When I found out I was pregnant, I was determined to continue working out. I had heard many people say they didn’t have the energy, it was uncomfortable or their doctor told them to stop. Until I had any of these signs, I planned to live my life as I had with the except of keeping my heart rate below 170 BPM at all times.

I was first invited to run a half marathon in October at 29 weeks pregnant with ClassPass. I’m still not sure if this was a good idea to say yes to but I figured, what else would I blog about? So, yes – I’m attempting it!

Falmouth Road Race

I was then later asked to run the Falmouth Road Race with New Balance. I had to say yes. my training plan called for a 7 mile run the very same weekend which is the length of the iconic race. I also love working with the New Balance team, especially at events. Their running shoes also are some of my favorites.

Old Silver Beach

I headed down to Falmouth on Saturday afternoon to check into the Sea Crest hotel and go to dinner with the other media running with NB. There were 4 of us running under Team Boston and 4 running under Team New York. Our times would be combined for an NY vs BOS challenge. Team Boston unfortunately didn’t know I was pregnant beforehand. I was nervous I was the weakest link!

Sunday morning, I woke up a little after 6AM. I grabbed a bagel and banana at 6:45AM and was on a bus from the hotel to another meeting point by 7. We then got on another bus that took us to the starting line in Woods Hole. Would you believe me if I told you we didn’t get there until 8:45AM? That was how long it took to go about 6 miles. Traffic was horrendous. The race started at 9 so we had some time but not much.

Falmouth start

I used the porta potty before getting into the back end of the 9:00 minute mile corral. I ran Boston averaging this pace so I figured why not. After the gun went off for the elites, there was a staggered start for the rest of the crowd which self assigned itself into pace corrals. There were about 11,000 runners jockeying for a position to start. After standing for 20 minutes in the unshaded, crowded street, I had to pee AGAIN. Luckily I had time.

Lucie and Sarah

I was going to start running with my friend Lucie but when I had to pee for the second time in 30 minutes we broke off from each other. My biggest fear wasn’t the heat or the dreaded hills but the bathroom situation. When I hit 19 weeks, I began having to pee every 5 minutes when I would go running. The Falmouth website only listed bathrooms at miles 2, 2.5 and 3! What was I going to do between 3 and 7!!

Turns out, I was OK. I forgot to charge my TomTom Cardio Runner and my phone would surely die if I tried to use RunKeeper so I ran without knowing my heart rate or pace – something I NEVER do. I think it ended up being for the better. I was able to measure my rate of perceived exertion without the distractions.

I saw a few bathrooms along the way but knew it wasn’t mile 2 yet so I hoped there were more than the website suggested. I stopped for water at every station possible. It was about 85F degrees out. The beginning of the course features lots of hills and some shade. It then gets flat and sunny – HOT. Spectators provide not just motivational support but also have hoses handy to cool off runners passing by.

I finally stopped at what I thought might be my last port-o-potty opportunity around 4 miles. I hated that I had to do this. I usually do not stop during races. It must have added at least 3-4 minutes on my final time due to a slow moving line. I knew if I didn’t, I would regret it. I wouldn’t need another bathroom thank goodness!

Afterwards, I had a few Honey Stinger gummies for energy. You burn through carbs quicker pregnant so I made sure replenish my stores to finish the race.

Around mile 6, I got excited knowing I was almost done. The crowd was amazing, my outfit was comfortable and my feet felt great. I wore the NB Fresh Foam Zante sneakers and my favorite longer NB shorts that kept me from chaffing and didn’t bother the small bump. The competitive edge in me enjoyed passing runners. I passed far more than those that passed me in the final mile, 131 vs 25.

I said to myself that I would walk if I needed to but I never did with the exception of the water stops. I wouldn’t have been able to do it if it weren’t for so many runners around me at all times and the hoses along the way.

Falmouth Finish

Baby was so good and allowed me to finish strong. I almost teared up at the end because I was so happy we did it! We ran another race together. My final time was 1:10:46 – about 10 minutes slower than my time from 2 years ago. Since I didn’t run with a watch, I don’t know how much time my bathroom stop added but judging by my splits, I was running between a 9:35-9:45 minute mile pace. Technically, it was 10:07. Overall, I placed in the top half of finishers and number 2105 out of 5905 women!

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After finishing I walked through the food lines and grabbed a banana and free Yasso Mint Chocolate Chip fro-yo bar. It was delicious and quickly melting with the now near 90F temperatures.

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At the NB house after party, I grabbed some lobster salad and fresh fruit. I haven’t had many cravings lately but fruit has been one that’s stuck since my first trimester.

