Running While Pregnant: The Truth Revealed

June 5, 2009

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?"

They nodded.

"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:
Sexy and functional. Well there.

#5. Running through pregnancy will make delivery a snap.

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.


Lauren said...

Mmmm. Al Roker in a bedazzled tube top or pregnant you in one of those belly bras? That's a tough call...

C said...

I laughed so hard reading this post I cried. Thank you.

Good luck with the church-approved belly bra.

Marie said...

You rock and make me laugh...first with you and then at you...and then with you again.

And as a side note, my SIL is an avid runner too and runs through her pregnancies. I asked her once how long she runs when she is pregnant and her response was "until it hurts." And for her that is usually somewhere between 32-36 weeks.

Mindy said...

Love. this. post!

Anonymous said...

My joints get so loose when I'm pregnant that I can hardly handle a set of stairs without falling, much less go for a run, and I'm a runner! You rock. I'm sorry you peed yourself. Did the Elders see?

HotMommy said...

I must remember the phrase "stabbed in the pubic bone with a serving fork" next week when I'm trying to describe my current pain to my OB. I've been at a loss to describe it until reading your blog. Unfortunately, mine is not from running, but simply from existing at 32 weeks preggo.

Amber Lynae said...

I'm not a big laugh out loud person... I know it is sad.. but it isn't by choice just most of the time my chuckling is inward.... You make me laugh out loud. Thank you. and those boys better be the best picture of gentleman next time they see you. Because they have no idea what will be coming their way.

Mrs Furious said...

oh that was hilarious. Those skaters will remember you for the rest of their lives... and their wives will thank you for it.

Before I'm 35 said...

I ran until I was 25 weeks pregnant (I'm 30 weeks now). I loved it, but I went out one day, took 5 steps and then said "Okay, I'm done running." (I have moved over to elliptical and swimming).

I was discussing this peeing on yourself thing with some other pregnant ladies and we decided there needs to be some sort of Kegel 5K Run (or a 5Kegel, as it were) to bring awareness to the problems pregnant runners face. All we need is a T-shirt design and a celebrity to champion our cause.

Wild Banks' said...

I had the joy of a pregnany 'belt' (same as your settled on 'bra') when my first was insanely huge in utero.. sexy? no, not so much. Helpful, sure. As for the Belly Dancing Bras... I'm Mormon, and I do (did). It's great ab exercise and lots of fun.

Unknown said...

Came by from Melanie's place, on account of both of us making her hit parade today, and I gotta tell you, sister, you are freaking hilarious.

I'm beyond the baby years, but this only means four fe-ti used my bladder for a trampoline, and after a combined 36 months of THAT action, I pretty much pee myself just getting out of bed.

Yep, that's the gift that keeps on giving...

I'll be back. You're my kinda gal.

X-Country2 said...

This post is made of awesome. I can't wait to be a pregnant runner myself.

Gina said...

You rock. I am 28 weeks and all I can muster is 1/4 mile. I tell myself it is the two kids that I am pushing in the jogging stroller but I probably wouldn't make it past 1/4 mile without them either. I'm totally fat too, but the exercise took my 20 hrs. off my second labor. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

props to you. i am 29 weeks pregnant and can barely walk to the car without getting aches, pains, and swollen ankles.
preggo's like you make us all look bad.....
so get a gallon of ice cream, put a snickers bar and a pickle in it and stop that damn running!

Amy said...

I'm jealous on many levels: #1 I couldn't run a day past 14 weeks because of crazy joints issues. #2 Now that I'm not pregnant and haven't been for over a year, I wish I could wear a sparkling belly bra, but my boobs seem to have disappeared.

Anonymous said...

That was SUCH a great, funny post. I peed myself, and I'm not even pregnant.

V and Co. said...

i don't know amy...i would actually go with the belly bra... you in that and al roker in his bedazzled tube top could hit the road and make a little cash on the side...i mean we are in tough economic times. i'm sure you all would appreciate the extra cash flo and jared would appreciate you contributing a little to it.

Jo said...

Ok, I just found you via Heather (you know, of the EO), and I've just gotta chime in somewhere cuz, (a) you're hilarious & this blog is wicked funny (b) you're in Maine and so am I (along with lots of other people, but STILL), and (c) you're a runner, albeit one that pees yourself while in progress.
Which I just have to say, hats off, cuz I didn't last in running past 20 weeks when I was prego. And it was totally because of the pee issue.

workout mommy said...

oh I am laughing too hard, I can barely comment!

I'm only 16 weeks,but still trying to keep running and you are right--it isn't pretty.

But it keeps me somewhat sane...for now.

I need to get one of those belly bra things for the future. :)

Ferret said...

LOL. the part about killing the teenagers dead.

Viv said...

Amy CONGRATULATIONS!! I have been away from blogging a while and very happy to stop by to such fantastic news!

Anonymous said...

Very nice ........... thank you for sharing your nice feelings..........

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Resha said...

I am 28 weeks preggo now with #2 and still running. I ran up until 35 weeks with #1 (then my doc made me stop b/c I was having contractions). I won't give you the sob story...but lets just say my #1st did not come out quickly. LOL

Question for you: do you know how hot is too hot in Texas right now to be running outside and pregnant? I can't find any info anywhere. With my first, I started running on a treadmill inside at this point, but the treadmill isn't an option this time around. I read to not go run if it's more than 85 degrees, but I'm not sure if that factors in the Texas humidity (it was a Runner's World preggo book). Any thoughts you have would be GREATLY appreciated! My doc doesn't seem to really know.

Christian and Jennifer said...

I'm a blog stalker and I admit it. I think your blog is the funniest thing EVER and I definitely think you should write a book and make gazillions of dollars.

geminie said...

LOL i loved the genuflect comment! Awesome word and it totally made me picture that scenario in my head! Keep up the running you're doing awesome :D

The Boohers said...

Lucky me, I just found your blog searching for running blogs a few nights ago. I randomly clicked on this post because I had just read an article with a similar title in Self or Shape or some other crappy magazine. I'm not even pregnant, but I rationalized reading both because at one point I birthed four kids and as a result still pee myself regularly. Your post was much funnier and probably more accurate than the magazine version. I love your blog!

savin said...

I love this post. I was looking for pictures of pregnant running woman and i found this blog. You are so funny, and most of what you say is so true. Love it.

Alisha said...

I know this is an older post. I stumbled on your blog surfing and read this post since I do enjoy running and have finally got my butt back into it after a few months the middle of winter no less....anyway this:

#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.

Made me laugh out loud. Kudos to you for running while pregnant. I was not a runner back when I was having babies but I would have been peeing my pants too lol

ruzzel01 said...

Beautiful preggy lady.

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Anonymous said...

BY FAR, the weirdest thing about running when pregnant was the CONSTANT feeling that I had to pee. This happened to me even before I was really big. I would be CERTAIN that I was about to PEE MY PANTS, and so I would stop to pee, and...nothing. Then I would start running again, and OMG I HAVE TO PEE. Etc.

My husband wants to get a treadmill for the exercise. says the proform would fit what I need. Any suggestions on a treadmill?

Di said...

OMG!! I came here by a very roundabout route - and now I need to find a direct and very fast route to the bathroom! Soooo funny :)