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Runner's Bump series: New year, new challenges

Posted by Lara Salahi  January 1, 2014 08:49 AM

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Caitlin Hurley1.jpg

Caitlin Hurley of Bedford, Mass., has two children ages 5 and 8 and is pregnant with her third. She ran until 7 1/2 months into her pregnancy with her first two children and is planning on doing the same with her third, depending on how she feels.She ran the 2013 Boston Marathon in 2:58, and her next finish line will be delivering her baby late July 2014.  Each week she'll document her progress on Ultra Sound Pregnancy.

The Runner's Bump series documents one woman's pregnancy journey and her commitment to maintaining and healthy and responsible level of fitness with clearance from her physician. The views expressed are not meant to offer medical advice. Pregnant women should consult their own physician about appropriate physical activities based on their pregnancy status. 

Happy new year to all! It is the time of year when we reflect on the past twelve months and imagine what the next dozen will bring. As a pregnant mom in her first trimester, I look forward to 2014 with eager anticipation mixed with a healthy dose of fear. How will this baby fit into our neat, even family of four? How will our lives change? Even though we have gone through the nearly sleepless nights and constant diaper changing phase twice before, it has been five years and we are used to self sufficient children who sleep through the night.  

Another life changer will come shortly after the arrival of the baby. We will be moving to Rome, Italy, back to headquarters for my husband (an Italian diplomat). We are used to moving, having lived in six countries over the past decade (Italy, Australia, Pakistan, Bosnia, Kurdistan, Northern Iraq and back to good old Boston). It is part and parcel of our nomadic diplomatic lives, and I love the adventure and challenge of it.  Despite my optimistic outlook, I realize it won't be easy. My in-laws live in Rome, however, and are ready and willing to help out with the baby.  Italians are so enamored with babies and children that the simple act of walking the cobblestones streets of Rome will be similar to celebrityhood. At least that's what I keep telling myself.  The reality is that moving into our tiny by U.S, standards apartment in Rome, on the top floor with an elevator that my husband has deemed "suitable for two only if they're married," will be a stark contrast to our easy as apple pie life in suburbia.

My constant companion, running, will (as always) help ease the transition, lend a sense of normalcy to the newness of a tiny baby and life in a new country.  Wherever we have lived, running has kept me from becoming unglued.  While the manicured lawns of Villa Borghese and the seemingly endless trails along the Torrens River in Adelaide, South Australia were as easy as finding water in a billabong, running in Islamabad and Kurdistan posed much more of a challenge.  In Islamabad, it was deemed too dangerous for me (blonde, pale foreigner) to run outside, so I took to our treadmill like an amped up rat, binge watching American TV shows as I pounded out miles, unseen in our bedroom overlooking the Margalla Hills, the foothills to the Himalayas. It was my escape from the ever-worsening news of terror attacks surrounding us, my mode of coping with constant uncertainty.  I had to be aware when daily blackouts were scheduled (our electricity would be shut off), as suddenly our treadmill and tv would turn off.  I would get some water and by the time our guard turned our generator on I would be back in business.  In Kurdistan the concern wasn't as much terrorism or flying off a treadmill as it was trying not to stick out. I ran in capris  and loose shirts (some days it would be around 100 degrees even though I went early) in our gated neighborhood, the American village, on dizzying loops through a series of streets with improbable names like California, Kentucky, New York and Pennsylvania Avenue. When I would meet with the other mothers at school pick up or our weekly neighborhood tea, most of whom were Middle Eastern, they would look at me with a mix of awe and envy (I think) and tell me that they saw me running by - fast.  

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Lara Salahi is an award-winning multimedia journalist whose specialty is reporting health and medical stories. She has worked in local, network, and cable television, international print, and documentary film. She More »

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