As I head towards 11 weeks of pregnancy, I’m in that awkward phase in which I don’t yet look like a pregnant runner, but a runner who’s had a few too many donuts before heading out. The second pregnancy bump shows a bit sooner than the first pregnancy so the waistband on my running pants is tight and my little belly is always one step ahead of me. I’m running slower and I’m taking more breaks. All together, it’s making me feel like less of a runner.
Maybe I’m alone in this feeling but it’s always slightly annoying to be passed by another runner. Unfortunately, that’s happening a lot these days and there’s not much that I can do about it. I feel like shouting: “I’m pregnant over here!” to the macho guys and the girls in short shorts but, thankfully, I don’t (I might get a reputation of being crazy if I did). I know that I’m likely not even in their minds as they pass me but I still feel their judgment for running slowly (and for stopping every 5 minutes to catch my breath).
And catching my breath is something I do quite often as well these days. I didn’t notice it on my first pregnancy but this time around, I find myself really out of breath, as if I had just sprinted 6 blocks. In my regular prenatal yoga classes that I teach all the time, I end up being more out of breath than my students, gasping for air as I try to instruct them into the next pose.
And then there’s the peeing! I had almost forgotten about how running and pregnancy collide in such a way that you will need to pee within the first kilometre. We live in a much bigger city now than on my first pregnancy with fewer trails so hiding in a bush to pee mid-run is not an option here. Planning my route around welcoming coffee shops with bathrooms will soon become essential!
My personal objective for these next few weeks is to forget about the other runners around me and to focus solely on how my body feels during each run. I’m also mentally preparing myself for what reactions I will encounter when my belly is finally undoubtedly a baby and not just a few weeks of pastries catching up with me. But more on that later.