Running Buddy and Bodies are AMAZING!

At 19 weeks pregnant, I’ve reunited with an old running friend! Her name is Gabrialla and she’s… my maternity support belt!

There she is! Gabrialla has been with me since my first pregnancy and is still going strong for baby #3!

There she is! Gabrialla has been with me since my first pregnancy and is still going strong for baby #3!

I started using maternity support belts during my first pregnancy (after 20 weeks) and started using them at 18 weeks last time around. I love them and recommend them to everyone but it’s important to check your expectations before purchasing one. It’s kind of like when you have a great first date and one of you is thinking “wow, this is my soulmate!” and the other person is thinking “what a great time! I’d love to casually date this person!” No one is ever going to be happy in that situation. I feel like a lot of people have unrealistic expectations about the support belts so let me tell you some things I’ve learned about them. The maternity support belt will NOT:

  • make all of your runs magical
  • completely get rid of round ligament pain
  • stop braxton hicks contractions
  • stop the need to pee every mile or so on the run
  • feel good on every run (most days I feel better having it on, but I have runs where I pull it off and carry it home because it’s umcomfortable)

I like the support belts because they make me feel less pain and discomfort on MOST days. Like I said above, sometimes the baby is in a strange position and there’s just no way to get comfortable. Support belts are not made of magic and won’t cure every ache. I wear them because I feel more supported in my belly area and in my back as well. I just feel more compact and held together, which is somewhat silly since the baby isn’t swinging around or going anywhere when I run, but it just feels more comfortable to me.

I wrote a post about my 2 maternity support bands and the sizing I recommend during my last pregnancy. All the info is the same so Here is the link. I put some information in the beginning and then you can scroll down to the bottom of the post for brands and sizing info. I only have 2 bands (I use Gabrialla the most by far) and they both lasted through heavy use in my first 2 pregnancies and show no sign of breakdown so I think they are worth the money. I’m not affiliated with either of these companies and purchased the belts full price for myself 6 years ago!

Here's a front view of where I position my maternity support belt for the most comfort on my runs. I usually wear a layer under it so I don't have to clean it as often, but took this picture of bare skin to show the position better.

Here’s a front view of where I position my maternity support belt for the most comfort on my runs. I usually wear a layer under it so I don’t have to clean it as often, but took this picture of bare skin to show the position better. This was taken of me before my run this morning when I was severely overdressed after freezing while walking my daughter 1.4 miles roundtrip to bus stop in the cold rain.

Seriously, aren’t our bodies just AMAZING?! I mean they can grow a human, stretch like crazy and then come back and help us achieve big things in sport and life. Our bodies really know how to rise to any occasion. It’s mind blowing!

Speaking of amazing things the body can do, I had an experience recently (nothing to do with pregnancy) that I can’t quit obsessing over. Almost a month ago, we had a busy weekend on tap. My daughter was finally having the Halloween party she had been asking to have for 3 years. The kids were really excited. In addition, my husband’s college roommates were in town and staying with us for the weekend. These are all great things, but whenever I’m hosting anything I’m very excited and want to be overly accommodating so I’m a little high strung (in a good way, right, right?!)

I went out for a quick run the morning of the party and twisted my foot/ankle badly. I was instantly worried about it, couldn’t put initial pressure on it, and started to hobble/walk home. Then I thought about how I had to be back for the kids while the college roommates and husband had brunch and I just started running. The pain went away and I was shocked I could run home! I made it home (only a bit over a mile) and showered, party prepped, had an awesome party, cleaned up and all day didn’t think once about pain in my foot/ankle. It was like the mini-injury on the trail never happened.

When all the busy-ness of the day ended and we were driving to a restaurant (Bigham Tavern, no relation!) for dinner, I started getting severe pains in my foot/ankle area. Within minutes, the pains in my foot felt similar to the labor pain I felt when I was being taken to the hospital to deliver my son! By the time we arrived at Bigham Tavern, I couldn’t eat. I thought I was going to be sick. Then I started feeling faint. We ended up calling an uber to take us to our car just blocks away. When I got home I looked at my foot and it had doubled in size! Although I rarely take medication, I took some Tylenol and started doing ice and heat+epsom salt contrast baths. I was reduced to crawling around my house. I literally could not put any amount of weight on my foot. When the Tylenol started to take effect, I was able to sleep, but I had to take 4 days off running.

The next few days I just couldn’t get the situation out of my head. I concluded my body must have totally gone into “fight or flight” mode. It seems silly to think that just having 3 friends staying at your house and hosting twelve 5-year-olds and their parents for a Halloween party could put a person into “survival mode” but it did. AND… how cool is that? I survived a whole day running around on a foot injury without noticing a thing. A foot injury that required 4 days off running and had reduced me to literally crawling around my house! While I never want to be in a life threatening situation, the experience gave me so much confidence in myself and my capabilities if a real life threatening experience would arise! AH! I love the human body and I’m trying to tap into the experience a bit and tie it into my running after I have baby #3!

Anyone have similar stories of where their body did something totally awesome that blew their mind?! I would love to hear them! This experience really made me realize there’s always a way to dig deeper, always another level of hurt we can conquer!

10 thoughts on “Running Buddy and Bodies are AMAZING!

  1. I love reading your blog! I am currently 1 day away from being 8 weeks pregnant with our first baby! I am an avid runner and marathoner. Hearing stories like yours makes me feel better knowing that I am not alone. I am more tired than I have ever been. Did you feel your running was affected this early on? I feel my body slowing down in more ways than one. I am excited but scared at the same time. I plan to run as long as my body allows but a few days a week lately, I just can’t get myself out the door! Please keep us updated on how your pregnancy is going, and congrats!

    • Congrats on your pregnancy, Katelyn! That’s very exciting!

      Yes, I feel like the first trimester is the hardest for me in terms of running because of the extreme exhaustion. And then if you have nausea or any other symptoms they are usually the worst during the first trimester (except round ligament pain which gets worse in 2nd/3rd trimester)! So yes, what you are feeling is very normal and if you can get through this I would expect you will feel much better in the 2nd trimester.

      Good luck to you! What an exciting time!

  2. what a great story! our bodies are rad :) earthly and broken, but RAD! :) I think I have that same maternity belt! My first pregnancy I had such severe round ligament pain I had to wear it all the time (so cute.) Second pregnancy I got on a weekly chiropractor schedule and it worked wonders! Or maybe second babies are more “fight or flight” time – no time to worry about RL pain when there is a toddler to chase around :) Praying pregnancy #3 (if/when/God willing) is similar to #2!

  3. I always get excited to see your posts Jen. I’m glad to hear you’ve been running and doing well.

    That is incredible about your ankle. It’s funny because my dad told me he got a stress fracture during the NYCM and never felt it until post race. I wonder if it’s all adrenaline. I’ve heard similar stories too…I feel like there was a TV show once about it.

  4. Hello! I had my 3rd child in December and have three-finger width diastasis recti. How did you get yours to go away? How long did it take?

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