Weeks Pregnant: 23 weeks, 6 days
Temperature when I finished: 82 degrees
Race Plan: Inhale Calm. Exhale Smile.
I went into today’s race with one thing on my mind – Enjoy the race. Going into my training for this race, I had two huge obstacles to overcoming – One obstacle stacked right on top of the other obstacle. I was recovering from a stress fracture in the shaft of my femur, and I’m pregnant. I’ve completed every training run pregnant. Time goals were never meant to be a part of my plan although they snuck up on me as race day got closer.
After showering and laying out all of my gear last night, I got to bed around 10:30. At 2:30am I woke up with horrible back pain. This has happened for the past 4 nights. It feels like someone drilled a hole in my lower right back, and all of the nerve endings are on fire. I tossed and turned for at least an hour. Thirty minutes later my alarm clock went off. It was race morning.
Wake-up Time: 4am
Race Day Breakfast – Whole Wheat Eggos
Race Day attire – Nike Run Skirt. Lululemon Tank Top. Underarmor Sports Bra. Lululemon socks. Shoes. Ipod. Garmin. Headband.
Temperature when I left my house: 70 degrees, 88% humidity
I got in my car and headed for the oceanfront. I needed to be on the shuttle before 6am to avoid the road closures. I arrived at the convention center, helped myself to a banana. I ate the apple I brought from home. I used the bathroom (twice). I meet up with the Moms Run this Town group. I entered my corral. Corral #16.
Race Start Time: 7am
As soon as I crossed the start line, my excitement (and a little bit of anxiety) for the race became a reality. I made it to race day. I felt strong. I felt prepared. I felt incredibly proud of myself and the little baby in my belly for properly training for this race.
The first 5 miles were perfect. I felt good. I was having fun. I didn’t listen to my iPod because I was enjoying the race day crowd and the chatter of the runners around me.
Mile 1: 11:58
Mile 2: 13:31
Mile 3: 13:26
Mile 4: 12:58
Mile 5: 13:17
As mile 6 approached, I really had to use the bathroom. There were a few port-a-pottys scattered along the course, and every single one of the them had a line of 20+ people. I was not willing to wait that long to use the bathroom. I finally spotted one behind a band stage. There were only 7 people in line. I knew my bladder had reached its holding limit, and this was the best line I’d seen all day. I very impatiently waited close to 7 minutes for the bathroom.
Mile 6: 17:10
After waiting and waiting, I was determined to make up sometime on my garmin. I ran hard this mile. I was feeling good. Why not? I also knew my family was up ahead waiting to say hello.
At mile 6.5, I found my family waiting for me with a HUGE smiles on their faces. I think I swallowed back tears for the 1/2 mile leading up to them. I’m still a little bit in shock that I accomplished this goal today. For those of you who don’t know, emotional crying + running aren’t always the best combination. I had a hard time catching my breath. I stopped to say hello. Kissed my husband. Kissed my son. Thanked my mom and my aunt for all their support. I was off running again.
Mile 7: 13:26
Mile 8: 13:53
This is when the race got hard. It is a boring, hot section of the race. At mile 9, my hips felt like they were on fire. Mister Moo, who happily kicked along while I ran for the first half of the course, settled into his comfort zone at this point. Right in my hips. OUCH! OUCH! OUCH! I ran until the burning became too much. I walked. I ran again once the burning eased up. I repeated my race plan to myself more than once. Breath in. Calm. Breath out. Smile.
Mile 9: 13:35
Mile 10: 13:55
Mile 11: 14:50
Mile 12: 14:09
I found Christian again at mile marker 10. I stopped to enjoy a GU and a pep talk. Dig Deep Kristy. His favorite words. I found him again at mile 12 and on the boardwalk leading to the finish. My friend Carrie also came out to cheer me on. She found me 5 times!!!!! Their smiling faces brought me so much energy and happiness on the course. I can’t thank my family and Carrie enough!
As I made the final turn to the boardwalk, my emotions got the best of me again. I had to keep swallowing back tears and gasping for air! I did it! I put one foot in front of the other, and I accomplished something that seemed out of reach (and almost impossible) 3 months ago.
Mile 13: 14:01
Final .1 (.27 according to my Garmin): 12:44 pace
I DID IT! I FINISHED A HALF MARATHON PREGNANT! I am beyond happy, proud, and excited to have the story to share with Mister Moo as he gets older. Most importantly, I truly enjoyed the race today. I pushed hard. I made sure I stayed inside a safe window of discomfort for the little mister in my belly. The race was everything I hoped it would be. It was AMAZING.
Official Finish Time: 3:03:37
Average Pace: 13:50 (Garmin)
(and for the competitive side of me that doesn’t go away just because I’m pregnant – I technically ran the course in less than 3 hours IF I can delete the potty break time!!! 🙂 I’ll take it!)