Sunday, June 3, 2012

How to Run a Half Marathon While Pregnant

1. Ask an Expert

Although I would love to consider myself an expert on this and most everything else, I, sadly, am not.  The below is what worked for me, but if you are pregnant and wanting to run, please talk to your OB/GYN or midwife first.  I was immediately cleared by my OB/GYN because I have had a healthy pregnancy up to this point and was comfortable with running longish distances before I became pregnant. 

2. Train Smart

Turns out that before I was with child (so creepy to say that)  I didn’t pay much attention to how I treated my body while running.  With the exception of 8 mile or longer runs, I would just lace up my shoes and start, without paying attention to what I had eaten or how hydrated I was.  This had to change immediately once another body was depending on my body being properly hydrated and my blood sugar levels staying level.  I even ate a small snack before 3 mile runs and switched my morning coffee for a huge glass of water.

Another aspect of my training that changed was that I trained a lot less.  The first trimester sucked the life out of me and there were many days when I was simply too tired to run, so I didn’t. 

3. Carb Load

I know, duh.  But I had to include the wonderful spaghetti that Dan made me for dinner the night before the race. 

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(Dan also had to carb load for his big day of taking a nap on the couch.  Hehehe.)

And then dessert.  Ice cream = the best kind of carb loading. 

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I also had a bowl of cereal a few hours before start time. 

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4. Find a Running Buddy

Courtney is officially the best running buddy ever.

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She was great at pacing me, would warn me when another hill was coming, and asked me at least 10 times how I was feeling. 

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She also had a great energy throughout the race – cheered with the cheerleaders, rocked out to the bands we passed, and said “thank you” to every single police officer who was helping block traffic.  I loved it. 

5. Hydrate

I stopped at every.single.water station.  This was a huge change from my last half, where I didn’t take a sip of water until the end.  I also munched on some Sports Beans throughout the race to keep my blood sugar nice and up. 

6. Enjoy Your Surroundings

Running through my home city was one of the coolest things I have done.  I feel like every building, street, or park reminded me of an event or time in my life.  We even ran through my college campus and right past the pharmacy school building.  I don’t miss that place. 

7. Let Everyone Know That You Are Pregnant

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This wasn’t my motivation for making the shirt, but it sure was nice to get some extra cheers from fellow runners and spectators.  Some people told me “that is so awesome.”  One woman even said, “What a great role model.”  I will take all the ego boosters I can get around mile 9 when I feel like all the energy has drained from my body.  :)

8. Slow Down

I have heard some people say that pregnancy doesn’t low them down, but for me to feel comfortable and stay safe I slowed my pace while training and during the race. I also walked about 30 seconds through each water station while I was drinking the water. I finished this race in about 2 hours and 20 minutes, which is around 13 minutes slower than my first half. However, I am still very proud of that time because this course was freaking hilly.

Race Results for Running Events - Active.com

9. Refuel

After Courtney and I crossed the finish line we immediately headed to get the treat bags and sit in the fountains.

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One of the most awesome things about this race is that they gave out flip flops at the end.  Just the cool down my feet needed!

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Then we went to Wendy’s where I ordered a frosty shake.  My favorite part about running. 

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10. Celebrate

After a nice long afternoon of the couch Dan and I got dressed (and weirdly matched)

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and headed out to dinner with friends.

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We went to Thai Place, where I ordered my love, green curry beef.  I wanted to swim in that sauce. 

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We spent the rest of the night walking around the plaza and enjoying the beautiful weather. 

I want to say THANK YOU to all of your very sweet comments yesterday.  I also announced my pregnancy on my personal FaceBook page and knowing that at the end of the race I would be able to read everyone’s reactions helped motivate me to finish.  You guys are the best.

6 comments:

  1. Congratulations on finishing the race and on your pregnancy. Now I know what those morning meetings your cousin has referenced really mean...

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  2. Love the shirt! And I LOVE that the race passed out flip flops afterward - brilliant!

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  3. I came across this post on google while looking into the possibility of training for a half while pregnant. I was just scanning the post, until I realized which race you ran. I did the 10K (at apparently like 2 days pregnant, but whatever :). Just wanted to say congrats on running the half! That is a tough course pregnant or not, I'm not sure I'd have the balls to do the half.

    Just wanted to say hi from a local stranger! :)
    Ashley - aka the domestic wannabe
    http://thedomesticwannabe.blogspot.com

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  4. Amazing!!! Just read this after being diagnosed w a stress frac to my knee! I was training for a half and the DH and I were going to begin trying for our second child! Great to hear I may be able to train for the spring! This was super motivational - thanks

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  5. Thank you for sharing! I'm in the KC area and doing some research.... for a half I'm planning to run in May with some friends in Lawrence. This will be my 3rd half and looking for some tips for training this race! ;-)

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