As I reach the last few days of pregnancy I look back at what has been a life changing experience. An experience which is unique and special for each yummy mummy to be. People often ask 'what is it like to be carrying a wee human inside you?' Honestly, it’s magical! From every kick and hick-up you feel, to the nausea and tiredness you experience. Growing a life inside of you is something truly remarkable.
So, how have I come to compare pregnancy and marathons you ask? Today, while I was out walking in an aim to get things moving, my mind wondered back to when I was training for and running marathons. The similarities are uncanny!
Having trained and ran eight marathons over the last decade - I am definitely more of a seasoned marathon runner than a pregnant lady… Though looking back on my pregnancy journey, I noticed quite a few correlations.
1. Its damn hard work the first few months!
At a time when you cannot share your great news with everyone, you are experiencing what I can only describe as a constant battle to stay awake. Like marathon training, the first few months are hard! Doubts run through your mind and you wonder will you be able to hack the pace for the journey ahead! However, you have signed up to the challenge - you need to see it through! You keep going because you are always stronger than you think!
2. You jump on the bandwagon- follow blogs, buy gadgets and download apps!
It’s all you can focus on and you want to get as much information as possible so you follow blogs and buy the latest gadgets. Be it the Garmin for training or the ‘Listen to your baby’s heart rate’ app on your phone. You become engrossed in what other pregnant ladies are feeling, you listen intently to their stories and relate yours back! I did the same while training for a marathon - I bought the gadgets, I read the blogs and I listened to other marathon runners talk endlessly about their tactics!
3. Your body starts to ache.
As you progress through your pregnancy, more and more body parts start to ache. Suddenly bending over becomes an impossible task and your joints start to make strange noises. The same goes for marathons. Your body starts to cry for rest and you feel pains you never experienced before.
4. You need the loo at the worst possible time.
Pregnancy plays with your bladder and at the worst possible time. Half way around your evening stroll and you have a sudden urge to go to the toilet so you take relief in the local coffee shop, hoping they pass no remarks because you are pregnant. Its like mile 24 of the marathon when you are on for a great time and you need the toilet suddenly! Your bladder has a mind of its own!
5. Its longer than you first think!
No one told me that pregnancy was 10 months and not 9! Like a marathon, it’s not 26 miles - it’s 26.2miles and yes, the .2 does count! Just when you think the finish line is near you need to hang in there a little longer. The last haul is the longest - believe me! You are exhausted, your body is in bits at this point but you must reach that finish line to get the true reward.
6. You are hungry all the time.
You are growing a human - which means you must eat more and eat healthy stuff too. When training for a marathon you watch your diet, you increase your supplement intake and your increase the water consumption! It was all very familiar with pregnancy - the pregnacare tablets and the de-caf tea diet.
7. You need support and encouragement
Like training for a marathon you have your doubts. Can I do this and will I succeed? Having family and friends around will see you through, and they are there for support in the moments of doubt.
8. Your social life goes to the dogs!
You are now tired past 10pm so you don’t feel like staying up any later! Besides, you can no longer enjoy a sociable drink so what’s the point? A night in front of the fire with a good movie sounds much more appealing!
9. Your body changes uncontrollably and you don’t care!
Your body starts developing and growing in different ways to prepare you for the upcoming challenge! When training, you boobs get smaller, your calf's get thicker and your waist gets slimmer. However, with pregnancy your boobs get bigger, your calf's get loose and your waist gets increasingly bigger by the day! The beauty of both is that you don’t care as you focus your eyes on the finish line!
10. You’re winging it!
Like your first marathon, you don’t know how you will fair out but you endure it! Like pregnancy, you don’t have a clue what each day will bring. Is it normal to need the toilet constantly or eat so much? You wing it and succeed.
As I approach the final few days of pregnancy I have another mountain to climb before meeting the precious gem I have grown to love without even knowing!