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15682 Views 42 Replies Latest reply: Sep 8, 2008 5:42 PM by Back in the Saddle RSS 1 2 3 Previous Next
kaitlingarrett Rookie 23 posts since
Apr 23, 2006
Currently Being Moderated

Sep 5, 2007 10:06 PM

my first marathon and pregnant?

I have been training for my first marathon and have reached 22 miles in my long run.  I was feeling a little slower and slowed down.  I felt discouraged until I found out I am pregnant.  I will be 12 weeks pregnant  at marathon time!  This is my fourth pregnancy.  I ran until about 22 weeks with my previous pregnancies.  If Dr. gives me the go ahead should I?  Anyone experienced this?  Thanks!

  • jme76 Rookie 17 posts since
    Jul 11, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Sep 5, 2007 10:28 PM (in response to kaitlingarrett)
    Re: my first marathon and pregnant?

    I say Go for it!  But, ONLY if you can pace yourself and not "race."  According to current research and everything that I have read, it should be fine as long as you keep it at an easy pace, stay hydrated and don't overheat.  My doctor told me that I can continue running as long as I'm running at a pace where I can carry a conversation.  If you are a competitive person, and know that you won't be able to go slow (and take walk breaks if necessary), then I wouldn't recommend it.  Other than that, definately get your doctor's approval first.   Also, if you're really worried about it and have any doubts, then just skip this one.  You can always re-focus on marathons after baby.

    That's just my input. I'm not a doctor, or an exercise physiologist or any type of expert. But, I am a mom and a pregnant runner that has done some serious research on the topic.

    Good luck!  Happy pregnancy and happy running!

  • 4leafclover087 Rookie 70 posts since
    Aug 20, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Sep 5, 2007 10:57 PM (in response to kaitlingarrett)
    Re: my first marathon and pregnant?

    I know it would probably be OK but......is it really worth the risk?  Thats really what you need to ask yourself, weight the pros and cons.  Even if it's 99% safe theres still that 1%?
    26.2 miles is a tough run even for the most experienced runner and I could only imagine running for 2 would be extra hard on the body. I totally believe that running while pregnant is OK, but it's the high mileage that I would be concerned about.

    Everyone will have different opinions and storys about this topic, but the bottom line is that everyones body handles things differently. One person can do it with no problem but the next may not.

    If you are in touch with your body and are comfortable in knowing your limits you will figure out the right thing to do.

    Good Luck!

  • liebling Rookie 39 posts since
    Aug 26, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Sep 5, 2007 11:47 PM (in response to kaitlingarrett)
    Re: my first marathon and pregnant?

    Your core temperature is what is at risk here.  If it rises too high, your child could be at risk for birth defects.  It is NOT the jostling of the motion, but your body temp that is in question.  Is a marathon, a one-time event, worth possibly risking your child's health? 

    You need to seek expert advice not available on this forum, my friend. Seek your doctor's, or several doctor's, detailed and personally suited to you, opinions.

    Please.


    Liebling

  • maryt091 Pro 781 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Sep 6, 2007 6:07 AM (in response to kaitlingarrett)
    Re: my first marathon and pregnant?

    It's very hard to give up the idea once you've put in all that training, but your baby should come first.  Skip the marathon.

    Keeping up with some running while you are pregnant appears to be good for both you and your baby, but a marathon is a whole lot different from doing short runs during pregnancy. The problem of your core temperature rising which is pretty hard to avoid for a full marathon is known to be harmful to your baby.

    Hydration and electrolyte balance can also be a real problem for many people. One third of runners tested were low on sodium levels after one Boston marathon. Remember, that's not only happening to you, but to your growing baby as well.

    There is also the factor of glycogen depletion and the increase of stress hormones to consider. These don't come into play for shorter runs but are a problem after 2 hours once your reserves run low. It's known that these hormones depress your immune system and recent studies indicate that too high a level may have bad effects on a growing baby, effects that may not appear until several years after birth. It's beeen in the news that high levels of stress during pregnancy can be bad for your baby and have negative effects on behavior, blood pressure, etc. that last their whole lifetime - because of the excess production of cortisol, the same hormone that goes skyhigh when your glycogen gets depelted after a couple of hours in a marathon.

    Some of these studies are fairly recent, so I wouldn't be surprised that even some doctors may not be up on the latest info, and I also think some non-running docs are not aware of just how much a marathon takes out of you, especially how much the level of cortisol increases, compared to running shorter distances, so I wouldn't say go for it even if your doc thinks it is OK.

    Bottom line, there will be other opportunities for you to run  a marathon in the future, but your baby has only one chance to develop properly.

  • Brian McN Amateur 240 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Sep 6, 2007 7:18 AM (in response to kaitlingarrett)
    Re: my first marathon and pregnant?

