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Pregnant and racing?
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I posted a few weeks ago that I was trying to conceive and continuing to race and train....looks like I got my wish because I'm almost 5 weeks pregnant! I'm extremely happy but confused as to what to do with my HIM next weekend at 6 weeks along. I have been training but not too intensely. My doctor said its up to me and "as long as I don't get kicked in the stomach in the swim or have a bad bike crash" I should be fine. Would you take these chances? Neither has happened to me during a race thus far and I hope I keep it that way.

I certainly won't be looking for PR in this race but I also am a fairly competitive person and don't know how hard it will be to hold back. Has anyone had experience here, or heard of others that have raced pregnant?

I know there are professional triathletes like Beth Gerdes remained active during the pregnancy but I'm wondering if other age groupers have or would race pregnant.
Last edited by: wasasherpafirst: Aug 7, 15 10:21
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Re: Pregnant and racing? [wasasherpafirst] [ In reply to ]
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wasasherpafirst wrote:
I posted a few weeks ago that I was trying to conceive and continuing to race and train....looks like I got my wish because I'm almost 5 weeks pregnant! I'm extremely happy but confused as to what to do with my HIM next weekend at 6 weeks along. I have been training but not too intensely. My doctor said its up to me and "as long as I don't get kicked in the stomach in the swim or have a bad bike crash" I should be fine. Would you take these chances? Neither has happened to me during a race thus far and I hope I keep it that way.

I certainly won't be looking for PR in this race but I also am a fairly competitive person and don't know how hard it will be to hold back. Has anyone had experience here, or heard of others that have raced pregnant?

I know there are professional triathletes like Beth Gerdes remained active during the pregnancy but I'm wondering if other age groupers have or would race pregnant.

not a tri, and not that kind of distance, but I raced a 10K while about as far along as you -- my heart rate was through the roof that night, but no lasting consequences. You might think about wearing a monitor.
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Re: Pregnant and racing? [wasasherpafirst] [ In reply to ]
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This is just my own, personal, opinion - this is not a judgment in anyway - I'm just answering the question that you posed. If it were me, I wouldn't race. None of us go into a race saying we won't "race". We also don't expect to be kicked in the stomach, crash on the bike, or end up in the med tent for any reason. To me, though, that is just too big a risk to take. I say this from the other side of pregnancy - I have a 16 year old and an 8 year old. I didn't walk around in bubble wrap during either pregnancy, but I did make a decision not to do anything (within my control) risky. I knew I had many years ahead of me to race.
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Re: Pregnant and racing? [wasasherpafirst] [ In reply to ]
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Congratulations!

That is a dilemma. Not sure what I would do if I was in your place.

Though, i think i did post in the forum on your previous thread that I did a 25k trail run without realizing I was already pregnant. I was only a few weeks along and i felt very sluggish. I just thought i was still recovering from IM. I made it with no lasting impacts to me or baby. So if you're leaning to do it just know that you'll likely be fine. But it's totally acceptable to err on the side of caution too.

So while not helpful is one of those things that is completely up to you! And even better if you're not having nausea that would make racing seem impossible!
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Re: Pregnant and racing? [wasasherpafirst] [ In reply to ]
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I'm currently 38 weeks pregnant. I didn't do any triathlons this summer, but I did do a bunch of 5ks, 10ks, and a half marathon. The half was when I was 21 weeks along. I've still been "training" as much as possible, but didn't want to do any triathlons this far along. I would be too nervous about being kicked during the swim or falling off the bike. I swim a couple times a week, and get on the trainer, but not on the road. I was still running until a few weeks ago when the bouncing just got too uncomfortable.

At six weeks along, baby is well below your public bone... so fairly well protected. You still don't want to get kicked or fall, but i think as long as you are careful and hang toward the back of your swim wave you may be ok. You would need to be super cautious about your hydration and nutrition and really pay attention to how you are feeling.
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Re: Pregnant and racing? [wasasherpafirst] [ In reply to ]
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So - have you decided??

I rode my bike with my first pregnancy until I was 32-33 weeks (then I was too big to be comfortable, even on my mountain bike).

Do you regularly fall off your bike? Then the risk really isn't much greater now (and the little ball of cells is very well protected).

The big thing for me was lack of oxygen. Even with easy efforts it felt like I was never getting enough oxygen. If you decide to race, definitely listen to your body. You aren't likely to PR, so be kind to yourself & adjust your expectations accordingly.

