At 22 weeks pregnant, Nicole Graham knows that she won’t be able to keep up the pace she achieved in other races when she runs in the 2016 United Airlines NYC Half on Sunday, March 20. Led by a talent-packed roster of American and international elite athletes, more than 20,000 runners will tour New York City on a 13.1-mile course from Central Park to lower Manhattan including a trip straight through Times Square.
The United Airlines NYC Half is the opening event of NYRR’s Five-Borough Series: Run New York. Five Boroughs. One City.
Graham is a member of the New York Road Runners, the organization behind the TCS New York City Marathon and many other races year-round.
At 35, the Jersey City resident has run a half marathon before, but she has never done so while pregnant. After entering the United Airlines NYC Half, Nicole found out she would be 22 weeks pregnant with her first child on race day.
“I have to do what my body will let me do.” – Nicole Graham
She already knows that she will be giving birth to a son. Nicole’s inspiration for running her race has moved beyond herself and is now a labor of love for her beautiful baby boy.
Excited by motherhood, and proving that she can keep healthy and fit while pregnant, Nicole wants to show the world that there are no excuses for not living an active lifestyle.
Her doctor says okay
Her doctor, she said, told her that since she has already run before, it won’t put too much a strain on her to run while pregnant.
But she has reached the halfway point in her pregnancy and it is at a time when her body has begun to change significantly, so she will be slower than she has in the past
“I’ve slowed down some and I’m not going to be doing the pace I would in other races,” she said. “I have to accept that fact. I have to do what my body will let me do.”
But she is competitive, and this often involves setting goals for herself, a better time, or a distance.
“This time I’ll be very grateful to cross the finish line,” she said.
Her husband doesn’t run,
“He thinks I’m crazy,” she said. “My husband tells me that our son will come out running.”
Graham said she has been running since she was in high school.
“I signed up for cross country in high school for something to do,” she said.
She has been running every since. She ran for a marathon in 2010, and has taken part in a number of local races in Jersey City
“I ran in another half marathon last September in Jersey City,” she said.
Graham grew up in central New Jersey, and has moved around a few times, including to California and back. She lived in Manhattan before moving with her husband to Jersey City.
She works as a corporate recruiter, but relocated to Jersey City because of her husband’s job.
“I never thought I would wind up living back in New Jersey, she said.
But the Jersey City she knew growing up isn’t the same one as it is today.
“This is an up-and-coming place,” she said.
Al Sullivan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.