw you, Jared! Why don't you just tell me we're going on a surprise trip and trick me into an assisted living facility while you're at it!?" I don't care who goes by "Doctor" in this marriage, I'm not wearing a frigging leotard.
We finally compromised on something more like this:
I'll be sure to let you know.
And that's all I've got. If you're 4 weeks along, a dedicated runner, and just Googled the term "Running While Pregnant," please accept my apologies. I hope this doesn't discourage you from pursuing your wildest dreams. Just be sure to wear your belly bra snug and low at the hips, and remember, peeing yourself isn't all that bad. It's pooping yourself that you want to avoid--and even I haven't done that....yet.