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July 15, 2010

Baby on board: Felice racing 5K in June toward the end of her second trimester

Few things we love more than a pregnant runner, such as Felice Primeau Devine, 40, who is due with her second baby in early October. Felice is a running columnist who lives outside of Albany, N.Y., and she calls herself The Happy Runner.


Best recent run: The Freihofer’s Run for Women 5K in June–I was about 5.5 months pregnant. I finished in 27:11, and I was thrilled with my time. It’s one of my favorite races, in part because it’s an all-women race that attracts some of the top female runners in the world. The best part of the race, though, wasn’t even the race. After I found out I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to continue to run and I also knew I wouldn’t be able to do so at the same level as I had been. So I started a running group to train women (who’d never been runners) for the Freihofer’s race. It was one of the best things I could have done during this pregnancy. I enjoyed creating training plans for the new runners, running with them, helping them run their first full mile (then two miles, three miles…) without stopping and, ultimately, achieve their goal of running a 5K. The race was emotional because these women weren’t sure if they could run at all when they started, and they all stuck with it and finished the race running strong. I loved being part of it all.

Morning, noon, or night? I’m an evening runner. As much as I have tried to run in the morning, I can’t seem to haul myself out of bed. And noon doesn’t work because I stay at home with my son so I can’t just take off. I have tried with a little success to run on my treadmill when he naps, but I generally like to use that time to work.

Smooth-ie move: Ah, the smoothie. Yes, I drink one every morning and pretty much stick to the same base: banana, frozen blueberries and/or strawberries, plain yogurt. I had been adding flax meal to the smoothie and asked my blog readers what other additions they would recommend. I went with chia seeds and so far I like them. A lot of people recommended spinach but I’m not quite ready to go there yet!

Racing reactions: Most people are very supportive of my racing while pregnant. I’ve gotten a few stares at recent races but nothing unexpected. My friends and family have been great, save a comment here or there. The thing I’ve been most surprised about are the questions people ask me. I guess people don’t think much about whether a woman can run or race while pregnant so when they find out that I do, they’re curious. The most common question I’m asked is if my doctor has given me a date when I have to stop running or racing. The answer is no. Every time I have a check-up, my doctor and I talk about how I’m feeling and, so far, I’ve left with the go-ahead to keep doing what I’m doing.

Gals’ night: Last December I decided I wasn’t seeing my favorite people frequently enough so I set up a monthly night out. It is always the third Tuesday of the month and whoever can make it, makes it, but we don’t cancel just because someone has a soccer game or something. It’s our standing date. We usually head out to eat but we’ve also stayed in a few times and had just as much fun. As a stay-at-home/work-at-home mom, I look forward to these nights as much-needed adult time. When the group started, there weren’t that many runners. It was probably just me and one or two others. Now, though, most of the group runs. Five of the women were part of the new runners group I started, and they are now all hooked on running! So, in addition to dishing about our husbands, kids, work, and other gossip, we now spend a lot of time talking about training plans and upcoming races. I love that my pals have caught the running bug!

Master-ful: I feel like I am not going to know what it is like to “compete” on a Masters level until after I get back to running post-pregnancy. Right now, yeah, I’m 40 and I’m racing but my times are so off because I’m pregnant. I do know that I am not hanging it up just because I’m no longer in my 30s. I am confident I have some PRs in these legs and I will be going after them soon enough!

Post-pregnancy plan: My goal for after I have the baby is to get back to running within three to four weeks. I had an easy pregnancy and delivery the first time and this one has been more or less the same. So, I am hoping I can start running within the first month, which is what happened after my first pregnancy. Granted, I was three years younger and didn’t have another child to run after but we’ll see how it goes! Beyond the basic getting back to running, I have a few races I would love to participate in, including the Winter Marathon Relay in February that I ran this year and maybe a spring half-marathon.

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Felice and her 3-year-old son, Conal, running his first race.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 15, 2010 11:40 am

    Always great to read about another running mom showing the way to others! A setting a great example for baby # 1 and 2.

  2. July 15, 2010 11:43 am

    Awesome job Felice!! I love how you’re setting an example for other women. It’s like nursing in public, people need to see women continuing to be active during pregnancy to #1 accept it, and #2 to realize they can stay active too. I’m due a few weeks after you and also continue to run (though my family isn’t as supportive as yours). I run on my lunch break so my co-workers see me head out. I too get tons of questions about how far and how long I’m “allowed” to run. So many women have also commented that they didn’t even consider working out while pregnant because they didn’t think it was allowed. I would love to run right up until the end like you, however my low blood pressure is beginning to make running hard – I feel breathless & dizzy just sitting at my desk at work. I’m managing to get 3 5K runs in per week + a boot camp fitness class, but my dizziness is making me think that decreasing my intensity may have to happen soon. Good luck with your pergnancy Felice – I’ll definitely be following you on your blog!

  3. July 15, 2010 11:56 am

    This post makes me want to get pregnant so badly. I want to see what it’s like to have a healthy pregnancy. Not that my others were unhealthy but I didn’t work out during either of them so they could have been healthier.

  4. July 15, 2010 12:29 pm

    I love to see moms running during pregnancy!
    I was under the impression while I was pregnant that it was an excuse to be a total bum. In hindsight I so wish I would have ran through pregnancies and my care providers would have been more open minded. Totally think it would have made the pregnancies even easier, especially the last two.

    Already a follower of Felice 🙂

  5. Cathy permalink
    July 15, 2010 7:28 pm

    I love your girls nite out idea. I don’t have a group I run with, but sometimes it would be nice to fit in social time with running time.
    I wasn’t running when I was pregnant…hadn’t caught the bug then!

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