Racing During Pregnancy: This Mom Has a New Running Partner!


by For Two Fitness August 11, 2011

Today, we are honored to introduce another wonderful guest, Megan Ake, a 27 year old English teacher, avid runner, and completely gorgeous blogger and mom-to-be!  Read on as Megan shares her approach to running, now that she has an extra passenger along for the ride…

 

Why I’m Still Racing While Pregnant
Megan Ake

When I first saw those two pink lines back at the end of April, I was in the midst of a great runner’s high. I’d recently run a sub-two hour half-marathon and had not one, but two marathons lined up for this year, amid other smaller races.

 

That positive pregnancy test was better than any PR or age-group finish I’d ever had, yet I worried that it would change me as a runner and a competitor.

I worried especially because I was to run the Kalamazoo Marathon a mere five days after seeing that positive test.

After much discussion with my doctor and my husband, a bit of incessant Googling and a fight with my own newfound maternal instincts, I decided to still run the race.

In early May, at four weeks pregnant, I set a marathon PR during Kalamazoo. It was my second-ever marathon, and, heading into the race, I set a few guidelines in light of my new “running partner”:

  • Maintain a slower pace than originally planned. I’d wanted to run a 4:15 race, but decided that I would be happy just to finish. I didn’t want time to push me too hard.
  • Stop at every single aid station to walk and rehydrate. Usually I only stop for aid every 5 miles during a long race, but I wanted to ensure proper hydration and rest.
  • Pay very close attention to my body and stop immediately if I felt as though anything was wrong. 

This is a practice I would follow in any race, but now I paid even more attention to anything that seemed out of the ordinary or painful.

I ended up running a 4:28 race, and still I’m happy I made the decision to do it.

 

But I knew that things would have to change, and that marathon racing wouldn’t be in the cards for much longer.

Although I’d pined over running the Chicago Marathon for years, and had finally taken the $150 plunge and signed up for it early this year, being 26 weeks pregnant and running 26.2 miles doesn’t sound safe or comfortable to me, at least.

So I’m giving that one up, but that doesn’t mean I’ll quit running or racing entirely while pregnant.

In fact, I ran a 10k in early July, and there’s an 8k on my race docket for late August. With any luck, I’ll find a few smaller, shorter races in my area in the fall, and of course, baby will be along for the ride.

While I certainly have experienced changes in my running lately (slower pace, more walk breaks), I’m ecstatic to be able to share running and competing with the new life that’s growing inside of me.

And I’ll have a story to share with my future son or daughter: They got to run a marathon at just four weeks “old”!

Read more from Megan at her blog On The Road Again, and follow her on Twitter!

 

 
Tell us what you think:  Has pregnancy changed up your fitness routine?

 




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