Header from Fyr til Fyr 60k. Photo by Moses Løvstad

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman

Thursday, 29 November 2007

In the Runango Spotlight

Looks like the folks at runango just can't get enough of my blog.
http://www.runango.com/forums/topic_show.pl?tid=66344

And no this blog is not a joke. I am happy that their thread this time concedes, in part, that all of my exercising and 9 lb weight gain may not be unhealthy.

Here's an excerpt:
1. midwives are great and capable.
2. you CAN run while pg.
3. you CAN lose weight while pg, what i mean is lose body fat, while the baby gains....
4. she is seeing someone, she is a dr. her bf is a dr. she is being looked after by people that know her much better than anyone here.

I recommend the naysayers on the thread do some research into exercise in pregnancy before they make any more vapid generalizations.

And please read my post about the 6 month 5k. The woman I met there ran through her entire pregnancy, until the day before delivery, gained 12 lbs and delivered a healthy 7 1/2 lb baby that is now a healthy 12 year old. Shortly after she did that she went to the Olympic trials.

And then take a look at Paula Radcliffe. She ran successfully through her pregnancy and just won the NYC Marathon. She also has a healthy daughter.

If anyone can come up with an example of exercise combined with proper nutrition and low weight gain leading to complications then I will take your comments more seriously.

15 comments:

carrie said...

I am sorry that you have to read this! What is funny, what you probably don't realize, is that the person starting this thread and criticizing you, is the very Allison that tried to 'help' you as a counselor. What sort of counselor ridicules someone that they think has a problem? yea. nice. Good luck to you :)

allison said...

Hey, Carrie, if you read the thread you'll also see that all of my comments have a sad face or the cry face beside them. I wasn't ridiculing...I am beyond concerned and stunned by sealegsgirl. I still maintain that if you put something out on a public blog that is controversial, expect comments.

Run Forrest said...

I think that the point to look at is that she stopped when she felt pain. If it was still hurting, she wouldn't be running. I'm not comfortable with the level of exercise either but as long as she's eating enough and the baby isn't showing signs of stress then I don't understand what the big issue is. Ultimately, it's her life and nothing we say is going to change how she lives it. If people keep pushing at her and ridiculing her then she'll close her blog like SR did and then you will all have to find someone else to pick on.

sea legs girl said...

Good point, run forrest. And Allison, I don't mind comments at all. In fact, I enjoy them. But if they are a criticism of my choices during pregnancy, I'd prefer they be well-founded or at least attempt to add some new information to the discussion.

Running Coach said...

Sea Legs Girl said this: And then take a look at Paula Radcliffe. She ran successfully through her pregnancy and just won the NYC Marathon. She also has a healthy daughter.


No, Paula Radcliffe had to lessen her running and stop competing because of the pregnancy. PR did not compete for over a year while pregnant and after the birth of her child.

You post bragging comments of running 82 miles in a week and doing plenty of other workouts like bike riding. Then you point to PR as your model. Well, maybe you should have looked at what PR actually did while pregnant.

Before conceiving, PR was like every other elite runner, doing upwards of 140 miles a week. For the first 5 months she cut back to the 80-90 range. After 5 months she ran no more than 1 hour a day, and it was kept to low heart rates. She was doing, at most, 8 miles a day. That's 56 miles a week. You're bragging about doing 82, and you're not an elite runner and you're more pregnant than she was.

Unlike you, she was being closely monitored by a doctor (something you think you would do since you're a doctor).

Unlike you, PR was not doing any racing during pregnancy.

Unlike you, PR gained the accepted amount of weight.

Even given all that, her doctor was not happy about her doing it and was, in her words, "concerned" about it. This was all in the NY Times.

If this is a serious blog, and this is really what you're doing you need to head to a psych therapist today. Even if your baby comes out physically healthy, it's clear you have some sort of eating/self esteem problem that is going to affect this child as it grows up.

Running Coach said...

"If anyone can come up with an example of exercise combined with proper nutrition and low weight gain leading to complications then I will take your comments more seriously."

