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17189 Views 42 Replies Latest reply: Sep 8, 2008 5:42 PM by Back in the Saddle Go to original post 1 2 3 Previous Next
  • maryt091 Pro 781 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    15. Sep 8, 2007 6:50 AM (in response to kaitlingarrett)
    Re: my first marathon and pregnant?


    Originally posted by kaitlingarrett:

    Thanks for the encouragement. I have been training so long and so hard . I just feel like if I don't do it now that there will always be a reason not to. I mean next year I will be nursing and the next year I may be to old. I am trained now! But the health of my baby is number one!


    It's interesting that with more cautionary than encouraging posts, you answer only one that says go for it!  Maybe I'm unusual, but if it were me, I wouldn't do something if there were any question at all that it might hurt my baby.  I hope that the last part of your statement that the health of your baby is number one is really what you believe, and you hadn't already made up your mind to take a chance on the health of your child and run the marathon before you started the thread and are just looking at amy encouragement you can get and ignoring everything else. I can understand you're still trying to come to grips with the unexpected pregnancy and I swear signing up for a marathon does strange things to one's mind regardless! It's very hard to give up the idea once you've put in all that training - it's like an addiction.

    Ask yourself this. Is running a marathon GOOD for your unborn child? I don't think anyone would say this is something that will benefit your child. Everyone is hoping that it won't be too bad and won't harm your child, but I doubt anyone really thinks it's going to be a positive thing for your baby's health. Running a marathon isn't good for an adult's health, let alone a defensive unborn child who's along for the ride! Instead of just asking your doctor if it's OK to run a marathon, ask your doctor if elevating your temperature 2-3 degrees, having your blood sugar get depleted, raising your cortisol levels, depleting your electrolytes and getting dehydrated is a good thing to do to your baby, because that is what will happen in a marathon. I really don't think most doctors are truly aware of just how much a marathon takes out of you, unless they've worked the medical tents at a major event.

    For sure, don't think you will be too old if you don't run a marathon now.  I've known women who didn't even start running until after their children were in college and ran their first marathon after they were in their fifties!  It's not like if you don't do it now, you'll never do it. You have plenty of time to run a marathon, so there really isn't any need to put running a marathon ahead of  the health of your unborn child.

  • Redrunner4 Rookie 50 posts since
    Sep 27, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    16. Sep 8, 2007 3:17 PM (in response to kaitlingarrett)
    Re: my first marathon and pregnant?

    I know this will be very hard for you.  But I think you should plan on doing this next year.  If you still want to participate in the fun of race day, then maybe the half (if they have one) is the way to go. 

    I had a fabulous first marathon. I could not have asked for a better run.

    And then I felt like my body was shutting down for the next 3 days. I would have highs and lows every hour, I could barely digest food, and had terrible hormonal (i'm was 36 yo female) imbalances afterwards. I saw my doctor for the hormonal problems and she said it was likely due to such an incredible endrance event.

    Either way, best of luck to you and congratulations on your fourth child.  I am sure one day you will say you have four kids and have done four marathons.  

  • kchino009 Rookie 1 posts since
    Dec 2, 2001
    Currently Being Moderated
    17. Sep 8, 2007 4:30 PM (in response to kaitlingarrett)
    Re: my first marathon and pregnant?

    Congratulations! Both on your pregnancy and on your training for your first marathon!

    I am a doctor (though not an OB), and an experienced marathoner (though not fast), and also pregnant (my first!). So you've got more experience with pregnancy than I do. But one thing I've already found, moving into this world of motherhood, is that guilt abounds. If you're not going to blame yourself for every little thing that goes wrong, someone else will do it for you!

    I mean really, folks. "Even if it's safe 99% of the time, what if there's a 1% chance?" You know, eating is safe 99% of the time, but there is a 1% chance you could choke on your food. "You could miscarry and then blame yourself for the rest of your life". Which you could do if you miscarry without running (30% of pregnancies end in miscarriage after all, usually within the first 6-8 wks)- you can always blame yourself for that doughnut you ate, the night you didn't get enough sleep, the cold you got, the fact that you didn't get enough exercise.... "This is your baby's only chance..." to have a fit and proud mother.