    Don't do it no matter what your doctor says.  This is not something that you can live for the rest of your life if something goes wrong.

  • biketm Pro 434 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Sep 6, 2007 7:42 AM (in response to kaitlingarrett)
    Re: my first marathon and pregnant?

    Just thought I would throw this one out there....does this same race offer a 1/2M? Just a suggestion. I don't think 13.1 would be near as taxing as a full. And if you explained your situation, I'm sure they would let you switch.

    Good luck no matter what you decide.

    Tim

  • DanMoriarity Rookie 805 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Sep 6, 2007 8:22 AM (in response to kaitlingarrett)
    Re: my first marathon and pregnant?

    quote:


    Originally posted by maryt:

    It's very hard to give up the idea once you've put in all that training, but your baby should come first. Skip the marathon.

    Keeping up with some running while you are pregnant appears to be good for both you and your baby, but a marathon is a whole lot different from doing short runs during pregnancy. The problem of your core temperature rising which is pretty hard to avoid for a full marathon is known to be harmful to your baby.

    Hydration and electrolyte balance can also be a real problem for many people. One third of runners tested were low on sodium levels after one Boston marathon. Remember, that's not only happening to you, but to your growing baby as well.

    There is also the factor of glycogen depletion and the increase of stress hormones to consider. These don't come into play for shorter runs but are a problem after 2 hours once your reserves run low. It's known that these hormones depress your immune system and recent studies indicate that too high a level may have bad effects on a growing baby, effects that may not appear until several years after birth. It's beeen in the news that high levels of stress during pregnancy can be bad for your baby and have negative effects on behavior, blood pressure, etc. that last their whole lifetime - because of the excess production of cortisol, the same hormone that goes skyhigh when your glycogen gets depelted after a couple of hours in a marathon.

    Some of these studies are fairly recent, so I wouldn't be surprised that even some doctors may not be up on the latest info, and I also think some non-running docs are not aware of just how much a marathon takes out of you, especially how much the level of cortisol increases, compared to running shorter distances, so I wouldn't say go for it even if your doc thinks it is OK.

    Bottom line, there will be other opportunities for you to run a marathon in the future, but your baby has only one chance to develop properly.


     



    Maryt is exactly right on this one. By all means keep running, but a marathon is a huge and unnecessary risk.

  • GeekRunner081 Rookie 118 posts since
    Jan 6, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Sep 6, 2007 8:56 AM (in response to kaitlingarrett)
    Re: my first marathon and pregnant?

    Even if everything goes right and the baby is born in fantastic health, he or she will find ways to make you wish you hadn't done the marathon. Thirteen years from now, your child will say "I have zits because my mother ran a marathon while she was pregnant with me. I'm overweight because my mother ran a marathon. My grades are suffering, my nose is too big, my sweetheart broke up with me, I didn't make the soccer team, the dog bit me, all because my mother ran a marathon." Teenagers are very good at that stuff.

  • 4boysmom Rookie 1,018 posts since
    Dec 10, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Sep 6, 2007 9:52 AM (in response to kaitlingarrett)
    Re: my first marathon and pregnant?

    I say go for it.  I wouldn't go for a BQ or PR though.  Watch your HR and temp.  Have a plan if you need to DNF.

    I bicycled pregnant.  Certainly not the same thing as running.  I did a 2-day 210mile ride with all four pregnancies.  I explained to the doctor what I had planned to do and he gave me the go ahead.  He was most concerned about HR.  The worst thing that happened was with son #4.  I was 32weeks and he turned footling breech.  Guess it was more comfortable?  He did turn again at 38weeks and was born a week later at 9lb 4oz.

  • mrinertia Pro 1,310 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Sep 6, 2007 9:57 AM (in response to kaitlingarrett)
    Re: my first marathon and pregnant?

    quote:


    Originally posted by GeekRunner:

    Even if everything goes right and the baby is born in fantastic health, he or she will find ways to make you wish you hadn't done the marathon. Thirteen years from now, your child will say "I have zits because my mother ran a marathon while she was pregnant with me. I'm overweight because my mother ran a marathon. My grades are suffering, my nose is too big, my sweetheart broke up with me, I didn't make the soccer team, the dog bit me, all because my mother ran a marathon." Teenagers are very good at that stuff.


     



    Oh, puh-leeze! Like kids need an excuse to blame their parents for something! Part of our jobs as parents, after all, is to give the kids something to talk to their therapists about later in life !http://www.coolrunning.com/forums/wink.gif|src=http://www.coolrunning.com/forums/wink.gif|border=0!

    That being said, for the reasons outlined by most posters above, skip the marathon.

    ----



    Sanity is pretty much a one trick pony. When you're sane, that's all you got - just rational thought. But if you're crazy - whoa! The skies the limit!

