There is truly no limit to what moms are capable of. Nothing makes that more apparent than the story of Sophie Power, a mom with a name that truly suits her.
Sophie is an ultra runner from London. Being an ultra runner means that she tackles footraces longer than your average marathon. Sophie recently completed the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, an annual, single-stage, one-mountain ultramarathon. This in itself is a huge accomplishment, as two years of preparation are required to even be considered for the race. Sophie entered the grueling race just after giving birth.
Sophie gave birth to her son Cormac just three months prior to the end-of-summer race. She trained throughout her pregnancy, stopping two weeks prior to her due date at the recommendation of her doctors. Sophie was forced to change her usual approach to these races. Instead of focusing on speed, she had to slow down and pace herself differently to avoid putting pressure on her pelvis. As a breastfeeding mother, she was also faced with the unique challenge of pumping during her 103-mile trek.
Sophie Power, a mother of two, just completed the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, a 103-mile ultramarathon.
It wasn’t easy by any means for Sophie. Although she’s an ultra runner, she would be completing this monumental race just three months after giving birth to her son, Cormac. She also breastfeeds her son, which presented a unique challenge.
For the first 16 hours of the race, there was no opportunity for Sophie to meet with her husband, John, to pump. Since she wasn’t feeding or pumping, Sophie was pushing out the milk by hand to prevent buildup.
It was an incredible experience for Sophie, who told Runner’s World UK: “Oh my god, I was in agony. Cormac usually feeds every three hours, and it took me 16 to get to Courmayeur where he could first meet me, so I was hand expressing everywhere I could en route. I was so relieved he was hungry.”
Once she was able to meet with her husband, she was able to feed Cormac at some stops. At others, she would pump so John could bring the milk back to the baby.
This unusual obstacle led Sophie to reexamine her approach for this race. She said, “In a typical race I would get in and out of the aid stations as quickly as possible but here I had to focus on keeping down enough food (for me and for Cormac!) and resting.”
Many new moms — heck, many people — would consider this an insurmountable obstacle. For Sophie, who was required to undergo more than two years of training to even qualify for the race, it was a welcome break.
Sophie explained the different approach in further detail, saying in an interview shared with People: “The goal was simply to get ’round the course which gave me so much time to take in the views, chat to people and really absorb the whole experience. It was also a much needed mental break to only have to think about looking after myself for once.”
Of course, Sophie’s body was also in a different place and required a different approach: “I couldn’t raise my heart rate too much, as my body isn’t primed to burn fat, and I couldn’t fully run downhills to protect my pelvis.”
It wasn’t just running the race that…
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