    Which is why I fall on the side of those who say "if your doctor oks it, go for it." Because your doctor is the only person around who is actually qualified to evaluate your true medical risks. And there are some real risks, but not many.

    In addition, you're experienced with pregnancy - you'll know if something's wrong.  I've found that my body knows what it's doing - it's not letting me run as fast and it's making me rest more often (and boy, like you said, I was also feeling discouraged until I realized why).  Take it easy, don't get overheated or dehydrated, keep the calories coming in, just aim to finish.  And think of how your child will someday be bragging about how he ran a marathon before he was even born.

  • Bugs34 Amateur 598 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    18. Sep 8, 2007 4:41 PM (in response to kaitlingarrett)
    Re: my first marathon and pregnant?

    As your doctor, and if it were me, I'd probably walk every 5th mile or something like that. I just don't think it's worth it. No big deal to skip it either.

  • Soleilpie Rookie 17 posts since
    Nov 21, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    19. Sep 8, 2007 9:54 PM (in response to kaitlingarrett)
    Re: my first marathon and pregnant?

    I agree with what Dr. kchino said  !|src=|border=0!

    Just listen to your body. I assume you've been running for awhile and know when your body has had enough. Like someone else said, aim to finish versus race.

    Good Luck should you decide to run it.

  • Graciemygirl Rookie 27 posts since
    Apr 12, 2005
    Currently Being Moderated
    24. Sep 8, 2007 10:43 PM (in response to kaitlingarrett)
    Re: my first marathon and pregnant?

    This hits home with me as I was training for Chicago, which would have been my first.  I found out early July that I was PG...I was cautiously hopeful as I have had several miscarriages in the past.  I was sure it would happen again and did not want to quit my training if the inevitable would happen.  But I quit training...prayed and waited.  Of course I miscarried...and was disappointed that it interupped my first try at a marathon.  But in the back of my mind, I will always wonder if my training had anything to do with it.  Would I finally have a baby if I was not training so took 2 months to resolve and I lost my chance for Chicago...but I lost a lot more than that.  It's not worth the lifetime of "What if's" you will be asking yourself if something happened.

    There is always a marathon going on somewhere near far as being "too old" are only as old as you let yourself be.

    Congrats on your pregnancy and please don't take it for granted that all will be well.  Not even the best DR on earth can promise you that.  It's just not worth it.

    Angie Drew 
  • janeausten Amateur 48 posts since
    Oct 4, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    25. Sep 8, 2007 11:43 PM (in response to kaitlingarrett)
    Re: my first marathon and pregnant?

    I'd skip the marathon. Better safe than possibly sorry. Wait a year or two and then use the baby jogger to train.

    What I would like to know is how you had the time and energy while taking care of three kids to train for a marathon and even get pregnant! Way to go!

    Mom of three

  • shirleynarsi Rookie 68 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    26. Sep 9, 2007 2:38 AM (in response to kaitlingarrett)
    Re: my first marathon and pregnant?

    Baby comes first. No question.

    All the best.

  • kristine25 Amateur 530 posts since
    Aug 17, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    27. Sep 9, 2007 10:18 AM (in response to kaitlingarrett)
    Re: my first marathon and pregnant?

    Everytime you wake up in the morning you are taking a risk:

    You could fall down the stairs;
    Some idot could cross the center lane while you are in a car
    You could choke on your food

    The list could go on and on. But do we want to sit on a couch all day and watch TV and always be "Safe". Heck no! You may as well be doing something you love (as long as Doc says it's OK).

    As already stated, I know Heart Rate and core body temps are important but with a Oct. run and a HR monitor, all should be good.

    PS:  A good friend of mine had a unexpected 4th baby a couple of years back.  Man that was hard on her but once the baby was born, she came to realize her family wasn't complete and now she couldn't be happier!!!

