Dear Friends and Anonymi:
After a somewhat unusual sequence of events, I have been asked by the head editor at the journal American Family Physician to write a brief (250 words or less) synopsis of my experience with pregnant marathon running. This has not been easy to summarize in 250 words!
But since I have this blog, I have the luxury of showing it to some people who know a thing or two about this subject.
I would be so grateful for feedback. Being harsh is preferable to pretending you like it when you don't.
It wasn’t like me to be so winded going uphill or have to stop to walk as I neared the marathon finish line. It was a relief (and a thrill) when the pregnancy test came back positive.
This was the first of six marathons I would run during my pregnancy. I had no chance of beating Ingrid Christiansen’s pregnant marathon record of 2:33, set when three months pregnant in 1982. I ran mine at a comfortable pace, with friends by my side, in times of 4:34, 4:19, 4:18 and 4:56 between 10 and 27 weeks of pregnancy.
When I was 30 weeks pregnant, my midwife agreed I could run The Copenhagen Marathon. Spectators screamed from street corners and hung out of windows to catch a glimpse of my belly. Around mile 16, I started getting Braxton Hicks contractions, though they eventually became less pronounced and I made it across the finish line in 4:54.
My recovery from that marathon was long, but I was glowing for weeks. I was overwhelmed by the positive feedback I received, including that of multiple women who had already run or went on to run their own pregnant marathons. I felt I had played a small part in a movement empowering women to continue running, even long distances, while pregnant.
After 39 weeks, our beautiful, little son was born. And even today, I can’t help looking at him and thinking, “you were there with me, all of those wonderful miles.”