  • catwoman73 Rookie 105 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Sep 6, 2007 6:00 PM (in response to kaitlingarrett)
    Re: my first marathon and pregnant?

    DH and I are planning to start trying to get pregnant within the next few months.  I am continuing to train right now as if I will be running my first marathon in late spring, as planned.  If I get pregnant before then, however, that plan will immediately go out the window, and I will aim to maintain fitness during pregnancy, rather than increasing it. 

    I think the fact that you have already reached the 22 mile mark may change things a little. If you have already run 22 miles while pregnant, I don't think another 4.2 is going to do you or the baby any harm (though please- check with your doc!). As long as you are able to just run it at a nice, slow training pace. I, personally, can't do that. I get way too caught up in the race atmosphere, and end up moving at race pace almost involuntarily. Only you know if you can slow it down in a race atmosphere, so base your decision on that.

    If you doctor gives you the OK, and you really want to run it, but are a little skeptical, check out chapter 12 in "The Complete Book of Running for Women" by Claire Kowalchik. Lots of good information there to help you make a decision. And- I don't recall where I read about it, but I know I've read plenty of articles about women who have run marathons even very close the their due date! See if you can find some of those articles for inspiration.

    Good luck, and congratulations!

    ----



    ME![/URL" target="_blank">

  • vermontjen Rookie 24 posts since
    Jul 25, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. Sep 7, 2007 8:38 AM (in response to kaitlingarrett)
    Re: my first marathon and pregnant?

    So, everyone has a different opinion and most everything you read says that with doctor's OK and within certain parameters it's OK, and I know there are loads of women out there that have happily and healtfully run through pregnancies (including my sister-in-law and close friends and you).   But if something goes wrong, and it may not, but if something goes wrong, it is very possible that in addition to the sadness of losing a baby, you may carry the guilt of "what it I didn't...." for loads of things you did or didn't do, and that would extend to running the marathon.

    I ran a pretty hilly 10K in May while about 10 wks PG and had a M/C a few weeks later. My doc assured me that it wasn't running related, I had talked to her about running pregnant and was encouraged to continue running based on my running history and with all the caveats discussed above. But it still happened and while my BRAIN knows it is unlikely that running caused it, my HEART still wonders. You have to decide if the marathon is worth that. My 10K wasn't.

    Congratulations on your fourth pregnancy (and the ability to train for a marathon with three kiddos! WOW!), and I wish you a healthy and happy pregnancy whatever you decide.

  • maryt091 Pro 781 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    13. Sep 7, 2007 5:13 PM (in response to kaitlingarrett)
    Re: my first marathon and pregnant?

    Unfortunately, unless there are lots of cases to study - and there certainly haven't been a lot of women running marathons while pregnant - long term effects of risky things that happen during pregnancy just aren't known. Many women smoked during pregnancy and most of their babies appeared to be healthy at birth. It wasn't until long term studies were done that it was realized more of those babies had more colds, more infections, and were overall slower learners than children of mothers who did not smoke. The drug Thalidomide caused obvious birth defects, but Diethylstilbestrol given to many pregnant women before 1971 was later shown to cause increases in vaginal and breast cancer and sterility in their daughters - serious effects not realized until 20-30 years after birth, when their babies couldn't have babies of their own!

    So that's why I say no one truly knows at this point what harm running a marathon can do or has done to a fetus along for the ride, even if a handful of women have completed marathons and their babies appeared to be healthy at birth. Elevated body temperature for several hours as is likely to happen during a marathon (elevated body temperatures of 2-3 degrees or more happen routinely during marathons), or electrolyte imbalances, or a period of dehydration, or those elevated levels of cortisol that don't appear in shorter races where you don't run low on muscle glycogen - it's known that all those things can be bad for a fetus taken alone, but nobody knows just how bad they might effect any one person in any particular marathon. Nobody knows what the effect might be on any particular fetus either, but seems like most would agree there is at least some extra risk compared with running shorter distances.

    Another thing that would concern me is the ability to stop if you do overheat, or have electrolyte problems, or run low on glycogen and start producing too much cortisol. Would you realize you were running into trouble or would the adrenaline of the race prevent you from realizing how bad you might be getting? Even if you did know, how easy would it be to quit and get back to your car or relatives? I've heard many a horror story about people with pulled muscles, dehydration, etc. having well more than an hour to get back, unless they appeared bad enough for an ambulance! Had that experience myself one Boston. It was 30 minutes at an aid station to wait for the medical bus, and over 90 minutes on the bus to get to the main med tent at the finish, and one person on our bus was in really bad shape and disoriented.

    So, consider you have more than yourself to consider,  and that marathon experiences, especially your first, can be very unpredictable.  Regardless of what you decide, best wishes for you both!

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