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”:
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”!
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