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Five months after giving birth, mom ready to run half marathon

Nicole Vasill is planning to run the Glass City Half Marathon on April 23, despite the fact she just had a baby five months ago.

MAUMEE, Ohio — The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon is less than a month away. Runners have been training for weeks for the races on April 23.

Nicole Vasill is planning to run the half marathon, despite the fact she just had a baby five months ago.

"When my husband brought it up to me, I was pregnant with my fourth (child) and I was like, 'this is not happening,'" she said.

Vasill has been a runner for a long time, but truly fell in love with it within the past year. So with her husband's support, she had a change of heart and decided to sign up for the 13.1 mile race.

But like any mom, her body had to heal and she had to re-strengthen the muscles hit hard by childbirth and deal with issues like pelvic pain.

"You just don't realize how much your pelvic floor does, so for me it was a lot of leakage that I would be getting or sometimes even pain while running," Vasill said.

So, she started seeing physical therapists at Mercy Health.

"We're also looking at the core, lower back, our hips. Anything that's going to support that pelvis, Sarah Brown, a Mercy Health physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor therapy, said. "We're looking at whether we need to strengthen those muscles or stretch those muscles and try to get them back into any activity they want to get back into."

While encouraging women like Vasill to get back into running, Brown said it needs to be a gradual return to make sure there aren't injuries.

Coupled with her pelvic floor therapy, Vasill is also working with Mercy Health physical therapist Dayna Pirrwitz on her running mechanics.

"Running's all about driving your body straight. The wider pelvis really makes it more difficult for us to drive our body straight," Pirrwitz said.

She's showing Vasill small changes to her stride to not only protect her body, but also make it work for her.

"The highlight of my year as a physical therapist is getting to stand at the finish line and put medals on people I've seen and helped get to the start line. It's just so much fun to see them reach their goals," Pirrwitz said.

On April 23, Vasill's family will be cheering her on as she crosses the finish line. She encourages other moms to seek pelvic floor therapy to achieve their goals, however big or small they are.  

"It so much nicer that I can go run with my kids or a big goal of mine was to jump on the trampoline with them. I was not able to do that before," Nicole said.

You can get a referral for pelvic floor physical therapy from your OBGYN or primary care physician.

The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon is almost sold out. You can still register for the half marathon, 5k, relay and kids run by March 31.

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