32 is an important number in marathoning. For many, it’s the peak of long runs in training. In a race, it’s considering by many to be the halfway point; the moment of truth marker; where the race actually begins. 32 was a marker that I thank God never reached in my 17 day run across The Gambia, having tapped out at 31km on my 31st birthday.
32 is also an important number in pregnancy. From 32 weeks onward, babies born early have a very good chance of surviving and thriving.
Running at 32 weeks pregnant is… going. My pregnant body is definitely the boss. I’ve been dialing the treadmill speed way down and no longer look at the miles covered when I hit my 30 minutes. I can’t run two days in a row due to the recovery that my heavier body requires.
At 32 weeks, I’m actually finding it hard to run even every second day. When your body is so clearly the boss, there are days where factors stand in the way. When I’m so busy at work, it’s hard to run due to fatigue. If I’ve been on my feet all day at work, my belly feels stretched and the ligaments say no running. I need to be careful of the joints in my pelvis which are inclined to pull apart and hurt. And I’m just plain tired.
I have a serious pregnant insomnia problem. Sleep comes in 2 hour increments and I often get up out of bed for an hour or more in the middle of the night. Nature’s way of preparing the expectant mama for motherhood?
This baby definitely belongs to me. I’m convinced that it’s not just a runner but a decathlete and begins practicing all 10 track and field events each night in one hour segments beginning around 10pm. It is pretty much impossible to sleep with that in utero racket from my strong babe.
Regardless of days per week run and weekly mileage, the act of putting my stretched running gear on makes me feel like a runner and I’m a happy person when I feel like a runner. A happy runner is a happy mother-to-be.
As I approach the end of the 32 weeks, I need to be especially careful of the joint at the front of my pelvis as the tenderness coming this joint tells me it’s starting to separate. My run today was 12 minutes long. I’m happy though. Even if this is the beginning of the end of running, the end of pregnancy is in sight and I’ve had a pretty good run.
Running (again) for The Gambia
The money that I’ve raised so far during my Blue Nose 5km event as part of Team Love4Gambia also makes me happy. You can help make both me and the NSGA happier by considering a donation: click here.
If you are a runner, then running somehow factors into your decision about when to start a family. It was just before the Boston Marathon last year that my lovely husband and I decided that we were ready to begin trying to start our family.
I was running my 3rd straight Boston Marathon that Patriot’s Day weekend in April and we decided together that it would be my last for a few years. Although we were very quiet about our baby-making plans, I spent a lot of that race weekend thinking about how I hoped that I would be missing the following year’s Boston Marathon barefoot and pregnant. It’s still hard to believe that our wish came true; we are so blessed. It’s fitting that my due date is just 8 days after this year’s Boston Marathon.
When I was running across The Gambia, my team and I talked about my baby everyday. I was nervous then, worried about my ability to conceive a baby and how long it would take after running 150km weeks for 4 weeks across a hot African nation. Of course, this worry was needless, my body was at its most healthy peak and I quickly became pregnant as soon as I arrived home in Nova Scotia.
Every day in July, as we ran the 424km length of the South Bank Road, Kebba would say to me, “Inshallah, you will have a baby.” He says that he prayed for me and my baby everyday. Pa Modou and I talked about how, Inshallah, we would have babies born close together who would grow up united across the Atlantic. Spider talked about me pushing a baby carriage on Fajara Beach; and running hand-in-hand with a small child on the warm shores of the Smiling Coast. As my child grows up, I will tell him about how team Love4Gambia planned everyday for his arrival on the road to Banjul.
Blue Nose Team Love4Gambia runs for kids in The Gambia- for the life-saving work of the NSGA on the ground in West Africa. It is most fitting that I share my training for this run with this baby who was so loved already as I ran for kids in The Gambia last July.
You can share some Love4Gambia too by joining Team Love4Gambia. Click here.