- Race time: 2:47:40
- Overall pace: 12:08
- Mile 1: 10:31
- Mile 2: 10:29
- Mile 3: not recorded
- Mile 4: 11:55
- Mile 5: 11:20
- Mile 6: 11:21
- Mile 7: 11:24
- Mile 8: 11:31
- Mile 8.75: 11:36
- Mile 10: 12:16
- Mile 11: 12:30
- Mile 12: 12:37
- Mile 13: 12:45
- Start: 70* with 85% humidity
- Finish: 81* with 54% humidity
What a great race! I didn’t reach my (time) goal (goal was 2:45), I could barely walk after, and it was the warmest/stickiest run I’ve ever gone on, but who cares?!?!?! I DID IT! And crossing that finish line was all I wanted.
The course itself was great. Minus the last mile and a half of uphill 😬 But I honestly would take that at the end of a race instead of downhill. Downhill hurts my knees at that point and ESPECIALLY my belly/bladder while pregnant. There was about a mile of path that was sharply slanted to the right, so my left hip started to hurt around mile 5 taking all of that uneven impact. Luckily, my husband was waiting at mile 6 for me 😊 That was a nice boost. The middle of the course was 9 miles of greenway (mostly shaded/flat), and the rest was the road (mostly shaded/hilly). The hills weren’t super steep, but it never ended. I remember thinking at the end, “Where am I? Another hill?!?! The finish line has to be around here somewhere.” My legs held up for those hills though! Guess my hilly neighborhood runs paid off.
I had my husband and E link up with me at mile 6 and 11.5 at a water station. They just stayed at one spot. I knew I usually started hurting around mile 6, and by mile 10 I usually need a mental boost. So this spot was perfect. At mile six, I stopped, opened a lemon Lärabar and grabbed about 1/3 of it and that was all I ate the whole race. Usually, I can choke a full one down throughout the length of a run, but it was so hot and gross I was not feeling it. I was taking Gatorade from the water stations towards the end. However, it was so sweet that it didn’t make me feel that great, but I knew I needed something. At mile 11.5 my husband gave me a full water bottle of ICE COLD WATER filled with Trace Minerals 40,000 volt Electrolytes and it was just what I was needing. Water and (basically) salt is a beautiful combination, folks. And seeing my daughter brought tears to my eyes that last meetup. Her big smile melted my heart and pushed me to the end. Here is a pic of me at mile 6 and 11.5, respectively.
I stopped at every water station and filled up my water bottle. I think I went through at least 80 oz of water. Which means I ALSO stopped at all but one bathroom. I regretted not stopping at that bathroom after not seeing one where I thought there was one. So I had to run 4 miles with a full bladder. What ends up happening is that I change my stride to relieve pressure on my bladder. I stick my belly out more which puts extra stress on my hips, lower back, and pelvic floor. I usually take bathroom breaks every 2 miles if it’s hot/I’m drinking a lot of water.
Que the tears! Seriously. I held it together pretty well, but it was still very emotional. When I finally figured out that the finish was just around the corner, the pain left my body and I started to move out. Then I saw my husband and daughter and slowed from my sprint to take it in. It’s funny how those finish line emotions cancel out every painful step you had along the way. Look at that smile 😄😄😄😄
PAIN & RECOVERY
The day after the race, I walked almost 2 miles. The fact that I can walk is a huge blessing. My body is so out of whack that long runs have required more recovery time, so I’m pleased that all of that resting at the end of my training paid off. I didn’t have round ligament pain as bad as my trial run. During the race, I only had round ligament pain at the end and after. My hips were a problem this race. They are starting to really change shape and open up, and running on a slant for a mile was too much for me. By the time it evened out, I was compensating, and eventually my other hip was hurting too. I used HypnoBirthing (mental/breathing technique) to breath through my discomfort, straighten my stride out, and refocus my thoughts. I sat on ice when I got home and I think that helped my round ligament pain for the next day. My legs were cramping up big time the night of the race, but that was to be expected! I have been pouring electrolytes in all of my water bottles and noticed an improvement the night after the race.
I did not tape my belly or use any support belt. I have a Gabriella from last pregnancy, but it is so big and bulky, there’s no way I can run with it in the heat. I also bought a Bao Bei maternity belt that is basically spandex around your belly, but it was too big and I couldn’t get a smaller size. Because of running without a belt, I held my belly up on all of the downhills. I did not want it to bounce/strain any muscles/get sore early on. I probably looked a little silly but I’ve never minded that 😉 Also, I ran this race on 3 hours of sleep. I couldn’t fall asleep until 12:00am, and woke up at 3am starving. Why was I so hungry? Because I had zero appetite the day before and barely ate anything. So I scarfed down 2 hard boiled eggs and a piece of peanut butter toast at 3:30 am and had another hard boiled egg around 5:45am when we left.
WHAT I LEARNED
I learned a lot about humility during my training. I learned to say, “I can’t do that.” I can push myself day in and day out, but being humble enough to know when to quit is what running pregnant has taught me. I’ve noticed there is a huge push for “no excuses.” And admittedly, there have been times where I told myself to have no excuses. But the last couple of years I have been changing my outlook, and realized that running your body to the point of exhaustion is the opposite of healthy. Having a kid taught me that initially. And this pregnancy/half marathon training have driven that home. I’m all about pushing myself, but guess what? Sometimes we have excuses. And that is just fine. Laying on the couch and drifting off to sleep while my kiddo does puzzles is my body’s way of saying, “today is not the day for a run.” Life gets busy and we have to roll with it.
So now it’s done! And I need a new goal. I definitely won’t be running this distance for a little bit. My training was so off that it really would not be good for me until postpartum. I see some 5ks in my future, but we’ll see 😉
I will continue to update with weekly runs/walks. It will be fun to go back and see what I was up to during certain points of my pregnancy. So stay tuned!