A pregnant keep-fit fan is planning to run a gruelling 10 kilometre race- just five weeks before she is due to give birth.
Jodie Wick, 27, will be 35 weeks pregnant when she takes to the start line of the Race for Life in memory of her late friend Nicky Brearley, 52, who died of cancer last month.
But the small – or rather large – matter of a baby bump isn’t going to hold her back and she hopes to complete the route in around 90 minutes.
Jodie said: “I’m pregnant but I’m not an invalid.
“They say it’s good to exercise during pregnancy so it’s given me that push to train for it.
“I think as long as I’ve trained well and looked after myself, it’s something I can do.”
Jodie, who is 26 weeks pregnant and also mum to Ruby-May, six, Freddie, five, Delilah, four, took up running around four years ago when her grandmother Shirley Small, 79, was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Thankfully she made a full recovery but the experience has made Jodie more determined than ever to do something to help.
She now does four or five runs a year to raise money for charity, and is now gearing up for the Race for Life on June 5 to honour Nicky’s memory – and bring in £300 for Macmillan Cancer Care in the process.
“Every year I do four or five different cancer runs but this year I decided I’d have a year off because of being pregnant,” said Jodie, from Eaton Socon, Cambs.
“But unfortunately one of my close friends just passed away so it’s for her.
“Nicky had cancer for a long time but unfortunately it got the better of her so it’s something I wanted to do something.
“I’m really excited – obviously there are times when I think I must be mental but I think as long as I train well for it it’s not a huge distance compared to what I’ve done before.”
But it hasn’t all been smooth sailing and Jodie admitted both she and her husband Paul, 52, were apprehensive when she decided to take on the 10k so close to her due date on July 12.
She said: “I’ve had horrendous sickness – it’s not been enjoyable. I had a good three weeks but when Nicky passed I was really stressed.
“Paul has been really good. When I said I was going to do it he said ‘no you’re not, you’ve been through too much to be here,’ but it’s something I’ve got to do.”
Jodie’s husband Paul, a tattooist, confessed he did have his doubts at first but added these soon vanished.
He said: “I was a bit apprehensive due to her being heavily pregnant but now I’m just super proud of her determination to help others.
“She is an inspiration to us all and an example of a truly amazing caring lady.”
“I’m not going to run – last year I had to have an operation to even have this baby so I don’t want to push myself too far.”
GP Emma Tiffin said there was nothing wrong with pregnant women exercising if they already led active lives beforehand.
She said: “We know that for pregnant ladies being active and fit makes it easier to adapt to changing shape, weight gain and also helps women cope with labour.
“We advise keeping up normal daily physical activity or exercise for as long as feels comfortable. You may need to slow down as pregnancy progresses.
“Exercise is not dangerous for the baby and there is some evidence that active women are less likely to experience problems in later pregnancy and labour.”
To sponsor Jodie, visit justgiving.com/nicky10.
Dr Tiffin’s exercise tips for when you’re pregnant:
*Always warm up before exercising and cool down afterwards
*Try to keep active on a daily basis: half an hour of walking each day can be enough, but if you can’t manage that, any amount is better than nothing
*Avoid any strenuous exercise in hot weather
*Drink plenty of water and other fluids
*If you go to exercise classes, make sure your teacher is properly qualified, knows that you’re pregnant and how many weeks pregnant you are
*Swimming is good because the water supports your increased weight so there is less stress on the body
*Avoid exercises that have a risk of falling, such as horse riding and cycling because falls may risk damage to the baby
To avoid in pregnancy:
*Don’t lie flat on your back, particularly after 16 weeks, because the weight of your bump presses on the main blood vessel bringing blood back to your heart and this can make you feel faint
*Don’t take part in contact sports where there’s a risk of being hit, such as kick-boxing, judo or squash