Thursday, July 19, 2012

I Was Never Going to be the Pregnant Woman Who Ran a Marathon

I met up with a friend tonight who was willing to walk very, very slowly with me for about 40 minutes. Really, these days, if I walk the .75 miles from work to the train station, I'm pretty proud of myself.

So, I was walking/waddling down the street to meet my friend, and I started thinking about the pregnant woman who ran/walked the Chicago Marathon in October 2011 (or was it 2010?). Now I could "Google" this story and get the facts straight, but instead I'm going to be lazy and pregnant and go from memory here.

Anyway, a year or so ago, a full-term pregnant woman participated in the Chicago marathon. If I remember correctly, she ran the first 13.1 miles and walked the second (or she did a combination run/walk for the entire 26.2, really it doesn't matter, she could have crawled the entire thing, we're talking about a FREAKING MARATHON here). The woman finished the marathon, went into labor, had a meal, headed to the hospital, and gave birth to a healthy baby. The end. The Chicago Tribune (or some paper) wrote a story that made it clear that the woman's doctor had given his/her blessing for the woman to participate in the endurance event.

Then people went batshit, judging this woman for endangering herself and her baby by running/walking the marathon.

So I'm not going to pile on the criticism--I remember being surprised that the doctor was totally cool with this plan, but whatever, we choose our choices. There are way better things to judge people for.

But now, myself being a full-term pregnant lady, I can't actually fathom how this woman did it. You would not only have to be in elite athlete shape to begin with, but you'd also have to be having a rock star pregnancy from week one to actually stay in the kind of shape/mindset you need to be in to train for a marathon. What's more, I imagine you'd have to gain minimal weight because the approximately 20 lbs I've piled on since December has definitely taken its toll, and I know I'm on the pretty average end of the weight gain spectrum. It goes without saying that your pregnancy would have to be complication free, but moreover, how does one maintain that kind of energy while your body is growing another human being?

Here's the thing. I have said it before: As much as I'm a slow moving, not super comfortable pregnant woman in the midst of one of the hottest summers on record, I'm pretty sure I'm having what most people would consider an "easy" pregnancy. I still get sufficient sleep; I haven't had much chronic pain; I was able to stay active throughout the majority of my pregnancy... blah blah blah. Now, I wasn't in elite athlete shape by any means, so whatever, I get it, I was never going to be the woman who ran a marathon pregnant. But as good as I have it, and as consistently active as I've been, my mobility has taken a nose dive in even just the last three to four weeks, not to mention that my body gets very sore from minimal physical activity. If I tried to run/walk 26.2 miles at 38.5 weeks pregnant, I be carried off the course on a stretcher after about three miles.

The mind boggles.

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