Traumatic experience - feeling stuck

Hi everyone

i have been a runner for the last 8 years, completely 5ks, 10ks, half marathons and a full marathon. I have ran through ACL reconstruction, lost 6 stone in weight and ran through the ups and downs that life throws you. 

so here goes.......7 weeks ago I lost my baby boy when I was 5 1/2 months pregnant. I ran up until 16 weeks comfortably, we went for a routine scan and couldn't find his heartbeat, apparently you're not always safe after the 12 week scan!

So I'm left dealing with this grief, a stone of pregnancy weight and days of exhaustion. Running has always helped clear my head and sort out any worries I've had and I've missed it. I've been able to make it out for 2/3 short runs over the past few weeks but then start to feel tired and run down. I just can't seem to make the first positive step to get myself into a little routine to start me off again. My confidence has gone and I don't feel comfortable in my running clothes with the extra weight. 

If there is a fellow runner who has been through anything like this or just anyone who could help with some advice, it would be very well appreciated.

thank you


  • I haven't been through what you have but can offer sympathy and virtual support.  Along with everything else you've lost fitness.. take it easy/steady and stay postitive.  I'm sure there are peeps on here who can offer more specific thoughts, but hang in there - you've had a tough time.  You'll get it back.

  • Sweetheart, it's only been 7 weeks.  The pressure of what you've been through doesn't need to be compounded by you trying to force yourself out of the door for a run.  Try walking first, plug yourself in to an ipod with music or a decent podcast and take your time.  Also, please talk to your GP or health visitor.  See if you can find a support network to help you work through not only losing your son, but also with your confidence issues.

    You need time and you need support.  Please don't push yourself too hard.

  • yes you need some time and support.....have you been to chat to your GP....

    I can't offer much advice but hope that things improve for you....It is a horribly hard time

  • I have a lovely GP who I see and currently waiting to see my hospital consultant. I guess normally exercising is the last thing on your mind and breast feeding and being busy helps most weight come off without even thinking about it. 

    Is the normally some advice for getting back into exercise after being pregnant?


  • I agree with PSC & Crazy Diamond - it's not been that long, be easy on yourself.  I wasn't ever as far along, but I felt it was like a particularly nasty and cruel gameshow - "here's a look at what you could have won", it takes time to learn to live with the loss of your son - both in the here and now and the future that he was bringing.

    But I understand the desire to lose yourself in something that helps with the whirl of thoughts in your head and to feel that you've lost that must be very hard at the moment.

    As a practical thing, why not go to TK Maxx or Sainsbury or Asda and get yourself a pair of running tights that you do feel comfortable in - they only need cost £10 or £12, and that will take the focus off feeling uncomfortable.  You don't need to spend a lot and then you can charity shop them when you don't need them anymore. 

    Most of all, take your time to grieve properly, and your running mojo will return, but right now it's not the most important thing...

  • PG3PG3 ✭✭✭

    I am so sorry to hear this story. It must be really tough.  I am sure you wont ever forget about this but hopefully you can come to terms with it.  Allow yourself to feel upset/anger and how the world just isnt fair image

    i would say dont worry about your fitness and running but I suspect it helps to have something to think about and even aim for.  Please don't let a bit of extra weight stop you.  I am a classic yo-yoer, i have even managed to find 8kgs since I was knocked off my bike and injured at the end of Feb.  I know I look a fat chuffer and now I am back on my bike, i cant even imagine how bad my backside looks in lycra, but I tell myself that I dont really care and cycling/exercising helps my lardiness.  After I had my daughter, I was massive (I was 15kgs heavier than before i got pregnant AFTER i had her!) but i got back out there and it came down.

    Please be kind to yourself both physically and emotionally.  You have been through a lot in the last few months. Your hormones are probably all over the place as well, dont forget that.  I really wish you all the best and am sending you a huge virtual hug.

  • PG3PG3 ✭✭✭

    Tweats the advice I was given re pregnancy and exercise is to take it easy.  Your ligament, joints etc end up softer as a result of a relaxing hormone so it is easy to get injured.  It can take a while to harden up again.  My chiro told me to concentrate on good form and some core exercises.

    Hope that helps


  • Tweats you poor thing , my heart goes out to you . 

    the mental stress and strain you are under will make it almost impossible for you to feel like running . I agree with others , pop on an ipod and go for some long walks , they can have a few speedy bits or hilly bits in them and only run when you feel like your chomping at the bit . 

    Sending you a huge hug . 

  • So sorry to hear of your loss.  I have no advice on running, but be kind to yourself and build up gradually.  The weight will go.  In the meantime some hugs and thoughts for you.


