Posted by: Ingrid | May 31, 2011

Injury: The same old song

Unlike last pregnancy, where I mostly kept up running 30 comfortable miles per week up until the end, this pregnancy (apart from the first 10 weeks of marathon training) have been one continuous injury that will not end.  I am frustratingly at a loss as to what I should do.  When the pain in the tendon in my groin began I went to a PT, iced, took a week off, cross trained, and stopped training for the marathon.  I did all the normal things you’re supposed to do.  When it was feeling better I tried some slow miles, felt okay, would build up the mileage a bit (I have not made it past 22 miles per week), continued icing and stretching, and then it would hurt.  I would pull back, cross train, ice, wait until the pain stopped, go back to slow short runs, build up the mileage a little, and the same thing happens.  It’s like a really bad song that doesn’t end.

I know the non-runners out there are scratching their heads and thinking, Lady, you’re pregnant and you can still move if you want to.  Quit trying to run and do something else already.  How does that not occur to you?

Here’s the thing.  As a runner, there really isn’t any type of activity that keeps me on such an even mental keel (and come on, I’m at home with a toddler and have pregnancy hormones coursing through my body – do not underestimate mental sanity here!)  I can lift, I can can cross train for an hour every day but it doesn’t have the same effect on me as getting out for a run.

Secondly, there is the knowledge that even if I keep up my cardiovascular fitness, which I can certainly do with cross training, it only takes a matter of weeks to start losing ground as a runner.  Which means come October, and cold weather, and being stuck inside with two children and a whole new routine that involves lots of naps, crying, and yellow baby poop, I will be back to square one with running.  The thought of that is daunting and aggravating, and I know you runners out there are nodding along.

But maybe 20 weeks off would allow whatever this is to heal?  I really don’t know.  I do know that after yesterday’s 6 miles and then running around at the parade with the stroller my leg (The tendon?  The bone?  I don’t know anymore!) hurts when I sit and hurts when I stand.  Going off and on with running every two weeks doesn’t seem to fix anything so do I just give up until the pregnancy is over?  I am very curious if there are any other runners who have been pregnant who stopped running and then started after the birth and what that experience was.  I know that with a pool nearby I might be able to figure out pool running, but I think it costs money and I don’t know that it’s worth the trouble (and boredom?) having never done it before.

If you’ve experienced this I would love to hear more about what worked for you in terms of training and then getting back into running.  From the feel of it, I’m stuck with cross training for a least a couple of days now but I think I’m at the point where I want something a little more black and white.  Is the running on or off?  I need to be able to plan!



  1. I’m so sorry! I know only a runner understands how frustrating it is not to run! I had to stop running from June to November last year due to pf and it nearly killed me not to run. I got so bummed that I had to stop reading running blogs all together. Ok, I know there are worst things in this world than not being able to run but when it is your passion, your sanity, and time for yourself in a day filled with caring for a busy toddler, running takes on a whole new meaning!

    I don’t really have an experience with this injury so I wish I could give you some advice. But with plantar fasciitis, I rested completely…no running and when I finally stopped running completely for a month, my injury healed and I was able to get back into running much quicker than if I had tried to run a bit ever now and then, only aggravating it even more. In the meantime, I found hot yoga to be a lifesaver. The stretching and core work did wonders for my injury and I think to this day yoga continues to help me fend off all kinds of nagging running problems.

  2. I just realized that hot yoga is probably not the best when you are pregnant 🙂 maybe just some regular prenatal yoga instead!

    • I would love to try hot yoga someday! But you’re right, in the meantime maybe I can find a good prenatal video. Thanks!

  3. So sorry you’re dealing with an injury that just won’t heal. Now 21 weeks pregnant, I’ve had to cut my running down to three (four max.) days a week at a very slow pace and very low mileage because of some nasty groin pain. It’s so frustrating! Sorry I can’t give any advice about how it will be after birth, since I’m in the thick of it with my first pregnancy right now.
    For the time being, I’m just going to keep my mileage quite low. That seems to keep the pain at bay. I’ve been doing a lot of long yoga sessions to cope with the loss of running, and that has helped my sanity tremendously!
    Good luck coming up with a plan!

  4. at 7 months pregnant i hurt my hip vacuuming, go figure. i spent a few weeks thinking i was never going to be able to walk, sit or even sleep without pain.i did some yoga stretching. sat only on hard chairs. slept with a rolled up towel between my legs so my hips would be even when sleeping on my side and miraculously the pain went away and never came back.

    at 8 months pregnant i hurt the other side of my hip while moving furniture. that side didn’t hurt while sleeping, walking or sitting but it killed while running and still gets sore after long runs even though my son is 6 months old.

    so my only exercise during the 3rd trimester was the elliptical and walking. i started running 18 days after giving birth. my experience was that my hip was still a little funky after birth but was able to do 9-10min miles. i cross trained on the elliptical a lot in the beginning. i would say i was “back” 4 months after birth. i think that would have been much sooner had i not been confined to the treadmill (i run funny on them and it causes me shin pain), had i not tried to do speedwork right after the birth (doh!) and if i would have gotten a jogging stroller sooner.

    • Thanks, Kathleen! It is helpful to hear other people’s experience with pregnancy and injury. I’m glad that you are back to running now! Crazy how you injured yourself in around the house sorts of things – if you are ever pregnant again be sure to tell your husband that you can’t do house work or lift furniture for 9 months. 🙂

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