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10326 Views 32 Replies Latest reply: Mar 13, 2007 3:19 PM by lamerunner 1 2 3 Previous Next
mayfield017 Rookie 75 posts since
Oct 12, 2005
Currently Being Moderated

Feb 26, 2007 4:30 PM

Boston while pregnant....

Ok, this is embarrassing, but I'm smack in the middle of my training for Boston (been using Pfitz's 18 wk/70 mpw plan) and yup, just found out I'm pregnant with my third kid. Sigh. All other emotions aside...is it possible and not completely foolish to still want to go to Boston and just participate...not race? I would plan on taking it slow and walking when necessary. I've still been running since I found out, just keeping it slow and drinking lots of water. I'd really appreciate your opinion.

Thanks!

  • PacerChris Amateur 740 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Feb 26, 2007 4:37 PM (in response to mayfield017)
    Re: Boston while pregnant....

    I ran last year while expecting a kid - huge PR, too.  My wife did complain a little that being a pregnant spectator was tough, but I managed to soldier through and not let her pregnancy disrupt my training too much!   !http://www.coolrunning.com/forums/wink.gif|src=http://www.coolrunning.com/forums/wink.gif|border=0!

    Good luck - I would check with some experts (including your doctor) about how much exertion you can handle.  I've heard about women running marathons while pregnant and it's definitely doable, but I doubt they were going at their full-out pace.

  • Johnny J013 Rookie 351 posts since
    May 21, 2003
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Dec 20, 2007 10:12 PM (in response to mayfield017)
    Re: Boston while pregnant....

    How many weeks will you be mid-April?  I don't know why I'm asking, as the answer would be the same-- ask you Ob.  I wouldn't take advice from anyone here (no offense intended to many well meaning posters, but advice from someone that can't be held accountable, you know nothing about their background, etc. would seem flimsy at best for an important question such as this).

    I did find this link from a sports medicine doc's slide show-- a google search, don't know validity of info. but it looks like a presentation given for a medical talk. A couple things I came across-- it's not unprecedented. There are theoretical risks of causing birth defects from overheating during the first trimester (keep careful watch on your body temp. during exercise-- cooler is better). None of these seem to have borne out in studies on humans. Sample sizes are small and it's not well studied.

    And above all-- consult with your own doctor, who will be aware of your personal medical conditions and needs.

    http://www.sportsmed.iu.edu/presentations/ExcerciseInPregnancy_Public.PDF[/URL" target="_blank">

    Good luck.

    edited to add link-- forgot!

    [http://This message has been edited by Johnny J (edited Feb-26-2007).|http://This message has been edited by Johnny J (edited Feb-26-2007).]

    [http://This message has been edited by Johnny J (edited Feb-26-2007).|http://This message has been edited by Johnny J (edited Feb-26-2007).]

  • runninlaw Amateur 983 posts since
    Mar 13, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Feb 27, 2007 3:17 PM (in response to mayfield017)
    Re: Boston while pregnant....

    Yep - ask your doctor.  It probably all depends on your history during your last 2 pregnancies. And be prepared to play it all by ear.  If it is 80 degrees on April 16, you probably shouldn't do it.  I can't remember exactly what my OB told me during my pregnancies, but I believe the key is that you do not want your body temp to rise too much during exercise.  So racing is most likely out.  But running it easy, stopping at every aid station, etc., may be doable.  Good luck and congrats on the baby!!!!

  • shufflingfeet Rookie 2 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Feb 28, 2007 1:19 AM (in response to mayfield017)
    Re: Boston while pregnant....

    Hi there.  Just wanted to add my $0.02.  I found out I was pregnant and was just starting to taper for a December marathon.  When I went to see my OB at my 6wk appointment, I asked her about my upcoming marathon and she said to do whatever was comfortable, but not to overdo it. I made sure she understood that this meant running 26.2miles while 8 weeks pregnant.  She was totally fine with it, although I'm not sure all OBs would be.  I was feeling great and had very little morning sickness and so I did end up running that marathon while 8wk pregnant but wore a heartrate monitor to keep in check.  Since I was early on, my pace had not slowed that much (and I actually requalified for Boston).  The other aspect is that the temps were cool so little risk of overheating (unlike Boston where the temps can soar into the 70s-80s if you're unlucky). 

    You say you just found out you're pregnant, so I'm guessing you will be around 11-12wk or so pregnant at the time of Boston.  I found that my pace dropped dramatically as the pregnancy weeks passed, and running a marathon now while in my 2nd trimester would be completely out of the question, even with walking.  If you're 11-12wk along, I would say this is still early enough to be doable, but obviously not to race it.  Check with your OB, but realize that he/she may have differing opinions.

  • maryt091 Pro 781 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Feb 28, 2007 6:19 AM (in response to mayfield017)
    Re: Boston while pregnant....

    Just my opnion, but I would be worried as much about the stress hormones produced when you run over 3 hours and your glycogen reserves deplete, even more the risks of dehydration and overheating.  Corticoids produced at that time depress your immune system and have been shown to cause birth defects. 

