Countdown to Boston

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Pregnant Running

Alot of people have asked me what it is like to run and be pregnant or have looked at me wide-eyed or in disbelief - especially now as the end is near and I am pretty big! It doesn't feel THAT weird, it is just SLOW. From the beginning, my doctor supported my running and said to listen to my body. I've done a good job at this, which has ended up in slower running, walking breaks, and more fuel if I'm doing a longer run.
It is also touch and go. Some days I can have a great "run" and other days it is horrible and I have to do something else or walk most of it. I remember a day back around 5 or 6 months pregnant and I thought it was the end of running. I kept getting side stitches throughout a run and couldn't finish it, and drove home from the gym in tears. The next day I had a fine run! So it does take patience and determination to keep going when you are running so much slower than you are used to, but it is completely worth it in the end.

Before I was pregnant, I was running 35-40 miles per week and my average pace was around 8 to 8:30 minute miles for training. My runs had alot more variety - tempo runs, hill runs, and interval training. Throughout the pregnancy, most weeks I have been able to continue to do 30 miles a week, but my pace has declined with time, and my runs are all just "easy" runs - the goal is to finish them! At this point with 3 weeks until my due date, my pace is around 11:30/12minute average. My biggest concern is recovering after the baby comes, but I think that all of the running that I've done throughout the last 8 months will really help me to recover quickly and get ready for Boston with plenty of time. My goal for Boston is to raise as much money as I can for cancer research. I don't want a PR, I just want to experience and finish the Boston marathon and enjoy it - and then I can say that I did it!

This week I didn't take many running rest days, which I think are crucial to letting your legs rest and recover. A snow day was thrown in midweek (which was GREAT!) on my normal swimming day, so instead I ran. I got in a long "run" of 12 miles Saturday morning which included many walking breaks and I'm looking forward to a few recovery miles with Bill outside tomorrow @ our loop up the street in Malvern.

Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Training begins!

As of Jan 12, training has officially begun! I received my official confirmation in the mail this past week and it is hanging on my fridge. In just 3 months, I will be running the Boston Marathon!

Last weekend, my sister Kristen became a marathoner, finishing her first marathon in Walt Disney World and raising tons of money for leukemia. It was awesome to be able to be there and I was even able to be a buddy runner and join her from mile 18 to the finish (Way to go sister!). It was motivating to be running along with all of the marathoners and made me super psyched for April 20th!

I also just hit 8 months pregnant this week! I have been able to safely run throughout the entire pregnancy and it is my hope that I will be running up until the day the baby comes! The first week of "training" went well, and I’m looking forward to running with a little friend on the outside, which should make running a bit easier!

This will be my fourth marathon, but the most challenging yet given the circumstances. I will be running in honor of family close to me who have battled cancer. My grandfather fought and won a battle with kidney cancer in 2006-2007. Poppy/Joe Santo had success with a new drug that was being tested. I'll also be running in honor of my cousin in law Steph, who has been fighting breast cancer and is one of the most positive and happy people that I know.

Dana Farber is committed to providing cancer patients with the best treatments available today. They perform cutting edge research to develop cures for the future. THANK YOU so much to all of you who have donated already! I strongly believe in this cause and hope that you will consider donating towards progress, innovation and compassion in the fight against cancer. Any donation that you can make will be greatly appreciated. You can be assured that 100% of your donation goes directly to the Claudia Adams Barr Program for Innovative Basic Cancer Research. Thank you!

The link to donate:

Stay tuned for more updates!