A New PR

Yesterday a record was set by breaking the 130 mark on the scale. I easily achieved my lb a week (after 13 weeks) with a 133.3 and a visible belly.

I had a reality check when I did a speed workout at the track late last week – it was 6×800 w 100 jog at paces for half marathon, 10 mile and 10k. I now have evidence that weight can be a factor in your times.

For the first 2 a steady a 3:06, the next comfortably picking it up to sub 3 pace at 2:59-58, the last 2 I figured I might see a surprise if I pushed it a bit- but sadly my 80 second/lap speed feel has turned to 85s. I hit 2:50 and didn’t break into the 40s. I was definitely not upset – all this workout stuff has been so fun to see how my body is responding. It’s also been nice that my teammates took a little break at the end of fall and are easing back into workouts with some perfect fit pregnancy lady level aggressiveness. I feel like a pioneer within all my runner lady friends who have endured pregnancy. Yes I know girls who have ran, but not raced or did workouts. With good reason because

A. it hasn’t been so long ago that the 140 max heart rate rule has no been changed to no official limit (and many don’t know this)
B. you feel completely off and out of whack – especially the first trimester -who wants to put the pressure on to run at any sort of intensity than chill pace although I felt worse at chill pace than workout speeds
C. you won’t have an awe-inducing race or PR to look forward to for quite a while so why bother
D. there are many people who convince you now is a great time to rest up because you could be shaking the baby or put you into preterm labor (or other unproven theories of risking baby harm)

The only person that seems to be a good role model is Kara Goucher and I’m thankful she added the Running Pregnant section to her new book. Otherwise I’d be lost and scared.

The day I found out I was pregnant I had a race* in 4 hours. After talking to Alan, I immediately called my coach Mark who had somewhat suspected this since my workouts and runs had recently taken a downward slide. I didn’t know what to do. Can you race and be pregnant? Is this safe? Alan and I laugh about my situation

Mark was excited and said just have fun starting conservative with the goal feeling strong and passing as many girls as possible (similar to his everyday advice) with an emphasis on caution. I was unsure how much I could push – but raced and did fairly well despite racing only 4 days prior. I ran each K a little stronger and moved up to finish in the top 15 at the UVA invite. The day was awesome and I was excited that I could still get approval to race and have a baby growing.

Since mid October I decided to take each week as it came but got reassurance that training “harder”(more than just easy jogging) is fine if you are used to this stuff. I signed up for Club XC thinking it would be my last timed effort in December but as January has approached I see no reason (other than lack of opportunity for outdoor races) to quit. Who do I have to impress? Who cares if I run a minute off a PR. Racing is really a self-indulging thing when you are not making a living from it. And right now I feel the indulgence is even better – less pressure, a big high and still that feeling of satisfaction in accomplishment.

Here are my race results with Baby (Homer?) Webb. Haha – hoping that will not be the final name. Please comment to agree so I can put that one to rest with Alan. I hope this can encourage other pregnant women to get out there and run (if they desire!)

10.10 (3.5 weeks) USATF Tufts 10k – 36:59 (34th) in the heat. All week I felt terrible and took a rare 2 days in a row off because I suspected overtraining. Weeks earlier my goal was low 35. It was a relief to find out why everything had changed.

* 10.14 (4 weeks) 6k Panorama XC – 21:55 (13th)

11.4 (6 weeks) 5K Panorama XC – 17:54 (1st!) goal was top 10; that one felt good pulling away in the home stretch  🙂racing to a victory

11.12 (7 weeks) Richmond Half Marathon – 1:20:17 (4th) – last 10 miles in 60:26 – goal was sub 1:22 or whatever I could do within reason. That was the best I’d felt in a half my entire life. I wish i could have seen that one coming and started a little more aggressive. Thank you increased blood volume and iron storage.

11.24 (10 weeks) Ashburn Farms 10k – 37:06 (2nd) on extremely sore legs; I bounced back into workouts a little soon from half. Kept this one conservative.

12.10 (12 weeks) USATF Club XC 6k – 21:53 (78th) – bummer I booked my flights only a day before the race- ended up getting in late with a 5 hour delay  and minimal sleep the night before. That being said I felt so-so and was fine with it- I had hoped for 21:30s based on workout evidence but the ground was a little mushier and my conservative start slowed me a bit in the first loop by having so many bodies to pass.

12.18 (13 weeks) Celtic Solstice 5 miler in Baltimore. 29:35 (2nd) – a nice hilly course that I was able to handle the first uphill mile and crush the last one running 5:33 to finish much faster than my expectations.

1.1 (15 weeks) New Years 5K in Charlottesville. 18:41 (1st) I don’t really count this as a race because the day before I did a 10 mile run including 5 at sub 6 pace broken up in fartlek. I showed up really because I was tired of running alone and thought a race would be fun- just run easy with the crowd. Yeah right. I got off the line slow- saw 2 females ahead and at the half mile dropped a sub 2:50 and then settled into a 6 min pace on tired legs to coast to win.