Forgot to mention that Paula Radcliffe had a stress fracture in her back that was caused by her pregnancy.

sea legs girl said...

running coach,
I am aware of everything you wrote and pregnant women should run according to how they feel. I ran 12 miles a day but it took me 3 hours! And now all I can say is I took the last 6 days off and ran a whopping 1/2 a mile yesterday. Read the blog if you're going to criticize it!
The article about Paul Radcliffe unfortunately did not make any mention about her weight gain. Though I will say she looks a bit TOO thin now.
She did have a stress fracture after she gave birth, presumably due to the rapid change in body weight and took 8 weeks to recover, but what does that prove about the effects on the baby?
As you will see in the article "Dr. Shangold recommends using perceived effort as a guide and making sure that the effort remains moderate."
If anything, the article supports exactly what I am doing. And, yes, I do take this blog seriously and that's why I'm thrilled now that so many people are reading it.

olga said...

Honestly, bashing gets old. I got nothing to add. I mean, who likes it - go ahead. Everybody wants to pretend to save the world by jumping into "ohters" lives. Like in the last video of a high school gilr breaking a leg and crawling last 40 yards to the finish - oh, look, coaches and parents are bastards and pressured her into it! These comments came after reading an article where she says she dreamed about this finish, never thought once about coach or team and was ready to embrace the circumstances on broken bones. Whatever. How about each of us decides for oneself? And let others make their own decisions and even mistakes? Is that why we bomb Iraq too - because we carry about those people? Sadam was an ass, but in his times he killed less people all together than those who died during this war, between Iraqi and American troops. All to save the world...may be let the world evolve itself? Let God do it, may be (if you're religious, what I am not, but sometimes I think why does America, which claims to be very much so, interupts God's powers?)

Good luck recovering. Enjoy your half a mile I am jealous - I overslept this morning...but then again, I had a great dream:)

Running Coach said...

"If anything, the article supports exactly what I am doing."

No, it does not. 82 miles plus the cross training you did is not moderate. 3 hours is not moderate. 3 hours is more than a healthy non-pregnant elite does in a day!

I cannot cite this on the web, I only know this because I work with runners extensively including friends and competitors of PR, but PR gained about 20 pounds during her pregnancy. Her stress fracture actually happened DURING child birth and recurred afterward as well. You claimed she ran successfully. She did not, she got injured.

You're right that they do not talk about any effects on PR's child. But that doesn't mean you can assume it's a healthy behavior like you're doing. You don't know, and you're willing to take a chance on the baby inside of you with something that is an unknown?

PR is an outlier from the norm. That's what makes her a great runner. You're not PR, you likely are close to the middle of the bell curve, as are most of us. As a doctor you should also know that anecdotal evidence, like PR, is no substitute for empirical data and all empirical data does not support your behavior.

I'm positive you're not going to change your behavior. It's a tragedy for that innocent child inside you. This is the perfect case for child services to look into.

phineasbeall said...

Hey, sealegs, I've lurked a bit on this, having seen links to the discussion in several places. Looks like your blog has gone viral. It seems like everyone commenting here and elsewhere agrees that you're doing something healthy by continuing to exercise. It further seems like people are mostly split on what I suspect is an intuitive sense of how much exercise is healthy. And on that question, I'd expect a wide variety of responses. I assume the level of risk shifts between individuals. For some people, 35 miles a week seems like a lot. For others, 100 is pushing it. As someone who often runs on the higher end of that range, I'm sure I wouldn't be comfortable running that much if I were pregnant (I'm a man anyway, so the point is moot). That's performance mileage, not something necessary to remain healthy. Have you given your midwife the specific details of your workout regimen? Miles, hours, activities? If you've got an injury that prevents you from running more than half a mile, is there really any benefit to that half mile? Are you hooked on a consecutive streak? Isn't that strong evidence of compulsion?

At any rate, what struck me after reading many of your entries here is the preoccupation with body image. That is the big red flag to me, far more than the amount of exercising you're doing. Random and anonymous commentary from the internet hardly replaces qualified professionals, but with this many people badgering you with criticism on this issue, it might be worth further investigation. And I don't mean asking a midwife or a professional friend who might not be blunt with you. Granted, it sounds like you've been thorough already, but remember smart people can justify bad ideas (Linus Pauling) and denial is a large part of ED/OCD.

I wish you all the luck in the world. Seriously.

Runningdoctor said...

Hi all. As the fiancee of "sealegsgirl", I will have to leave a comment here.

I am surprised by how freaked out you people are by seeing someone excercise during pregnancy (to this degree).

