Posts Tagged ‘ healthy ’

Running a Marathon at 38 Weeks Pregnant? That’s Just Plain Stupid.

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

I’m a marathoner. And I have a baby. But running 26.2 miles while pregnant? I don’t think so. I wouldn’t do it at any stage of my pregnancy.

It’s being reported all over the place: the woman who ran the Chicago Marathon this weekend at 38 weeks pregnant, giving birth hours later. Sorry folks, but I think that’s just plain stupid.

The year and a half before I got pregnant I ran Chicago, Boston and New York. It’s not like you wake up and decide to run a marathon. There is extensive training involved. I’m going to take a wild leap here and guess that she trained throughout her entire pregnancy. Which means running in excess of 18 miles on a fairly regular basis in her 3rd trimester. No doubt about it, she put her body through some extreme stress.

Look, I’m all for staying in shape during your pregnancy. I ran through a decent deal of my first pregnancy. But more like 3 miles a few times a week. I ran slow, and took it easy.  No sprinting. At around 5 months I just decided to stop running in lieu of long hikes combined with lunges–which are low impact. When I asked my doctor about running hard, he said, “Why have a baby bouncing around in there like that? It just doesn’t sound like a great idea.” And I agreed. It seemed well, dare I say, logical??

Yeah, I know, baby seems fine. Yeah, I know, she did a run/walk, finishing in 6 hours and 25 minutes (that’s about a 15 minute mile).  But I think common sense should intervene on this one.

Forget the science. You are carrying a baby, not a bowling ball. This living, breathing thing is being sloshed around in your belly like a ship caught in a storm at sea. Who thinks that sounds like fun? As someone who gets massively seasick, not I.  But it goes beyond that. When you become pregnant, priorities naturally have to shift. Or at least they should. And in case she doesn’t know, some of these sacrifices continue for the next, oh, 18 years.

Lastly, don’t forget, this was a choice. She wasn’t forced to flee from her burning village or walk 26.2 miles to a refuge camp. She made a conscious decision to do this. I truly think she was putting her own needs (and maybe those of the spotlight) in front of her baby on this one.

I just hope she is equipped for the marathon of motherhood. And the sacrifices that follow.

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