My training for Boston – pregnant to post partum
This is mostly for my record, and for any other crazy women out there that might attempt to do Boston or a marathon soon after having a baby. While on the blog Running for 2, I found Karla – who did this a few years ago. She was a great mentor and gave me the hope that I could do it!
There were many people that asked me if I was crazy, told me how tired I would be, told me how challenging it would be with breastfeeding, and those who asked me if I really thought I could do it. I believed that I could the whole time, though I was scared when people would doubt me, because I didn’t really know what I was getting into, it being my first experience giving birth and recovering!
Luckily, Nick is my angel child and came 2 weeks early (wahoo!) and has been a great baby, allowing me to train the first 2 months of his life while he napped or sat contently on the couch.
My training for the Boston Marathon started the week of Jan 12. Up to this point, I had been consistently running an average 30 miles a week. A few weeks I dropped below that, but the majority of my pregnancy, I ran 30-35 miles a week. My last long run (I'm considering long runs 10+ miles) was 16 miles on November 8, and I walked the Philly ½ marathon the end of November - I planned to run the full marathon at a slow pace, but my body planned otherwise and I ended up having to walk, and stop at 1/2 way. The week of January 12, I brought back the long runs. Here is my weekly mileage and my long run that week.
Training for Boston - starting at 35 weeks pregnant, finishing at 10 weeks postpartum
WEEK MILEAGE LONG RUN TIMING
Jan 12 30.1 miles 11 miles 35 weeks pregnant
Jan 19 30.8 miles 11.26 miles 36 weeks pregnant
Jan 26 34.6 miles 12 miles 37 weeks pregnant
Feb 2 12.6 miles Nick born Feb 6 (38 weeks!)
Feb 9 4 miles recovery week! 1 week postpartum
Feb 16 24.3 miles no long run 2 weeks pp
Feb 23 33 miles 10.5 miles 3 weeks pp
March 2 35.3 miles 12.3 miles 4 weeks pp
March 9 36 miles 14 miles 5 weeks pp
March 16 40.6 miles 16 miles 6 weeks pp
March 23 42.9 miles 20 miles 7 weeks pp
March 30 36.4 miles 12 miles 8 weeks pp
April 6 36 miles 8 miles 9 weeks pp
April 13 20 miles Marathon 10 weeks + 3 days pp
Running from 35- 38 weeks pregnant:
Before 35 weeks, and as the pregnancy went on, I became slower and slower! The key was to listen to my body. I started many runs and had to stop and finish later due to side stiches/cramps.
Running shorter runs was not too bad. I averaged usually between 10 and 11 minute miles. (short run pre-preg pace: 7:30-8:30 minute miles). All runs were "easy" runs - I was rarely pushing the pace (ok, maybe for like 5-10 seconds to remind myself what it felt like) and NOT doing any tempo or speedwork. My long runs in those first 3 weeks were survival running. For example, my long runs were between 11 and 12:30 minute miles (Long runs before were probably between 8-9 minute miles but I can't even remember that!). Most of my times averaged 11:30 minute miles for long runs. My long runs were on the treadmill, and I took probably one pee break for every mile that I ran. I stopped for snack breaks and water breaks. They took FOREVER. They took up my whole Saturday, and sometimes I'd have to start them, I'd get a cramp and have to stop for 20 minutes, and finish it later. It was interesting for sure.
Running after baby:
Overall, since I ran throughout the whole pregnancy I was able to recover quite quickly. I was TIRED for sure, but so excited that we had little Nick in our lives, and totally psyched to run Boston and have this big goal/running dream on the horizon. When Nick was napping (and they tell mom to "get your rest," I was running). I definitely lacked sleep those first several weeks, but the payoff was totally worth it in the end! I feel so lucky that I was able to keep on running and have my doctor’s support and approval. By training for a marathon so soon after, I sacrificed getting my speed back for endurance and now 3 months later I am working on getting back the speed. My marathon time of 4:21:03 was just under 10 minute mile average pace. I think that pre-pregnancy I could have ran at least a sub 9 minute mile pace - maybe? My race pace last spring for 1/2s and 10 milers was sub 8 min miles. So it was definitely not as fast as I could run, but I was totally thrilled with the time and the finish. I would totally do it again. Thank you for your support as I trained, ran through my pregnancy, and finished the marathon. : )