  • maryt091 Pro 781 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    28. Dec 26, 2007 6:00 AM (in response to kaitlingarrett)
    Re: my first marathon and pregnant?


    Originally posted by kaitlingarrett:

    Gee you treat me like I am some kind of monster. The only reason I am thinking about not doing the marathon is for the health of my baby. It's not like I am just starting to run. I have been a runner for several years and ran most of the way through three very healthy pregnancies! I am also a nurse. The marathon is in late october in Michigan, I don't expect the temperature to be a stressor. Electrolytes and blood sugars are easily regulated with pleanty of water, sports drinks and knowing when to back off.


    Sorry if I came across a little harsh. I certainly don't think you are some kind of monster, but I am very familiar with the way signing up for a marathon can make people not know when to back off and when to quit. 

    For all those who think that all will be good and you can just use your heart rate monitor or think electrolytes and blood sugar are easily regulated with plenty of water, sports drinks and knowing when to back off, how many marathons have you all run????    NOT that easy! In one test group, 30% of people who finished Boston - experienced runners who thought they knew exactly how to regulate everything - still had low blood sodium.  Not only is it not that easy to regulate your fluid intake and glucose and electrolytes and hydration, for sure it is NOT that easy to know when to back off once you are in the race. For instance, would you really be able to drop out at mile 24 or mile 25 if you were overheating or having some problems, or would you convince yourself you were OK for just 1-2 more miles to complete your first marathon?  Remember, your own body temperature is likely to rise from the exertion, regardless of how hot it happens to be in Michigan; you don't need to have a warm day to have your body temperature rise when you run.   Also, if you decide to run your marathon in late October, would you still be intending to continue with your long runs now while it is still hot?  Any runs over 3 hours are a problem in themselves with glycogen depletion in addition to the temperature, electrolyte and hydration issues - it's not just the marathon; it's the long runs during training that could be a problem for you and you unborn child. 

    Even if you could hydrate perfectly, keep your core temp OK, keep your blood glucose levels up, (and I very much doubt all 3 are possible when running a marathon) could you keep your body from producing extra cortisol when your glycogen levels get low? That's actually the thing that I have seen a lot more information on lately that could be even more concern, not for immediate obvious birth defects, but for the long term well-being of your child into adulthood and beyond. I was a steroid chemist for 7 years before refocusing on molecular biology, but I still follow some of the endocrinology research and there has been quite a bit lately about the negative impact on increased cortisol levels during pregnancy having longterm effects on your child in addition the effects of increased cortisol from long runs on your own immune system.

    Anyway, good luck to both you and your child and if you do decide to run the marathon regardless of the risk, consider carrying a cell phone and make sure you have some plans to be able to be picked up on the course if you do decide you want to drop out. I don't know anything about the Michigan marathon, but I do know of several people (3 different marathons) who needed to drop out but had difficulty getting to medical help or getting back to their own transportation because of closed roads, etc.

    [http://This message has been edited by maryt (edited Sep-09-2007).|http://This message has been edited by maryt (edited Sep-09-2007).]

  • beaumont045 Rookie 70 posts since
    Jul 21, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    29. Sep 9, 2007 1:30 PM (in response to kaitlingarrett)
    Re: my first marathon and pregnant?

    You've gotten lots of interesting advice..I don't have any pregnancy experience but I thought I'd throw this in about the Detroit marathon (I'm assuming that's the marathon you're talking about if you're running in late october in michigan). I did the half last year and it is a really fun course. I had a blast. The full takes you out onto Belle Isle, though, and from what I've heard from friends who have run the full, it is lonely and empty out there. That might be somethign to think about if you're going to be going extra slow and including some walk breaks. A woman I worked with did the full and it was her first. She was kinda bummed because it took her awhile to finish (just under 6, I think?) and they were already cleaning up at the finish line when she got done. Most of the supporters were gone and she felt like it was a bit of a let-down for her first marathon. Something else to think about....

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