I just finished reading this post, where Outside blogger (and Runner's World editor) Peter Vigneron questions whether getting pregnant makes female runners get faster. Vigneron admits that, after contemplating this question, his gut response is no - women will not return to their pre-pregnancy levels of competition. However, after choosing ten female runners and studying their pre-pregnancy and post-pregnancy performances, he finds that several of these women have been able to better their race times after having a baby.
Obviously, there are other factors in the lives of these women that could result in faster running, including harder or different training and the increased confidence or experience that comes with age. So the questions remain - is there something that happens in a woman's body when she gets pregnant that helps her with her running? Or is it motherhood itself that promotes these changes? How is it for women who adopt children?
While my race times are not quite what they were in college, they are pretty darn close. It amazes me to think that my 35-year-old body can nearly replicate what it could do at 18. Over the last several years, my fastest race times and marathon finishes all occurred AK ("after kids"), and not BK ("before kids"). All this despite the frustrated moments that occur frequently during life AK - those times when I feel restricted in what I can accomplish due to my role in caring for my kids. Even as I attempt to complete this post, I'm interrupted by requests for food, attention, and potty help (hence the scattered thoughts here). But I wonder...is it possible that my kids are helping me with my running, and lots of other things too, without me realizing it?
Whether or not you're a "mom" in the traditional sense, I would love to hear your thoughts. It would be great to hear from men too - how has fatherhood impacted your running?