Entering second trimester – a few things: My every day runs feel so much better! Before this most of the running I felt pretty off – similar to my 3 month experience with Lyme’s disease. Yet the run always made me feel much better the rest of the day. And one bonus – I was still able to produce decent workouts and actually felt ok doing them. Maybe it was because I expected that to feel really bad?

Now my energy is back and I can function my better after 8pm. No more nausea and a much better appetite! I feel much more stable during easy runs. I discovered the secret-  bringing Gatorade to any run longer than 30 minutes.

My favorite side effect which has just taken off is appetite. After 10 weeks of mild “all day sickness” food now doesn’t look or smell disgusting. Christmas came at a great time. I have a fond memory of digging my fingers into the bottom of the nacho cheese at the end of the 1st quarter Packers game. I am definitely appreciating all the great Wisconsin products- cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, pizza with extra cheese; also had to mention ranch dressing, bbq chips and mayonnaise with pickles on a sandwich. Yum!

Near future plans – running an indoor 5000 at Virginia Tech. I am pretty sure I’ll use one of those hand held grenade type water bottles to soak myself during the race if  I start to get too hot. Keeping your temp within reason is even more important during pregnancy.

Early February I’m running US xc! At this point my weight will probably be another 5 lbs so I believe 6:00 pace will be the goal.   How many more chances will I get to fly solo to a race without getting child care? My teammate Ann is in and I’m looking forward to have a fun weekend adventure.

Hope to see some “serious” blog readers there who don’t mind my lack of professionalism in English and the like.  🙂


  1. Carrie Simonson · · Reply

    Julia, I love your blog, especially the part about appreciating Wisconsin products. Living in Ohio makes me miss all the unhealthy, tasty things I enjoyed for 26 years! If your bro is still at Franciscan you should go visit him and run in our home meet Feb. 4. 🙂 It’s only 45ish min away! You’re doing awesome and I love your motivation throughout the pregnancy!

  2. Kelsey Anne · · Reply

    Jules you are awesome.. I love this post! And, it is SOOOO nice to be able to read about your life, since you are so far away now I don’t get my daily/weekly ”live with Julia” moments, this is a reasonable 2nd I guess 🙂 Hugs to Alan, and let me cast my vote: NO, for ‘Homer’, please NO! Love you girl, Kelsey

  3. No Homer!!! John might be a nice name….

  4. I like Russell…:>)

  5. So interesting. My mom had 8 kids, but just started running after the last one. She always wonders what it would have been like to run while pregnant! You should read Meggans running blog. She’s a real competitive runner too who has a one year old http://mfranks.blogspot.com/ Good stuff!

    Good luck indoors!

  6. Hey, just noticed the link in my analytics. I don’t mind the lack of grammer, I am probably worse. Great to find another serious blogger out there.
    take care- M.

  7. YES! Can’t wait for USA XC with you!!! ❤

  8. Hi Julia,
    I hope you can continue to run until delivery! You’re doing awesome so far. I ran until 8 months with mine, and started swimming then because I felt too much pulling and didn’t want to stretch out too much. Plus it was summer and getting too hot to run most days. My docs were fine with me running as long as I didn’t get too hot until I was diagnosed with gestational hypertension in the last month so that put an end to the running for a little while. I was doing track workouts and tempo runs until sometime in the 2nd trimester and stopped because my times were getting slower and slower. Keep at it as long as you can, but be smart and listen to your body! I think the running was great for my baby. Maybe it has nothing to do with it, but he is a happy, healthy, laid back baby who is easily soothed. I think the steady rocking that he felt while I was running helped him. Running also keeps your pregnancy weight gain on track. I was supposed to gain 28 lbs. and I gained 27 lbs. and pretty much had my body back about 3 weeks after delivery. Best of luck with the rest of your pregnancy!

  9. Julia,

    Fun to read this blog and catch up on your running. It sounds like you are doing well and having fun. Congrats on being pregnant! Kids will change your life…but in a good way 🙂 I love my 3!!! It sounds like you are staying in shape during this pregnancy and enjoying the moments you have pre-kid! I ran as well during pregnancies (not at you level) and I felt as long as I am listening to what my body is telling me things will go well and they did. God bless you as you become a family of 3!! Yes, things are not quite as convienient all the time but it is so worth it. I feel like it makes you more selfless as well. You have this precious baby depending on you that you need to be there for!!! You will run for new reasons as well. Sometimes it will be all you can do to maintain balance and gain perspective sometimes. You will be a great Mother. Have fun and God bless you and your family!!!

    Dober 😉 Jess Dunham

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