When I headed off to college, I bumped it up a little and used the Stairmaster in the fitness center on a regular basis, but I wasn’t working up a big sweat. Something happened during my sophomore year and I started to run. One day I heard that my dad had run a three mile loop around our house. After a few weeks, I heard that he was doing this pretty consistently and I decided that there was no way that my father was going to be able to run more than I could; so I started to run.
By my senior year of college I was running 3 miles fairly regularly when a professor told me to come for a run one Sunday morning. The next thing I knew I was doing a 3 mile speed workout with a one mile warm-up and a one mile cool down. I had never run this far, nor timed a run, but when he said that in four weeks we would be going to a half marathon, I couldn’t say no.
Since then, I have run 21 marathons, countless road races, endless training runs, and even coached cross country and track teams.
Since then, I have had a baby and I ran and swam each day until he was born. In fact, his middle name is Miles because we ran the Boston Marathon together when I was 13 weeks pregnant.
When I discovered that I was pregnant, I was less than two months away from running the Boston Marathon, and was slated to run a ten miler the next morning. I immediately began to look up advice about running during pregnancy and couldn’t find much. I decided I would see a doctor in a few weeks and would just keep on running! I ran the 10 mile race in the snow and ran another 10 miles the next day with one of the Windsor Running coaches.
What did I learn that might help others?
*I learned that as long as you were a runner before getting pregnant, you can safely keep running during pregnancy.
*I learned that buying expensive pregnancy running stuff is not necessary. In fact, most of your stuff will work fine during pregnancy and when it doesn’t, go to Target and buy some inexpensive Champion sports bras and shirts one size up and you will be fine.
*I learned that many people talk about needing to pee all the time on a run when they are pregnant and that didn’t happen to me. That happened to me when I started to run 11 days after giving birth, but I survived that.
*I learned that one of the only things I found online was the suggestion of getting a pregnancy band and this too is not necessary.
*I learned that you naturally slow down as the months go on, so you don’t need to worry about watching your speed.
*I learned that getting a more supportive shoe can help, but it is also heavier and that isn’t so much fun so be warned!
*I learned that swimming would also help me keep up the running and so I swam lots of laps and stretched out my bathing suit a lot. When it go to be too much, I got a tankini and that was great for the rest of the way.
What were the annoying things and what others should look out for:
*At around week 30, I experienced a lot pain when trying to take on and off shorts (or underwear for that matter). I discovered that I had something called Round Ligament Pain and I decided to just ignore it and guess what, it went away. At about week 35 I joined a pre-natal yoga class and that also helped. Oh and I also picked up my swimming to at least three times per week and this probably helped too.
*I’ve always been a faster runner than my husband, but that eventually changed. At about month 6, we could comfortably run together for the first time in a while, but about month 8, he could run ahead if I let him.
*My husband (and likely others) started to get worried about me on runs by myself as my due date approached. With one week to go, I made the compromise of only running to the track and around the track for my 3 mile runs---it helped that said track was located across the street from the hospital where I was set to deliver.
*I went swimming 9 days after delivering and that felt GREAT! I never felt so light or fast in the water. I went running 11 days after delivering and I felt like a broken horse at first but pushed through a slow 3 mile run. While the speed and distance took a while to build back up, it eventually happened.
Where am I now? I am happy to report that in many ways I am a faster runner than before. I actually run less, mostly because I don’t have the time, and that was hard and is hard, but the times I’ve been running at 5ks, 10ks, 10 milers, and the marathon I ran a year after giving birth (a BQ), have all made it a bit more okay.