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How a Breast Pump Helped Me Run a Marathon

“Nursing is easy and fun 100 percent of the time!” said no one ever.

“Training for a marathon while nursing is easy and fun!” Also, said no one ever.

I had made a personal goal after my second baby to train and complete a full marathon. I set my goal for the Honolulu Marathon, which was just shy of one year after my delivery date. Sure, I knew it would be challenging, and considering I did not run during my pregnancy because it was uncomfortable, I was starting from virtually nothing. Surprisingly enough, I never really thought that nursing while training for a marathon would be one of the harder aspects of the 6-month-long process. 

My breast pump that was provided by The Breastfeeding Shop was a life saver throughout the first few months. I was able to pump enough to have a mini freezer stash, and while my daughter never took a bottle on a regular basis, I was able to pump enough to be able to go on those long training runs and even have the occasional girl’s night or solo hair appointment.

Looking back, I am so thankful that The Breastfeeding Shop made the ordering process easy and seamless. Because, honestly who needs one more thing to worry about during the days leading up to welcoming your precious babe. With Tricare, it is easy as obtaining the prescription from your provider, selecting which breast pump fits your lifestyle and making sure to fill in your address correctly.

We live overseas (OCONUS), so I received mine within 10 days of ordering, but I imagine it would ship faster if you were stateside. If filling out forms on the computer is not your thing, the company also has a number to call to make the process even easier. For a more detailed description of ordering your free breast pump through The Breastfeeding Shop, make sure to check out Cari’s post from last month. 

Cecilia was a star nurser from the moment she was born. We went through the natural issues like sore nipples and some engorgement, but compared to her brother, she was a breeze. She was efficient and only nursed when hungry, not really a “comfort nurser.” My nursing relationship with her is still going strong at 14 months, and honestly, she is not showing any signs of slowing down. 

Where the Spectra Breastpump really shined were those months of training. Not only was I training for a marathon, but I was doing it while my husband was gone, which meant utilizing a babysitter for my long runs and leaving my exclusively nursing 6-month-old for a few hours at a time. Not only does The Breastfeeding Shop offer a free pump to Tricare users, it also offers all the supplies you will need. With your pump, the company sends you a good starter stash of the freezer bags, making it easy to label and freeze all that milk that you worked so hard for.

Often I would start my run early in the morning, like REALLY early. So, she would be asleep for the majority of the time that I would be gone. Which meant that I would pump for 15 to 30 minutes before the run, so I wouldn’t be uncomfortable or engorged. Sometimes it would mean waking her up for a dream feed, nursing her on one side while pumping on the other. Thankfully, the Spectra was quiet enough that this was super easy. 

Thinking about completing a marathon postpartum, while nursing?

Make sure to drink lots of liquids throughout the day, especially before and after a run. Nutrition is key as well. I preferred to eat rolled oats before the run and would come home and try to get in a 500-600 calorie, protein packed meal immediately following. While I never experienced a dip in my supply, I definitely attribute that to the fact that I would always nurse or pump right before a run and try to nurse right when I got home.

Even if you don’t plan on using the pump to exclusively pump or you didn’t need a pump with your first, it is so nice to have a good pump just in case. The Breastfeeding Shop not only offers hospital grade pumps, it also offers handheld pumps if that is the way you want to go.

Even if you have an efficient nurser, it is nice to have the pump as another option while training for a marathon because you can’t force an active 9-month-old to nurse when you need her to nurse. 

Never in my life would I have thought that I would complete a marathon. But, on December 10th I completed the Honolulu Marathon, and I did it all while nourishing my baby who was 11 months and 25 days on the day that I completed the 26.2 miles with my uncle.

After running, I sat down and had a very emotional nursing session with Cecilia, and I would not have changed that finish line moment for the world. We worked through the hangry moments, the engorgement, and we even worked through my small freezer stash, made possible by The Breastfeeding Shop. 

Whether you plan on pumping full time, pumping when needed or pumping your way to a 26.2 finish line, The Breastfeeding Shop makes the process of ordering your free pump quick and easy! 

Military Moms Blog is excited to partner with The Breastfeeding Shop, a Tricare preferred provider of breast pumps. This is a sponsored post.

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