When & How to Quit Running with Confidence

Week of pregnancy: 35 weeks. The homestretch

Last run: at 33.5 weeks

Runner's Word Guide to Running and PregnancyI was flipping through my copy of Runner’s World’s “Running through Pregnancy” last week, at 34 weeks pregnant, and read a few lines in the chapter about the 7th month that I appreciated profoundly:

“Don’t feel guilty if you stop running now or if you stopped a month ago. Sometimes a sixth sense – or plain old common sense- tells you it’s quitting time. It’s just not worth the discomfort anymore. Make your decision with confidence and pat yourself on the back for running this far into your pregnancy.”

My last run was a Thursday afternoon outdoor run at 33.5 weeks pregnant, departing from the SMU track. I ran 2km of Norma’s warm up run with her and then did a second 2km loop solo. It felt amazing and exhilarating to be outdoors, to be around my track running friends and coach. But my body caused me a decent amount of discomfort in the last 200m. The discomfort lingered. That night in bed, I felt like I might have run my last run.

My badly behaved pelvis joints have a certain amount of discomfort at baseline. As in they are uncomfortable pretty much all the time. Three weeks ago, running only made these joints mildly more uncomfortable. The mild increase in discomfort was short-lived and to me, therefore worth running. I get that this isn’t reasoning that everyone would ascribe to. My husband says this is like a drug addict’s problem solving (I disagree). But alas, the discomfort that running created at 33 weeks was significantly more. And probably no longer worth it.

So I choose to stop for myself, with confidence, and to feel good about having run until 33.5 weeks of pregnancy. I’ve had a good run.

Two weeks makes a huge difference in one’s body at this point in pregnancy. I can hardly believe that my body would let me run just 14 days ago.

I’d love to start walking outdoors instead but can’t even do that until the current pelvis joint pain that I have settles some. I’m hoping it will in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, you won’t catch me at the pool, no matter how many people recommend it. In non-pregnant state, I sink more than float. I dislike it. I have nothing to wear that will fit over my 24 lbs baby bump. No, my current bikinis are not an option without the tops garnering me a citation for indecent exposure. And most importantly, an unstable pelvis is unstable whether it is on the ground or in water.

For now, I happily await our baby in the homestretch.

Baby nursery

Nursery waiting for a baby

4 responses

  1. I felt great and ran up to my due date. However, bad luck, I developed a right sacro-iliac joint issue that has stopped me from walking! I WISH I would have stopped running a week ago! Now I have to worry about going into labor with right sided back pain AND I can’t even enjoy may last few days solo walking and preparing for baby girl. My husband said “I told you so” — I hate that!!

    • hi, thanks for reading and for your comments. So sorry to hear about your SI pain😦 I hope you are feeling a little bit better? Luckily, I had no SI or pubic joint during labour, was sore x 24 hours in all 3 joints after and then just like my obs promised, all of the pain disappeared 24 hours postpartum when the relaxin left. best of luck to you:)

  2. Love reading this blog! I ran with my now 17 month old until 32 weeks and felt bad for giving it up that early but reading this makes me feel like I must have toughed it out a lot okay! Just curious what distances u were running at that point?

    I’m now 25 weeks with my 2nd and have cut down to 10 km 5 days a week. We had planned this baby around the Sydney marathon (2012) and 7 weeks before race day found out I was pregnant and had to decide not to run! Marsthoning for some pregnant women is ok… But that’s not a distance that my body can easily glide through! Lol esp pregnant !

    • Thanks for reading and enjoying! When I quit running at 33 weeks, I was running between 4 & 6km between 3 and 5 days a week- not very much! I was doing really well until the third trimester. At 25 weeks, my OBS capped all run at one hour so I dropped my long run from 1.5 hours to 1 hour, so about 11km. I was running 4-5 days a week then, a few 5-8kms, one night at track and one long run. Good luck to you with this pregnancy!

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