  • KhanivoreKhanivore ✭✭✭

    Sorry to hear about your loss image I'm a beginner runner and can't offer any advice but I did want to send you a virtual hug. I hope you get all the support you need. Such a sad thing for you to have to go through.

  • I experienced a traumatic bereavement last summer - my brother took his own life after many years battling depression.  For many months afterwards I suffered insomnia and acute physical and mental exhaustion.

    I tried to stick to a running routine - as a stress busting outlet I needed it more than ever - but when I had bad days and a planned run - I had to let the run slide.

    I managed around my energy levels as best I could.

    I was training for my first marathon and completed Manchester in April and raised money for Mind in memory of my brother.  It offered me something to focus on but I did not stick to plan - it just was not possible.

    I recognised that I had to listen to my body - cut myself some slack - and be kind and respectful to my body and soul.

    I found that when I felt I wanted to get out - I just did a distance I felt I wanted to do - sometimes I surprised myself and did more than I originally anticpated I would do when first heading out.  Sometimes I called time after 3 miles - reasoning it was better than nothing.

    I had counselling which was invaluable.

    Trauma is exhausting.  The levels of exhaustion that I experienced were incredibly debilitating.  Mind and body were completely floored.

    You need to take care of yourself and don't put unnecessary pressure on yourself.

    Exercise gently, eat well try to sleep well and get a talking therapy in place for when you feel ready.

    Take care.










  • Tweats, still thinking of you.

    BEVERLEY DRAPER, sorry to hear of your loss.  Well done for running the marathon to support others. 

    Hugs to you both.


  • Oh sweetheart, I am so sorry for your loss.

    It sounds like you have always found solace in running before and I am sure you will again. Don't be hard on yourself.

    Could you perhaps try to run short routes somewhere beautiful. I have a forest loop near by and it is just so peaceful. I often run that when I am feeling low. The distance is just long enough to feel like I've worked but it is manageable.

  • Hi, I am so sorry about your loss, I cannot imagine what you have been through.

    In terms of advice with running, I can completely understand wanting to use exercise to help your mind rest but also get physically fitter. Like everyone has been saying, take it slow and don't over work yourself, you need time to re-adjust but if you are looking for something to challenge you and to motivate you to go out for a run everyday, you can always sign up to a 5k charity run or something. You wouldn't be looking for a PB or racing anyone so it will be stress free.

    its enough motivation to get you going for runs and its not too strenuous that it might be detrimental to your health at this stage.

    I really do wish you the very best and you have our support here on this forum any time image

  • McFloozeMcFlooze ✭✭✭

    I'm so, so sorry to hear of your loss.  I just can't imagine.  I had a loss at 8 weeks and that was traumatic enough.  

    I do agree that your joints and ligaments are likely to have relaxin working on them which will make you more injury prone so if you do run take it very, very easy.  But I think the suggestion to build up by walking is a good one.  

    Be kind to yourself, it IS very early days and you have a lot to come to terms with both physically and emotionally.  

    After my loss I had a course of acupuncture from a lovely lady who specialised in fertility type acupuncture and nutrition and I think it did help balance all my hormones etc more quickly.  It was very gentle and non-invasive.  I think you might find things like yoga can be helpful as well as it is very healing and calming.  

    Make sure you pay really good attention to nutrition as well.  It's really easy to not eat properly when you are grieving or to eat the wrong stuff and end up with no energy because of it.  Focus on eating good, nourishing food.  



  • Tweats, im so sorry for you and your family sending all my thoughts - what terrible experience you have had. 

    I havnt been in your position but I can imagine that running will really help you mentally, try not to worry about your weight yes it's horrible when things feel tight but they will loosen! Running might give you something to focus on, a bit of time for yourself, to get away from things? Maybe set a goal? This week run x miles, next week do 2 more miles? 

    just start off lightly -you will soon get your energy back -give yourself time, you are grieving and that is mentally and physically exhausting.  I have two very good friends who lost babies at 26weeks and 22 weeks, life can be very cruel sometimes.

    good luck with your running, take care, sending huge hugs xxx

  • We've been where you are right now.

    The pit you are in is huge. 

    It is also completely normal and very very common. You are not alone.

    Don't beat yourself up. In time you will reconcile with the notion that it wasn't meant to be. That's no use now though, time is raw and nothing anyone can say will repair that.

    Relaxin, hormones etc ....yep, fine, good points. BUT if you want to run then you should. HOWEVER, if your body image is whacked then that's another owe it to yourself to get back in shape and strong for your baby, for there will be another one and you will be a cracking mum. You think you look odd? who gives a flying f#ck - you have the strength, you can do this, you think anyone smirking at your body in running gear has even half the strenght and courage you've got? 

    There is a time when the introspection must cease, and the building goes on. You'll know when that time is - don't rush.



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