    Frankly, I just don't get it. Running a marathon puts a lot of stress on your body - way way  way more than runnning a 10k or even a half marathon.  Running short distances is probably beneficial drung pregnancy.  But a marathon?  Yes, some women have done it, but not very many and there aren't very many studies. Also, some problems or slight abnormalities may not show up for years - not until learning problems in school for example, so just because you don't miscarry during a marathon doesn't mean you have done no harm.  It is known that stress hormones can be harmful to a pregnancy, and so can overheating, and dehydration surely isn't good either and all those are likely to occur at Boston.  Is running Boiston that important to you that would take any risk with your unborn child?  Of course, it's up to you, but Boston is every year, your baby is being made only once.

  • sistergoldenhair Rookie 104 posts since
    Jul 9, 2003
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Feb 28, 2007 7:15 PM (in response to mayfield017)
    Re: Boston while pregnant....

    Depending on what your doctor says and the weather, what a great story to tell your baby when he/she is older! "We ran Boston together."

  • maryt091 Pro 781 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Dec 20, 2007 10:12 PM (in response to mayfield017)
    Re: Boston while pregnant....

    quote:


    Originally posted by mayfield:

    And as for stress hormones...that's what this baby is going to be made of! Don't worry, I don't plan on taking any legitimate risks...that's why I'm researching it as much as possible as is my ob since she isn't a runner.

    Thanks again all!


     


    mayfield
    I'm not sure what your comment about your baby being made of stress hormones means - seems sort of cavalier to me, but hopefully I'm misreading that. What I was talking about is the fact that your body can produce very high levels of cortisol when your glycogen reserves get low during a marathon and that recent studies show cortisol may cause damage to a fetus in addition to depressing your immune system. Not something to dismiss so lightly.

    Unfortunately while all research shows running in general is basically very good for everyone, that doesn't seem to be the case for marathons. There's evidence of heart damage in marathoners, major risks of electrolyte imbalance, elevated body temperature, dehydration, etc., and sometimes those can happen without your being aware of it. Is that good for a child you are carrying with you? Somehow I doubt it. Better to err on the side of caution when it's not your body alone to consider.

    One other serious consideration. Will you be aware if you need to stop? Once the race starts there's that tendancy to ignore everything else - that why so many end up in med tents. Will you really stop at mile 23 or 24 if you are overheating, in order to protect your baby, or will you be so focused on finishing those last few miles that you won't even be aware that your temp is too high? My own temp goes up 2-3 degrees duing a long run and I wasn't aware of it at all until I checked my temp after one run just to see.

    If you do need to stop what will you do? What if you are miles from a medical tent?  It may not be a big problem for your health, but will a long wait hurt your baby if you're not close to a med tent?  I' ve heard several horror stories about long delays on the course in getting back to where friends can pick you up. 

    Right now no one knows for sure how much the stress put on your body will harm your baby. It just seems to me that when there are such obvious risks as elevated body temperature (even in cool weather), electrolyte imbalance, excess stress hormone production, dehydration, etc., and there haven't been enough studies to know how much if any the stress you are putting on your own body might harm your baby, the wisest course would be to avoid doing something that might hurt your baby, rather than run Boston anyway.  There's always another Boston, not another chance for your baby if you or your doc guess wrong.

    [http://This message has been edited by maryt (edited Mar-01-2007).|http://This message has been edited by maryt (edited Mar-01-2007).]

  • runningforfreedom Amateur 163 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Mar 1, 2007 7:20 AM (in response to mayfield017)
    Re: Boston while pregnant....

    What I have read in reguards to running and pregnance say you dan do the same as you were already doing before pregnancy, but not to add to it... so I tranlslate that to mean do not add distance, or speed... just my 2 cents, but then I am not a Dr, nor am I pregnant.  !http://www.coolrunning.com/forums/smile.gif|src=http://www.coolrunning.com/forums/smile.gif|border=0!

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  • donnyl Amateur 587 posts since
    Nov 9, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Mar 1, 2007 12:31 PM (in response to mayfield017)
    Re: Boston while pregnant....

    Since this is an opinion forum and you asked, I'll give you my opinion. You would be both foolish and selfish to run/walk a marathon in April.Why take the risk? Can you live with the consequences if something goes terribly wrong? I agree with Mary, what are you thinking?

  • kspowell Amateur 263 posts since
    Jul 8, 2004
    Currently Being Moderated
    13. Mar 1, 2007 12:40 PM (in response to mayfield017)
    Re: Boston while pregnant....

    Maybe you should invest in a HR monitor.  That way, you can start training with it now and learn the ranges at which you are comfortable.  Several guidelines I have seen recommend not going over 75% MHR during pregnancy.  If you learn where you feel safe (HR wise) now, you can rely on that info during the race too.  I would expect it to be tough to gauge your effort subjectively (w/o HR monitor) during the race with nervous energy and the excitement of all the spectators.  Good luck in Boston.  I'll be there too!

    --


    <br /><a href="http://interwovendesign.com/kick/userdisplay.php3?username=kspowell" target="_blank">...on your left![/URL" target="_blank"><br />Positive thoughtsnegative splits!

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