I think she has done a great job showing study after study, proving the safety of pregnant running. She has shown you how there is no correlation between maternal weight gain and prematurity. She has taken the time to do this research for herself, hopefully with an eye on publication, but also to inspire people to excercise while pregnant.

"Running coach", if you are to argue with this level of research, not to mention the fact that she is a doctor, you probably need more backing than a commonsensical all-that-bumping-has-to-be-bad-for-the-baby. What are you basing all your comments on?

"Running Coach", what goes through your head when people tell you marathons "can't be safe"? You must have met people like that. I hope you see the parallel here.

If you can show any scientific evidence that running in pregnancy is dangerous, show it to us. And please realize that PRs 20 pound weight gain was very low and is more or less what "sealegsgirl" is aiming for.

The worst part is that there are thousands of pregnant women out there who harm their babies by NOT excercising and gaining too much weight during pregnancy. Where is the public outcry against these women?

Sara said...

runningdoctor, I don't think anyone is suggesting sealegsgirl quit running while she is pregnant. Unless there are comments to a different blog date, I also don't see anyone saying "all that bouncing around is bad". I think most people with an ounce of common sense knows that is ridiculous. The issue is the extreme amount of running in addition to the other exercise, in addition to the obsession over her weight gain.

If sealegsgirl really doesn't have an eating disorder, it seems that she is performing an experiment to see how little weight you can gain while pregnant and still be healthy, which feels wrong as it's not only her body she's dealing with, your child's body and health is at risk as well.

You're right, nothing we say is going to change the way she lives her life, and hopefully your child is healthy. However,I think you're mistaking ridicule for genuine concern for your child and sealegsgirl.

olga said...

I am game with SR for talking how unhealthy society is by GAINING weight (too much) during pregnancy, by feeding kids up to baloons (and telling them they are wonderful the way they are no matter what), letting them eat junk and pizza and been happy about their stuffed faces. I am also in for "coomon sense" mentality - what I do along with my friends (as in running 50-100M races over mountains that take 10-30 hrs) is considered to be crazy at least, and so on. Don't you just "love" common sense??!! I always say, if somebody out there didn't have guts to step outside a box and try - where would we be? So how about shut up and let those who are brave try? And no, Sarah, I don't think it's a genuine cocern that drives people to bash others, it's an adrenaline rush of been "involved" when own lives are boring like hell. Same comes to the news on TV and the morning papers, when all you hear is "kill, drugs, fight" - why? - because we as a nation demand adrenalin instead of focusing on how to become better persons each and on our own.

Running Coach said...

This response is to runningdoctor:

You said: "Running coach", if you are to argue with this level of research, not to mention the fact that she is a doctor, you probably need more backing than a commonsensical all-that-bumping-has-to-be-bad-for-the-baby. What are you basing all your comments on?"

I never made that point, so I am not going to respond to it. I never said any running was bad and I never said anything about bumping being bad. Please re-read my comment and if you are actually going to address what I said I will respond.


'"Running Coach", what goes through your head when people tell you marathons "can't be safe"? You must have met people like that. I hope you see the parallel here.'

I agree with them that running as much as I or elites do is likely not good for one's body. I run upwards of 125 miles a week and there is no research that shows the long term effects of that. I am pretty certain it's detrimental to my health long term. But I do not have a BABY growing inside me. I am only effecting myself as an unmarried adult. I am not potentially effecting a BABY.

'If you can show any scientific evidence that running in pregnancy is dangerous, show it to us. And please realize that PRs 20 pound weight gain was very low and is more or less what "sealegsgirl" is aiming for. '

I have no evidence that says how dangerous it is and YOU have no evidence that the amount of exercise she is doing is safe. There is evidence that moderate exercise is safe and beneficial. I urge you to find me someone who finds 3 hour runs moderate. Given than neither of us has any research to back up our opinions and given that she has a BABY growing inside her, you'd think being cautious with the life of another person would be called for. Instead your fiance is potentially endangering the life of your child, and you're aiding her. Bravo.

Barbara said...

Uh-oh, I see you have deleted most of your blog. I hope all is well! Hopefully you are simply annoyed by runango's forum.

Good luck with your pregnancy, and your new baby boy, just wanted to say that in case you planned to close your blog in the near future. Hopefully you will not do that.