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My Running Journey with Cystic Fibrosis

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When I was younger I loved pickles and cheese, and in high school those strange food cravings raised some occasional pregnancy suspicions. I still crave pickles and cheese with mustard but at this point in my life the craving now signifies big life changes and I am beyond excited for them! I am happy to announce that my husband, Adam, and I are expecting our first human child (Lola and Oscar are our dog children)!

This wonderful news is truly a miracle because we were told that I was infertile and may have to seek help from fertility specialists. Having Cystic Fibrosis makes the process difficult and undergoing intense chemotherapy and radiation treatments in my past created the high possibility of infertility for me.

I pray and hope for strength and health during my pregnancy. I pray that my lungs are stable and strong through these 9 months. There are several antibiotics and medications that I need but I can’t take because they may be harmful to the fetus. I am a high risk pregnancy because of my Cystic Fibrosis, cancer history and Factor V Leiden. I now have to take daily Lovenox (blood thinner medication) shots in my stomach to prevent blood clots. In college I was diagnosed with a blood clot and I found out that I have a genetic predisposition to blood clots. Having CF also puts me at a very high risk for gestational diabetes. I am seen often to monitor the pregnancy and my health.

WEEK 6
WEEK 11

I am not scared that I have a high risk pregnancy, I have received wonderful care thus far. I traveled to Seattle to visit a high risk Doctor that has worked with many pregnant patients that have Cystic Fibrosis. I am 17 weeks pregnant (April 1st due date) and I am relishing each new week that goes by. I’ve had no morning sickness but I have been extremely tired. I know that it will be hard on my body as the baby gets bigger and I have less room to breathe, but I am still attending my weekly running group, boot camp and running on my own. My Doctors approved me working out and running during my pregnancy.

My running and distance has slowed down a lot, but I am still out there trying. Running has been such a vital component to my health and I want to keep it up for as long as I can. My lung function has dropped to 67% but I am optimistic that it will go back up to my baseline of around 76%. My breathing has been the hardest factor for me and I have also been feeling Round Ligament pain in my lower abdomen. I think the combination of a growing belly and coughing while running triggers this pain.

I may not be setting Personal Records while running but I am trying and finishing!

I ran and PR’d in a half marathon at 5 weeks pregnant, I ran in a 10k and finished the Lost Lake Run while pregnant!

I walk/jogged in a half marathon this past weekend. I felt so lucky because I had a wonderful friend who jogged 8 miles and walked the rest of the race with me, it took us 2 hours and 58 minutes.

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Running is still important to me because it is one of my main forms of airway clearance. When I found out that I was pregnant I was scared to run because I didn’t want to damage or hurt the baby. I was cleared by my Doctor’s who said that it was okay and important for me to continue exercise. I value my ability to still run and exercise. I researched running and pregnancy (especially high risk)and found very little helpful information on this specific topic. There were some blogs and articles in Runner’s World that were helpful.

I hope to provide inspiration to other pregnant runners. 
So many amazing things have happened in my life since my last blog. I thought it would be fun for me to go back and look at my goals that I posted from my first blog back in February 2013! My current notes are in red and my new goal list is below. I strongly advise people to have goals because they help to achieve personal ambitions, passions, dreams and accountability.
Sabrina’s Goals (OLD Version)
 
Run a marathon (I signed up for the Seattle November 2014 marathon but I have put this on hold for 2015)

 Compete in the 16 mile Lost Lake Run annually and raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (I have run in Lost Lake for the past 3 years and I raised $11,147. A huge and wonderful thank you to my 29 teammates.)



Start a run that benefits Cystic Fibrosis in Anchorage (This is a goal that I have definitely put on the back burner, and my motivation for this has decreased)

Be in a Play (I took an acting workshop, but have not auditioned for a play)

Do a triathlon (Still on my list)

Travel to Europe (Adam took me on a wonderful trip where we explored Iceland, Spain, Italy, France, Monaco and Germany! I am in awe of the rich history and beautiful architecture!)



Run 3 times a week and do strength training 2 times a week (I have accomplished this!)

Beat my half marathon and 10K personal record times ( I beat my half and 10k PR this year)



Travel to a village in Alaska (I was able to travel to Bethel, Alaska this past February)


Start a Blog 🙂 (Done!)

I would love to travel around the country and world to run in races that benefit CF and raise money along the way. (Maybe I could get a group of CF’ers or anyone who would do this with me.) (I have been able to run in Michigan & Arizona)



I am going to be a mother and that gives me even more reason to stay healthy and fight Cystic Fibrosis. I am not running and working out for my own well being anymore, I have a human life that I need to be here for. I want to be the best version of myself and help this individual for as long as I can. Bringing life into this world gives my world a whole new meaning and perspective.

GOALS will help me obtain and achieve this purpose!

Thank you for reading 🙂

Sabrina

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