Running for Two By Nicole Goodman

When Jason and I found out that we were expecting our first child, we were simultaneously thrilled, excited, and nervous. As parents-to-be, we had the usual questions: How much will our lives change? Will we be good parents? What do we need to know/buy/learn before the baby arrives? How can a baby possibly need so much stuff? What’s the best baby jogger on the market? What did we get ourselves into?!

And, as a mom-to-be, I had many questions about pregnancy and what I should to do to give Baby Goodman the best possible start. At my first prenatal appointment, I had a list of questions about nutrition and fitness during pregnancy. The doctors had great news for me: moderate exercise is recommended and beneficial to both mother and baby during pregnancy. As long as I feel comfortable, I can continue running. Of course, pregnancy is not the time to train for a marathon or other event. And starting a running program during pregnancy is not recommended if you are not already a runner. But continuing to run at a low intensity is perfectly healthy. For other runners and mothers-to-be, a great resource is Exercising Through Your Pregnancy by James F. Clapp III, M.D.

So, despite some funny looks and concerned comments from non-runners, I’ve continued to run. Now in my 32nd week, I just try to take it week-by-week. I’m running 3-4 times a week and alternating days with lap swimming and other low intensity activities. My runs have become much shorter and much slower, and the routes are planned around possible potty breaks.

At first it was tough to skip my favorite races, but volunteering has been a great way to stay involved and give back to the running community. Plus, it’s nice to cheer for Jason when he crosses the finish line. It was also hard for me to see the time creep up on my watch when I ran my favorite routes. That was easy to fix – I stopped wearing my watch. Now I just enjoy the fact that I’m another week along and still running. Plus, it’s been great to run with good friends and really enjoy the company and conversation.

And the best part – pregnancy has been a wonderful experience. I’ve loved every second! My doctors tell me that starting and staying healthy does wonders for feeling good and avoiding many pregnancy aches and pains.

It’s hard to believe that Jason and I will meet our daughter in less than two months. We are so excited and can’t wait to introduce her to our running friends. As for me, I’ll keep running as long as I can. You might even see me waddling along…

Nicole at the 2008 Surgoinsville
10 Miler