By: Katrice Mayo, R.D., and Nutritionist
I have been running for well over 10 years now and I always run in the Richmond Fan area, near Byrd Park. I love that area because I am always motivated and inspired to see other runners of all shapes, sizes and running abilities. The most inspiring runners of all were the ones who are pregnant. I would always tell husband and say to myself that is going to be me one day. Pregnant runners have a wow factor about them because if they wanted to, they could just lay around all day and do absolutely nothing.
In October of 2009, I became pregnant and prior to that I had already signed up for the McDonald’s Half Marathon. Since I ran two other half marathons earlier that year, I was like “No sweat!” I can and will do this. I had already set a goal to keep beating my previous half marathon times anyway. Plus I knew I could do it because I had the lung and cardiovascular capacity to do it.
I did some research on pregnancy and running and learned a few things which are: 1) If running is something your body is already use to, then it is okay to keep doing it. 2) Pregnancy is not the time to introduce a new exercise program such as running. 3) Be careful, pay attention to the road or treadmill so that you did not put yourself at risk for falling. This is because balance and gait will change over time due to a growing belly 4) At some point, I will have to slow down and stop because ALL pregnancies are different. 5) Most importantly, keep the OB/GYN informed. She or he may have some different advice based on lab work and/or if the pregnancy is high risk.
With all of that, I listened to my body and paid attention to how I felt, which at the time was wonderfully great! I did not change my training or eating regimen. I still did speed training on the treadmill during the week and ran longer on the weekends. I had my usual 16 ounces of water before a run with Greek yogurt or Greek yogurt a banana and made sure I nourished myself afterwards for recovery.
When race day arrived, I was about 2 months pregnant and met my goal of running faster than my previous two half marathons that year, with a 2:16:36 finish! It was a great accomplishment for me. I was actually very surprised at myself. I mean I was pregnant for peak’s sake! Woohoo! My OB/GYN was proud but she did tell me to slow down and worry about maintaining a hard body until after I had the baby. So I listened to her for a few weeks and kept on running about 3-4 miles a 2-3 times a week. Then, I have to say, my mom and sister pretty much doubled team me after that and told me to stop running period or else. However, this is another story so I will leave these words with you all: If you have been running steady, without much labored breathing and then get pregnant, just listen to your body and your OB/GYN. Peace.
Katrice will be one of our professional speakers at the Preserve the Sexy Tour in Richmond, Virginia on March 16! Register today…you do not want to miss this awesome event.
Katrice Mayo, R.D., is a clinical dietitian and nutritionist in Richmond, VA. Her passion is educating people on how to prevent and/or manage disease through nutrition, exercise and lifestyle. She is currently pursuing her master degree in Health Sciences at James Madison
University. Katrice can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.