Fit Pregnancy: Competitive Walking During Pregnancy

One thing I miss about running is the competitive edge it gives me. I’ve run in numerous races from 5Ks to half-marathons and enjoyed each one immensely. I never thought I’d actually win any of these races–I’m not the fastest nor can I run the farthest–but I was always in competition with myself. Nothing beats my beating me, you know? Just looking at a new record I’d set for myself, then enjoying a nice french toast bagel (if you haven’t had one and you are in the NYC area sign up for practically any race to be rewarded with one of these joyous inventions) was unbelievably satisfying.

Preparing for one of these races, the goal being to best my last time, was almost as much fun. The spouse and I would set mileage and pick routes, put our best efforts forward to increase our pace. We’d keep time and count our splits, then record everything daily to compare over time. It was basically an all-consuming process, and one I miss terribly now that I’m preggers.

My husband, who wants to run the 2007 NYC marathon with me, has been competing in many races this year, most of them without me. If one runs 9 qualifying races in one calendar year, he/she automatically gains entrance to the NYC marathon the following year. I took the easier approach and signed up for the lottery, got in, then took the really easy approach by getting pregnant, getting out of training, and rolling my entry over to next year. Problem is, my husband, who is still training and doing all the running, also seems to be having all the fun.

When we work out in the mornings we part ways, him hoofing it off with the stopwatch in a gallop, and me waddling as quickly as I can in the opposite direction, hoping if I’m lucky to cover a third of the ground he does during our half-hour AM workout. I don’t time myself or record my time. It’s an accomplishment for me to just get out of bed at this point, you know?

That said, the spouse has one more race to complete in order to get his entrance into the NYC marathon, a 4-miler in Central Park. He asked if I’d like to walk the race while he runs it, and most likely mentioned something about french toast bagels and possibly hot chocolate being served. This was all I needed to hear–if there’s one thing better than french toast bagels it’s those served with hot cocoa. Seriously.

My husband pointed out that I walk 5 miles at a time on Saturdays so this 4-miler should be no problem. He also reminded me that when we do time me, I can do 5 miles (hills and all) in an hour twenty, including stops for water and a trip to the bathroom. Guess I haven’t really lost that competitive edge after all.

So, I signed up for the race. And I’m totally psyched about it. I may have even recruited a pal to walk it with me. In an effort to “best” my time, I’ve also been, uh, training. This consists of mainly trying to waddle even more quickly, drinking extra water, and sampling my husbands energy pellets also known as Goo Beans. They’re delicious. In other words, I am treating prep for this race like I would any other–and why not?

Truth be told, if I don’t get around Central Park fast enough there won’t be any french toast bagels left. If that’s not incentive enough I don’t know what is!

Moral of the story: Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t by competitive. It also doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with your workout, set goals, or achieve them.

PS–if you’re not in the NYC area and are now desperate for a french toast bagel, some Star-buck’s carry them. I’ve also just received word that Au Bon Pain is carrying them as well. Haven’t sampled these yet so I can’t comment on their fatuousness.