Suddenly everyone is a runner

Return to running

I miss running. I stopped somewhat reluctantly around 25 weeks pregnant because it was no longer comfortable. It felt unpleasant and I was always really sore after. I was also getting a lot of advice from smart fitness people to stop due to potential pelvic floor damage. Instead, I’ve been very dedicated to strength training with my personal trainer and indoor cycling, but I always knew it was never going to replace my first love.

Some days, I feel hopeless. I wonder if I’ll ever get back to where I was and the thought of starting from ground zero feels painfully defeating. I’m angry at other runners. Every time I go outside for my daily walks, it seems like they are everywhere, swarming me on all sides. They’re always huffing and panting as they go past, far too close to be observing social distancing rules and it makes me feel angry and resentful. I hear myself saying ridiculous things like, “I hate runners.” It’s like they’re mocking me. Even people who have never entertained running before are now getting in on the action, as if to taunt me. I can tell the new runners by what they’re wearing. Usually some way too heavy hoodie and Converse trainers that are barely built for walking let alone running.

But then, when I’m having a good day, I look forward to returning to running. I think about that first run post-baby and even though it might be slow and short, it will be the beginning of a new chapter of my running life. I sometimes wonder if I’ll come back stronger. I fantasize that my best running days are actually ahead of me. I think about finish lines and long runs. I even let my mind wander into trail races, triathlons and ultras. I look forward to Parkrun when it starts again, and one day, running with a tiny human who might double as a cheerleader. I see those new runners out in the parks and I silently applaud them for their efforts and hope that they stick with it even after the lockdown is over.

I’m on a running-related emotional roller coaster. I blame pregnancy hormones. And Coronavirus.

So bear with me. There will be a return. Hopefully a triumphant one.


  1. Tina April 24, 2020 / 1:51 pm

    It will be extremely triumphant, whether on your own or with a jogging stroller! 🙂

  2. Christine May 3, 2020 / 6:31 pm

    Hey! I’m a few months out from having my second baby and both times I had to stop running around 20 weeks. It sucked a lot, but I was so pleasantly surprised by how easily I was able to get right back into it!! You’re on the home stretch!

    • thoughtsandpavement May 4, 2020 / 7:37 am

      Ooh that’s so reassuring! Thank you. A picture from last year came up on Facebook memories of a 10k I ran in Victoria Park last year. It was my personal best for the distance and the picture sent me into a tailspin. I feel a million miles from that moment. Good to know you got back into it relatively easily!

      • Christine May 4, 2020 / 1:39 pm

        If you stay active in other ways (which you have) then you don’t really lose your fitness level. And when you run again you’re so used to carrying extra weight and having your lungs compressed that it seems so easy to move again once that stuff is gone!

        • thoughtsandpavement May 4, 2020 / 4:39 pm

          Thank you so much for this comment. That is music to my ears! I found myself wondering if things might even feel easier without 30 extra pounds around my mid-section and more lung capacity, but then I thought I was probably just being naive. I cannot wait to run fast and feel light again. I feel like a walrus right now!

  3. Lise-Ann March 15, 2021 / 10:49 am

    Even though I have not had to deal with the forced cessation of running through pregnancy I can still really relate to the roller coaster of emotions you describe in this post. I am by no means a pro runner or indeed partake in any ‘real’ competitive runs but I still feel the dreadful range of emotions when I miss a run, either through the niggling hint of an injury on the horizon or pure exhaustion / busy days at work, and seeing other out running, and always looking effortless stirs those deep guilty resentful feelings.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences its is so reassuring to know others feel this way but also to borrow on some of your optimistic outlooks for the future – I see from more recent posts you are back on course and happily pounding the pavements once again.

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