Here in NYC if you’re an avid runner and competitor, you’re most likely to be part of a team called the New York Road Runner’s Club. I joined this earlier in the year when I started competing in more and more 5K’s and half-marathons around the city—this way I could stay in the know about the races going on in my area. Founded in 1958 with only 47 members, the NYRR Club has grown into the largest foremost running group with over 40,000 people! The NYRR hosts events, races, charity runs, clinics, classes and lectures all throughout the year. And over ten years ago, the NYRR Foundation was founded to promote health, well-being, and personal achievement among children in lower income areas that don’t have access to sporting goods and athletics, like running. It’s great to see running go from a grassroots sport that only a handful were obsessed with, to one of the most popular sports today. Did you also know that Foot Locker just debuted the first-ever Foot Locker RUN in downtown Manhattan (a store devoted entirely to running and running apparel), with more debuting all over the country this year? It’s nice to see something you really enjoy become more accepted—which really means there will be more and more cool races to compete in in the future!
The other day through the NYRR Club, I was lucky enough to meet Kara Goucher and Paula Radcliffe, the two fastest female runners in the world. Combined they hold world records and have won numerous Olympic medals (Paula has the fastest women’s marathon time with 2 hours and 17 minutes!). Getting to meet both Kara and Paula was something totally up my alley and I was more excited meeting them than having rubbed elbows with any celebrity or TV star in the past. These women are sources of inspiration for me in my everyday life. Although it’s their job to train and run every day, they also face the same challenges that I face as a woman and as an avid runner. Right now, Kara and Paula are both a few months pregnant, Kara with her first baby and Paula with her second, and although I’m not at that same point in my life, it was helpful to hear about how running helps them in their pregnancies, both physically and mentally.
Most importantly they said, if you’re pregnant, now isn’t the time to become a runner to stay in shape. If you’re looking to get pregnant soon and you want to run to stay in shape, start running a few months to a year before you even plan on getting pregnant; that way, when you do conceive, training every day will not be anything new to you. However, they agreed running can quickly become your personal haven—for you and for you and your baby. Both Paula and Kara train while they’re pregnant (as the fastest women, they’ve taken it down a notch for sure), and they feel running is the best way for someone who’s pregnant to not only stay fit, but to keep their sanity while entering this new phase in life. (Be sure to check with your OBGYN before doing any exercise though, when you’re pregnant!) Running becomes that intimate alone time with your thoughts and your emotions, plus, it helps you build a bond with your baby while you’re on the road deep into your own thoughts. They also felt that while most women complain of feeling drained and overly tired while being pregnant, they have extra energy from their daily runs. Moms-to-be have plenty of worries and anxieties and running can give you a way to release any tensions you may be feeling. Besides staying fit, you’ll have more confidence in the delivery room and bounce back to your pre-baby body more quickly. And after the baby is born, going out for a morning or evening jog, while your husband watches the baby, can be the alone time you’ll crave to refresh yourself!
So don't forget to check with your doctor first, but once you're given the go-ahead, stick to your workouts and your mind and body will be ready for the baby.
Kara, me, and Paula!!!