Labor is the real marathon! All my running is in preparation for delivery!
Since launching UMR, I have had the great fortune of virtually “meeting” dozens of running moms. The number one reason moms reach out to UMR is to find “other like-minded moms/moms to be).” Although the UMR community has formed because of a common purpose, it is essential to recognize that each of us has a highly individualized experience. I couldn’t help but feel that there was value within our mom-to-mom discussions and from that an idea formed–UMR’s Interview Series!
First in our interview series is Rebecca, a Texan living in Birmingham, Alabama, and a first grade teacher who was 31 weeks along at the time of this interview. She ran a 10 minute PR in the Chicago marathon at 4 weeks pregnant (3:39:06), only 4 minutes from BQing. She qualified as a “marathon maniac” after running another marathon the next weekend at 5 weeks pregnant (3:43 in Chattanooga, TN, 7 Bridges Marathon). At 29 weeks along Rebecca ran a 5k and finished 3rd overall female with 24:51.
Before becoming pregnant, what was your life as an athlete like? I ran 4-5 days a week–met with friends at 4:30 or 5:00 AM for week day runs, speedwork on the track once a week with running coach Alex Morrow, and Saturday long run with Birmingham Track Club. I’m currently hacking away at my marathon time to eventually qualify for Boston.
How is training going while pregnant? After my back-to-back marathons (4 and 5 weeks along), I was exhausted from the marathons and then fatigue set in around weeks 7-12. I only put in 66 miles in that month! Once I entered the 2nd trimester I was able to put in 20-30 miles weekly. I have slowed my pace, and I pay attention more to physical cues. I got one massage a month in the first and second trimesters and in the third trimester I get 2 a month. I am also starting to take classes at the gym to try to get stronger all over.
What has been the biggest change you’ve experienced running while pregnant? I cannot run with my friends as often or with as much ease. I get breathless and cannot participate in running conversation as much. I’ve learned to swallow my pride and listen to my body when I feel exhausted rather than push harder and compete (like I would have in the past).
What has motivated you to continue running through pregnancy? Knowing that what I am doing is preparing me physically and mentally for childbirth!!! I also want to give myself the best foot forward (no pun indended 🙂 ) for recovery.
What are your current training/racing ambitions for 2014? Deliver baby end of June sometime ;), take off 4 weeks or so (if there are no complications and recovery goes well), then have 12 weeks to prepare for NYC marathon in November.
Any advice you have for other pregnant runners trying to balance it all? Be easy on yourself and be flexible—one day you will feel great, the next day not so much.
Interested in sharing your experience for our Athlete-Mom Interview Series? Contact Lacy at firstname.lastname@example.org