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Tom from Boston Tweet and Susan Tran from Channel 7 News were on my team for Team Boston. Our 4th from BostInno broke his foot and couldn’t run so we had a last minute replacement – his boss – whom I never met.

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The team of New York editors beat us by 10 minutes. I felt bad knowing that had I run not pregnant I could have helped us win!

Overall, the course, the runners and the crowd make up for the hectic morning of race day. It’s really one of the most scenic and challenging races I’ve done. Since I wasn’t going for time, mentally I was a happy runner the entire time making for a positive experience.

Thank you to New Balance for this opportunity to once again run a race with you guys. My first was the Disney Wine and Dine and still ranks as my favorite race experience wise.

Pregnant Considerations

I felt fine running. Some women of my mother’s generation were shocked I wanted to run but most people were positive including my midwife. I just made sure not to let myself get too out of breath, stay hydrated and as relatively cool as possible. I wasn’t going for time. I really think exercising has helped keep my energy levels reasonable and nausea non existent. However, I can just now start to see why some people stop running around the 5th month because it is not fun feeling like you have pee incessantly. I’ve had to alter my route to pass by as many pit stops as possible.

One side note – total honesty here – I love Vega pre workout energizer. I thought it would be fine to take before running. I used one small scoop as I always do before my races. I didn’t have any abnormal side effects. I felt great. However, I met with a dietitian at MGH to talk about things like kombucha, pressed juice and other trendy new health foods on Monday and she informed me that I should not take this anymore due to one ingredient called Devils Claw. How did I not know that wouldn’t be OK!? I feel like an idiot but at my appointment with my midwife after, she assured me the baby is just fine.

Did run any races while pregnant? If so, how far was the distance and how far along were you?

Running Falmouth Road Race at 20 Weeks Pregnant Recap

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14 Comments

  • Sara
    Reply

    This is great to read you are still running at 20 weeks! I have a goal to run at least 1 road race a year (10k or greater), and I still haven’t run one for 2015. I am now 6 weeks pregnant, and I wasn’t sure if I would meet my goal this year or not. I want to do a 12k in November, and I’ll be 18 weeks by race day, and I think you have given me the motivation that I can do it! Thanks Sarah and congratulations!

  • C
    Reply

    I’m not a runner (bad knees) so now that I’m pregnant (due end of January!) I’m not about to start, haha. BUT I have a friend who IS a runner, and she ran a full marathon while 6 months pregnant! Most doctors nowadays will say as long as you feel okay to keep doing whatever you were doing pre-pregnancy, just taking it easier with weights and nixing the on-you-back crunches after first trimester :)

  • Amanda @ OrganicGlory
    Reply

    I had several friends who ran Falmouth this weekend and I know how brutal it was, so well done, pregnant or not!! As someone who was in very good shape when I got pregnant but was totally taken down by severe morning sickness (not the kind you can power through, the kind where you throw up a dozen times every hour, all day long) I wish I’d been able to maintain my fitness level throughout the first two trimesters, because by the time it passed around 22 weeks, I was in a much different-feeling body! I believe this caused me to take longer post-partum to get into shape, so I always hate it when people tell pregnant women to ‘take it easy’ or not exercise. That’s old-fashioned advice if you ask me! Your videos are so easy to follow and the workouts are both effective and fast, which is what makes them perfect for mamas — our time is always so crunched! Looking forward to following your journey into motherhood :)

  • Christina
    Reply

    You are so inspiring! I’m 14 weeks pregnant and many people don’t understand why I continue to run. I while I’ve modified my running, I still enjoy it. And I’ll slow down when my body tells me to. I’m happy to see other pregnant women running and racing! Keep it up and keep inspiring people! :-)

  • Heidi
    Reply

    Awesome! I ran the Nashville rock ‘n roll while 6 months pregnant. It was hot and somewhat hilly but I took it slow and everyone was just fine. Way to keep active -- it really really helps afterward, on a lot of levels!

  • Stephanie
    Reply

    I started slacking off on my workouts even before I got pregnant so now I’m afraid to ramp things up at 16 weeks. We had signed up for some 5ks ages ago but I don’t think I can get back to trained enough to run them before they happen. :/ Glad you have been staying active, it’s motivating me to get back to working out.

  • Amy
    Reply

    Congratulations!! And good for you still tackling races :) I ran a 5K when I was probably about 20 weeks or so along, but overall running was just not that comfortable for me pregnant. I did however keep up with regular strength training and lower impact cardio up until 3 weeks before my due date, and I truly believe it was why I had such an easy pregnancy!

  • Irmine
    Reply

    I love enjoyed your videos and post very informative . I am so excited for both I wish you nothing but the best :) Sara PS i book mark all you videos for years …. thank again you inspire me !

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