This fit mama managed to rock an Ironman race—but because she's a breastfeeding mom, she needed to take a few breaks some of her competitors didn't.
Labor doula Katrina Bolduc is an incredibly fit mama, but here's something that threw her for a loop: She had signed up for an Ironman race, but she knew she may struggle with one aspect of the race. You see, Bolduc is a breastfeeding mom, and she knew she'd need to pump during the race. She also knew she wouldn't be allowed to take items from the sidelines while on the trail, and she wondered how she'd pull off pumping while racing.
Luckily, the mama managed to make it all work. "I was extremely nervous about how to pump and get my pump...without getting disqualified. Turns out Ironman is an even more incredible company than I thought, they support breastfeeding athletes and employees!" Bolduc told Fit Pregnancy. "Not only were they accommodating to me, but they took responsibility of my pump [during transitions] and placed it in my run gear bag for my second transition. I probably spent 10-15 minutes total pumping. I just wanted to pump enough so I would be comfortable throughout the race. My goal was to finish in under 15 hours and I did it!"
Even with the pumping breaks added to her overall time, Bolduc managed to finish the race with a time of 14:57:03.
Bolduc, who has a 19-month-old son, began running races within a year of welcoming her baby.
"I ran my first race—just a 10K—three months postpartum," she said. "I ran the SHE IS BEAUTIFUL race in Santa Cruz, CA, in the stroller category so my son could participate with me. I ran a handful of races with my running stroller and my son, which was such an incredible experience."
To prepare for the Ironman, Bolduc began base training in November 2016, with training specific to the race beginning in January 2017. With all that training under her belt, Buldoc knew quitting the race due to her breastfeeding concerns wasn't an option. "I never thought about having to back out of the race. I knew I would be accommodated in one way or another. I was nervous about logistics with two transition areas but it all went incredibly smooth," she said.
The athlete's advice for other breastfeeding moms who want to achieve similar feats? Seek out support—and remember that your body is capable of amazing things.
"I am a part of a Moms for Triathlon Facebook group, and a few other online groups where I support, encourage, and empower moms (and share stories about myself). I think it is absolutely incredible that we can do it all," she said. "We can grow and nourish a precious baby in our tummies, then outside in the real world which is probably the greatest thing you could ever do. On top of that, we can balance work, life, family, and so much more. Whether you are considering dipping in your toe or jumping in head first I want you to know that you are [supported], encouraged, more than capable, and you will find empowerment throughout the entire process. We need to stand together and help not only propel this breastfeeding movement to normalize breastfeeding, but we need to help lift each other up, and help show moms everywhere what is possible. The sky is not the limit, you can do anything!"