I was 16 weeks pregnant and I raced for 8km - WOOHOO!!!!
That being said - it was the slowest race I ever ran!! Here are the official results:
I was the 2186th to finish the race out of 2208 runners
My chip time is 1 hour, 13 minutes, 57 seconds.
My pace was 9:38
I was the 1067/1080 woman
and the 226/227 woman in my age group.
Hey, I wasn't last!!!!! :)
I didn't push too much, with a baby in my belly, I didn't want to risk anything. I read a lot about exercise while pregnant a few days before the race, I was getting more anxious as race day approached. A lot of sites said to keep your heart rate under 140. However, that number seems to be from old sets of recommendations that were changed in the 90s. Now, most of the sources say to go with the 'rate of perceived exertion' (RPE) . Basically, you go with how your body 'feels' rather than your heart rate.
There's a good article about it on Baby Center. According to them, while pregnant, you should work out between 65% and 75% effort (100% = exhaustion)
Some places (including my midwifes) say that you should be able to have a conversation without being completely out of breath...
Armed with all that info, I still wore my heart rate monitor and also planned to listen to my body. Before becoming pregnant, if I ran at my normal pace, I would easily hit peaks of 185 bpm, but I would usually maintain it around 175 bpm.
I started the race with an easy jog and quickly my heart went up past 175... I slowed down a little... but I felt alright... so I continued and found that my 'sweet spot' was to slow down and start walking whenever I hit 185... When I went back to the 160s, I would jog a little... It was a bit frustrating, but again, it's no time to risk things, so I kept it safe and I ended up walking most of the way...
Close to the end (I'm pretty familiar with that park so I knew exactly what was coming, a big hill and then the finish line) some more 'regular' people were walking on the path and I was trying to avoid them. I saw someone coming in the distance, in a blue shirt, and proceeded to walk towards the other side, when I realized it was S! He had walked back to find me!! :) He walked the rest of the way with me, that was so nice :) I went up the hill walking, and then sprinted to the finish line.
In the end I felt pretty good that I walked/ran for 8km, the farthest I've ever gone. It felt really good.
And I got my first race medal!! wheee! :)
Here's a video of the race. You can see S (not very well) at approximately 1:04:40 (he's on the opposite side of the path from the camera and there's someone between him and the camera... he's wearing a blue shirt and black shorts) You can see him again and me (pretty well this time) at approximately 1:31:10. I think you can tell which one I am, I'm the lady with the bigger belly... ;)