Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.

"That is happiness; to be disolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep." - Willa Cather

Friday, 10 July 2009

What happened to all those "crazy" pregnant runners?

I am often contacted by women who are interested in continuing to run during their pregnancy, but are concerned about the health of their baby.

Recently, I read that Line Pedersen, a Danish woman between 3 and 4 months pregnant, took second place in the European Championship in Mountainbike Orienteering.

This inspired me to write a post dedicated to a few women (who I met through my blog) who ran through their entire pregnancy. Below are pictures of the happy mothers with their girls (links to their blogs are found in the column to the right).

First, Enthused. She is 42 and ran through her entire pregnancy (avg 21 miles/week). She gained 18 lbs and reported a complication-free pregnancy. Enthused kept an incredible journal of her pregnancy experience and is a great resource for exercising pregnant women.

Here is the nearly 8 lb Cadence.

And here is the happy mom 14 days after delivery.

Then there is Joy. She also ran through her entire pregnancy, had an at-home delivery and gave birth to a 7 lb 5 oz girl. The picture below says everything.

Here she is with her baby girl, Selah.

And here is Heather (Ad Astra, Per Aspera), who also ran all the way through pregnancy. She even raced at 39 weeks! She gave birth to an 8lb 10 oz girl, Angeline Marie. Here she is with her almost one year old daughter.

I hope this is reassuring to all of you exercising moms-to-be out there!

And these are just the ladies I have pictures of and info on. I would love to hear from more of you if you've had your baby.

Running Song of The Day: Engel by Rasmus Seebach


cherelli said...

Thankyou for showing those great ladies off, it is so reassuring! I have 6 weeks til my first IM and then B and I will finish with baby making dress rehearsals about a month later...and I will definitely be referring to a few of these blogs for reassurance should all actually go to plan :) Cheers!

SteveQ said...

Minnesota legend Sue Olsen was a decade ahead of you, running Grandma's Marathon a week before giving birth and doing an ultra the week after. Her son John's a tween now and has taken up distance running.

Marathon Princess said...

Thanks for these, it is so inspiring to see so many women continuing to run through pregnancy. I am a little over 12 weeks with my first and have so far run a marathon, half marathon and finished 2nd AG in a duathlon while pregnant. I will continue to race (for fun) until the end.
The picture of the woman at 14 days postbaby is great I hate hearing everyone say it will take months to lose the weight, great to see.

sea legs girl said...


Glad it was reassuring! But I have to ask, what is IM and then B mean? I have a guess, but don't want to write anything too stupid.


Yes! I had heard rumors of a Sue Olsen from a good friend of mine, who ran with her while pregnant.

That is just amazing! You have done A LOT in 12 weeks. I am looking forward to following you through your pregnancy!

Ewen said...

Hi, just letting you know the link to Ingrid Kristiansen has moved -

By the way, Elaine races rarely these days (due to nagging injuries), but last year was running around 25 minutes for 6k.

sea legs girl said...

Thanks so much for that update, Ewen. And I have changed the link.

Anonymous said...

Hi again, Sea Legs! Thanks for the kind words and the link to your blog! Cadence and I are doing great - happy, healthy, and looking forward to running again in a week or two!

Thought you might like to see this if you haven't already - Denmark was recently named "The Happiest Place on Earth".
Glad to see you are doing well. The Bois is the absolute cutest!

Layna (aka Willow) said...

Sealegs -- I've been an on again, off again reader of your blog for the last year ago. I have two little girls (2 and a half and 5 months) and ran all the way through both pregnancies. If you'll send me your email address, I'll send more details. Thanks!


er said...

Hi Sea Legs,
I am another pregnant (though soon not to be - due in 8 days) runner who has been following your blog as well as several of the blogs you are linked to. These blogs have been great resources as I have not found a lot of peer-reviewed, scientific literature on high level athletes exercising during pregnancy (other than the Clapp studies which were helpful but not as quantified as I would have liked, at least not in his book - never read the actual articles). It would be a neat project to compile everyone's stats into a spreadsheet i.e. miles run before pregnancy, miles run during 1st, 2nd & 3rd trimester, # of days to return to running post-pregnancy, pre-pregnancy bmi, weight gain, maternal blood pressure, baby weight at birth, # of days/weeks to return to pre-pregnancy weight etc. etc. What do you think? Worth doing?

sea legs girl said...

Sorry... arrived in the US a few days ago and haven't had much chance to use the internet.

Enthused, funny thing about Denmark, is I think Danes are just the most willing to respond that they are happy. Could have to do with the translation of "happy" to "lykkelig"

Lanya, that is great! My email address is

er, I know exactly what you mean about the lack of data on the more "extreme" end of exercising in pregnancy and would love to compile data to get some meaningful statistics. Of course, everything that is compiled AFTER pregnancy is biased in the sense that those who have bad outcomes are less likely to be included. A large, randomized controlled trial would be ideal, but also would never happen since no one wants to be assigned to a certain amount of exercise at the beginning of their pregnancy. If a spreadsheet were compiled, I'm just not sure what conclusions, if any, we could draw from the data. Any other thoughts?

Joy Joy said...

I'm honored to be a featured lady on your blog! I just saw the post today and you made my day. I was so happy to be able to exercise through pregnancy and shortly after delivery--I took a total of just under 3 weeks off around Selah's birth. Despite the exercise, I still gained a lot of weight during pregnancy (~40 lbs). Apparently it was mostly water because I am now just 4 pounds over my preprego weight and lost 28 pounds within 5 days of having my daughter. Cheers to going for it while prego!