Running for two

/ 10:39 AM September 11, 2012

After skipping all the road races since April, I will hit the road once again and run my first 1-kilometer race ever at Maternity Run 2012 on Sept. 29, 2012.

The run for pregnant women is organized by the Cebu Puericulture Center and Maternity House to celebrate its 90th year.


The Maternity Run has a 1K category exclusive to pregnant and menopausal women, 3K open category and 10K open and a special category for those born and delivered at Maternity House.

I find running a 1-kilometer race scary than running 100-miles. You would feel the same way if you’re 6-months pregnant with your first child at 35.


But pregnant women can still run safely, if they follow certain guidelines. An article published in the Running Times Magazine (http://runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=5791), gave important points to remember while training and running during pregnancy:

1. Increase electrolyte replacement before and during races and training. Dehydration early on can be a cause of hyperemesis gravidarium (severe nausea and vomiting). Dehydration can also cause dizziness and lightheadedness in pregnant women. Later in pregnancy, after 20 weeks, dehydration can cause preterm contractions and possibly preterm labor.

2. Due to increased progesterone production during pregnancy, there is increased laxity of the joints and ligaments, which can put you at higher risk for joint and soft tissue injuries, particularly in the knees and ankles. Use of supports can add additional stability to the joints, especially if you have a previous history of injury or strains.

3. After about 28 weeks gestation, most women would be well advised to stop running. With the enormous changes brought about by pregnancy, women are much more likely to have falls and missteps, which can increase the risk of preterm labor or damage to the placenta. In addition, running can divert the nutritional supply away from the baby and cause decreased amniotic fluid, placing the pregnancy at risk.

At any time during a pregnancy, it is extremely important to pay close attention to your body and its response to exertion of any kind. If it doesn’t feel right, if you have any concerns, stop the activity immediately and call your doctor.

In the final weeks of pregnancy, a fit, healthy woman can walk and swim without concern and will likely be able to return to running soon after a normal labor and delivery.

The 1Km loop course starts at the Maternity House along B. Rodriguez St.  Runners will cut across Fuente Osmena, then down to Gen. Maxilom Avenue for the turn-around point at St. Theresa’s College.  It’s short but challenging on the way back because of the hill going up to National Bookstore.


The registration fee for all categories at the maternity run is pegged at P250. Registration sites include the Cebu Maternity House lobby (near the Nurse Supervisor Office) from Aug. 28 until Sept. 27 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Runnr Ayala from Sept. 15-26.

After learning I was pregnant last April, one of the biggest challenges I had to face was how to stay active and fit without harming my baby.

My doctor, my friends who’ve given birth before me and the books on pregnancy that I’ve read all told me to slow down since, 35 is not exactly the most optimal age to be pregnant for the first time.

But, if you’ve been used to a daily routine that included twice a day gym sessions and road run mileage that reached at least 80 kilometers on a slow week, slowing down was hard to imagine.

However, I realized that time is running out for old cows like me and that there may be no do-overs in baby making, unlike a bad race or falling short of your personal best.

So I limited the runs to 30 minutes on the treadmill mixed with yoga, Body Combat (martial arts aerobics), Body Jam (dance class) and Body Pump (weightlifting class).  The goal was to stay healthy, keep the blood pressure down and sugar levels normal even as I steadily gained pregnancy weight. So far, I’ve kept my blood pressure levels to 90/50 and sugar levels at 95. I was able to do all these because I’ve been blessed with a healthy and uncomplicated pregnancy so far. There’s still three months to go. I hope it stays that way till date of delivery.

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