Pregnant Marathoners Don’t Care If You Think They Shouldn’t Be Running

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running-pregnant-on-beach(Photo: RunningPregnant)

Five-time All American Clara Horowitz Peterson, pictured above, also trained through her pregnancies, and landed a spot at the 2012 United States Olympic marathon trials four months after giving birth. To do that she stopped breastfeeding her newborn after five weeks (cue the lactivists!) because “the hormones related to breast-feeding made her feel sluggish.” She detailed her training on her blog, Running Pregnant.

These women are obviously coming into pregnancy in incredible shape, and therefore their ability to stay so physically fit is relative. I had so much back pain in my second pregnancy that a walk around the park was a triumph. But with kid #1 I stayed in my regular yoga class until I was 36-weeks along, and strangers made it known that they thought I was a freak for sticking with my regular exercise routine.

Horowitz Peterson tells a similar story in the Times video piece. “I for sure get a lot of looks,” she says. She goes on to detail running in just a sports bra a day before giving birth to her second kid. A cyclist passed her and commented, “That is not okay.”

But isn’t it? If our bodies can handle it, shouldn’t we be more open to women who choose to exercise while pregnant, despite how weird we think it looks? As someone who was told by a doctor not to run while pregnant (and then did so anyway, until I was about 20 weeks along), I’m encouraged by these women’s attitudes toward taking charge of their own bodies and knowing what’s best for them. Obviously safety is important, and women should consult their doctor or midwife and only do what feels comfortable for them. But it’s ultimately each woman’s decision, and haters gonna hate no matter what you do. In the meantime, I’m gonna go for a (very slow) run.

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