So I’m pregnant. And running. And I’m signing up for a half marathon to run at 26 weeks pregnant. In North Carolina. In June. But there’s a little more to it than that.
I am not a super runner. I ran my first half marathon and marathon last summer. And I’ve only done one 5k. I have been running for a few years, just not much of a racer.
I have somewhat of an emotional connection to running as well. I got into fitness when my husband first deployed. I had to waste time, so I worked, hiked, and lived at the gym with my friend. She actually gave me confidence to get on a treadmill. Thanks, Jess! Anyway, that progressed. In 2013, after my husband had been home for about a year, my sister (Karen), sister-in-law (Rosa), and I all decided to do a 5k together. We all lived in different states, but found a race the same weekend in each state. So the training began. A few weeks later, my sister got diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer. She had surgery mid-March to remove the golf ball sized tumor in her brain and by May 11 she walked that 5k LIKE A BOSS! So this is where it began.
Brain cancer is a bitch. Glioblastoma was the type she had. There was no race for the 3 of us in 2014. Instead, we spent the last few months with Karen as she slowly slipped from our fingertips. After a huge journey for her, for all of us, she left this earth June 10, 2014. And a little piece of us went with her.
During all of this, my husband and I had a newborn, moved to Alaska, bought our first house and found out he was deploying for 10 months. My daughter was 8 weeks when we moved, 6 months old when Karen died, and 9 months when my husband left. Not to mention the 3 week training he went to when she was 5 weeks old, and the month long training he did when she was 4 months old while I was still unpacking the house. There was A LOT going on in a very condensed amount of time. It took me a little while to process this, get into the groove of motherhood, and simply figure out how to get through each day.
Fast forward to February 2015. I finally had a feeling of stability in my life. But knew I needed an outlet. My daughter was 14 months at this point. Husband was still deployed. So I decided to start running. I put studs in the the bottoms of my shoes to handle the ice, bundled my daughter up in our BOB stroller (under a windshield attachment that my husband gave me for Christmas), and we were off. After a little bit, I decided “hey, I think I can run for 13.1 miles pushing this almost 30lb kid. And along with that, I think I’ll bully my brother (Barry) and sister-in-law into a race I know they can do.” Rosa didn’t take much convincing as the idea had been put in her head before. But Barry? Ha! Man…he’s stubborn.
We all signed up for a June 2015 race in honor of Karen. Barry ran his first 5k, Rosa ran her first 10k, and I ran my first half marathon. When I crossed that finish line….whoa. So many emotions wanted to come out. I cry every time I think about it. I have never been more proud. I pushed my daughter for 13.1 miles along the coast of AK, my husband would be home in a matter of 4-5 weeks, I made it through one of the hardest years of my life. I felt like I could do anything. The year of 2015 was proof that I was more resilient than I thought. I pushed myself and blew past my goals. It took work, tears, tons of heartache and tons of support. But I am stronger than I realized I ever was. I think we all had some pretty amazing feelings of accomplishment after our races. Barry and Rosa had their own share of sacrifices and hardships throughout the year. Running brought us together even though we were thousands of miles apart.
So that brings me to today. March 29, 2016. I’m 16 weeks pregnant. And running. And I THINK I can do a half marathon in June at 26 weeks pregnant in Raleigh, NC (spoiler alert…we moved again…army/military life…). Rosa is the one who got me REALLY thinking about it seriously. She thinks I can do it, and my husband thinks I can too…and now, I’m starting to believe in myself. So let’s find out!
I will be documenting this journey for a few reasons:
- I scoured the Internet trying to find someone to draw off of and find inspiration. I found a few women who I could relate to and it made all the difference.
- I wish I would have documented better how I felt while running last pregnancy. So that’s what I’ll be doing this time around!
- Running pregnant is SO different than running not pregnant. And it chips at your pride a bit at first. And it’s important to talk about the ups and downs of all of this.
- It’s a great way to gauge how I’m feeling, recovery expectations, etc.
So if you know anyone that might draw inspiration, please pass this along. And please, feel free to reach out! I’d love to hear your experiences! All tips, comments, and questions are welcome.
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…and here’s a shot of my daughter and I after my first half marathon. She beat me, but we were neck and neck the entire time 😉 The other is me crossing the finish line during my first marathon.