Also - congratulations!!!!
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Re: Pregnant and racing? [edbikebabe] [ In reply to ]
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HI All! So I've really been wavering all week (and really just avoiding making a decision). One thing I decided earlier in the week was that I was going to downgrade from the Half IM to the Olympic. Every workout I've done in the past week has left my panting and gasping for air so I've had to slow down a lot and can't imagine going for close to 6 hours (definitely more if I'm going slow). But then I looked at the forecast which is calling for a high of 90 degrees. That's when I decided that I'm going to cut my losses and not do the race. It's just not worth overheating and being uncomfortable. So while I'll continue to swim, ride my bike (I did this morning), and run in a training atmosphere, I think doing it in a race is just not what I want to be doing right now.

So thank you all for your advice! It was really wonderful hearing from athletes, vs. my non-athlete friends, who just think I'm crazy doing triathlons not pregnant.
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Re: Pregnant and racing? [blathnat] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
At six weeks along, baby is well below your public bone... so fairly well protected.

Sorry, thread hack, never been pregnant and very curious about it. The baby (or ball of cells) is that low? What do you mean 'below' the pubic bone?

disclaimer: PhD not MD
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Re: Pregnant and racing? [wasasherpafirst] [ In reply to ]
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Hey, I see you've already decided but I was having a similar predicament which is why I came on here to read if anyone else had already asked!
I am currently 12 weeks with my 2nd. With my first I ran until I was 35 weeks, racing the whole time but the longest was a half marathon at 18 weeks. I have been wanting to do an Olympic at the end of the summer but I've changed that to a Sprint next weekend instead. I just wasn't sure about the weather. I'm keeping an eye on the heat though - if it stays, I'll just stay home.
Good luck with the pregnancy and the training!
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Re: Pregnant and racing? [khillis33] [ In reply to ]
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khillis33 wrote:
Hey, I see you've already decided but I was having a similar predicament which is why I came on here to read if anyone else had already asked!
I am currently 12 weeks with my 2nd. With my first I ran until I was 35 weeks, racing the whole time but the longest was a half marathon at 18 weeks. I have been wanting to do an Olympic at the end of the summer but I've changed that to a Sprint next weekend instead. I just wasn't sure about the weather. I'm keeping an eye on the heat though - if it stays, I'll just stay home.
Good luck with the pregnancy and the training!

I honestly think that if I was further along and felt good, I might have raced. I know exercise doesn't cause miscarriage but I can't imagine how I'd feel if something doesn't work out with this pregnancy, I would always wonder if I did something by pushing myself too hard. I know my doctor said that I shouldn't wear a HR monitor but I normally do for training and today I was running an 11 minute mile and my heart rate was where it normally is when I'm running 8 min/miles during a race! I can't imagine that is good for anyone. I'm a bit sad that I'm missing the race (and had to come up with horrible excuses to the teammates that thought I'd be racing with them) but at least I know I'm doing the right thing for my body.

Yes, keep the heat in mind! I ran with a water bottle today and drank from it as often as I remembered to! Good luck with your pregnancy as well!
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Re: Pregnant and racing? [tigerchik] [ In reply to ]
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Your fundal height (which is how they measure the size of your uterus during pregnancy) is measured from the top of your pubic bone to the top of your uterus. They can't start making that measurement until about 12 weeks, before that the uterus hasn't grown enough to be felt. I don't know if I explained that very well- here is a pic.

So before that point, the baby is well below where it can't be felt, so would be pretty well protected from bumps.
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Re: Pregnant and racing? [blathnat] [ In reply to ]
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that made sense. fascinating.

disclaimer: PhD not MD
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Re: Pregnant and racing? [wasasherpafirst] [ In reply to ]
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Congratulation! I had my own first baby three months ago. I was faced with a similar situation except I had continued to ride until I started to feel it was effecting my abdominal muscles. Something just didnt feel right. I discontinued after it started to feel dangerous. I think its best to play it safe while pregnant. Every pregnancy is different but for me there where just too many changes going on in my body.
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Re: Pregnant and racing? [MauraShin] [ In reply to ]
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I had a similar decision to make about NOLA 70.3 this year. NOLA was a week after I found out that I was pregnant. I elected not to race, less because I was concerned about injury than because I was so freaking sick in my first trimester that I couldn't imagine racing. I was constantly nauseous starting a few days after conceiving straight through 13 weeks. My "OMG, I'm going to vomit" HR went from the low 190s down to about 145 within about a week.

I'm so jealous of the women who've been able to continue running until their third trimester. I could live with the absurdly high heart rate and slow paces, but starting around 20 weeks, my pelvis hurt so much -- even after short runs -- that I decided to pull the plug. I've started hiking a lot, which seems to hurt my pelvis less, and am still swimming, and riding on the trainer and on my mountain bike on local trails.

MauraShin is right -- every body and every pregnancy is so different. You have to figure out what's right for you based on your doctor's recs and how you feel.
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