Interview Series / Pregnant Athletes

UMR’s Interview Series: Lisa Hainstock

Seventh in our interview series is Lisa Hainstock from Charlottesville,Virginia who is pregnant with her first and was almost 39 weeks when interviewed. Some of Lisa’s running highlights have been finishing second in the Milwaukee marathon and breaking the 3 hour barrier, running a 2:56 marathon in Eugene, Oregon last year, and running through 37 weeks of pregnancy.

“Don’t be a baby!”
(I have used this one forever to get me to toughen up during races and workouts.  Not going to lie, sometimes I throw a little F bomb in there.)

Before becoming pregnant, what was your life as an athlete like? I was pretty intense.  I was running 80-100 miles per week and working towards a sub-2:55 marathon time.  I ran doubles 5 days a week, raced regularly, and put a lot of time and mental/physical effort into running.  I am pretty passionate about the sport.

How is training going while pregnant? I have been so lucky.  I have really had a blessed pregnancy.  In the first trimester, I was running 60-70 miles per week.  I raced 2x– a 5K and a 10K– and I still did one workout (modified) and one long-run of 13-15 miles per week.  Some of those first trimester days were SO hard, because I was so tired.  But I almost always found that if I made a deal to go out for 2 miles, I would start feeling better and stretch it into a longer run.  It saved me from morning sickness…or at least helped…some.  The second trimester was a honeymoon. I had crazy energy and often felt like I could run forever.  My paces rebounded to within 30 seconds per mile of pre-pregnancy, and I was able to run ~60 miles per week, decreasing to 50 miles per week by the end of the second tri.  I raced a 5K and a half marathon.  In the third trimester, I started to get a bit bigger, but I was still able to run pain-free for a very long time.  I started at 50 miles per week and decreased to 40 miles per week by week 37. I cut out all workouts by 30 weeks, but I was still doing one double digit long run per week.

At 37 weeks…. my body changed dramatically.  The relaxin hormone set in and my hips felt completely wonky!  I could no longer run without pain.  So here I am now, ~ 39 weeks, doing elliptical and spinning.  Thrilled that I am still able to work out but definitely missing running!  It was a great ride though!

What has been the biggest change you’ve experienced running while pregnant?  Slowing down!  I feel like the effort stayed the same, but my paces slowed almost immediately.  It was nice to see a rebound in paces in the second trimester though.

What has motivated you to continue running through pregnancy?  I can’t get enough of the endorphins I feel while and after running.  I also love knowing I am doing something so healthy for me and my baby.  It really comes down to wanting to give her the best of everything.  Starting now. It is crazy to think that running was taboo for pregnant women not too long ago.

What are your current training/racing ambitions for 2014?  I would love to break 2:55 in the marathon.  I also have some work to do in the 5K, which I am terrible at.  It would be nice to see a 17:xx some time down the line.  I just need to be patient on the comeback trail!

Any advice you have for other pregnant runners trying to balance it all?  Just get out there and do what you can!  Even if you can only get 2 miles in, get outside and do it.  And do not beat yourself up about skipping a run.  As passionate as I am about running, there were days when I went out for a run (after making the usual “2-mile deal”) and DID bag it because I felt horrible.  Or just napped. And IT WAS OK!  And the next day was almost always so much better.


Interested in sharing your experience for our Athlete-Mom Interview Series? Contact Lacy at





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