Friday, June 25, 2010
It has taken me a week to post my summary of the marathon, which was last Saturday. I am sure all of my dedicated readers have been suffering through sleepless nights wondering if I made it...LOL
Well, I did! We finished in 2:33. The time is nothing to brag about, but I guess running a 13.1 race at 31 weeks pregnant was/is!!!
In the pic you can see the shirts Mike designed for us. Isn't he a sweetie? We got a lot of comments on them which was fun. They say "Run Like a Mother" in case you can't tell.
Mike was actually very fun to run with too...which surprised me considering how competitive he is. I thought he would be going nuts running at my 11 minute pace, but he was actually quite pleasant! He kept asking if I felt ok, if we were going too fast, if I needed water.
We left the house at 4 a.m. Saturday, made it to the shuttle busses and were bussed to the start by 5 a.m. That left us with an hour and a half to stand around and do nothing - suck!! The waiting before a race is the WORST for me. I get so anxious and I just want to get GOING. Mike and I sat around and talked and then ran into a few people we knew and hung out with them. Finally it was 6:30 and time to start. The gun fired and we were off and running!
Weather at the start was slightly overcast and in the mid 60's. Beautiful sunrise with some stratus clouds. It was hard to tell if it was going to stay cloudy or if the sun would burn right through, in which case it would probably get quite hot - well, hot for me, anyway.
The first four miles of the race were a bit of a struggle and I tried to settle into my pace. It was a slow, uphill grade for 4-5 miles and I was REALLY feeling it. I had some pain in my quads but not horrible. I was very thankful I was not having the shin or calf pain I've had in recent months as my pregnancy has progressed. Once we hit mile 5, we finally got a downhill break and I started to feel really good. The sun came out but there was a gusty headwind that cooled us off nicely.
I was shocked - but I only had to pee TWICE, at miles 4 & 8! Mike thought it would be a lot more, and so did I. The lines for the port-a-potties were so long that I just went into the woods. Running makes all modesty go out the window sometimes...lol
Time passed rather quickly and before I knew it we were on our last mile. Things started to get really exciting then - the course was packed with bands, DJs and people cheering. The last quarter-mile of the race is a corral of people sitting on bleachers cheering. Oftentimes people ask me to explain the appeal of running and/or racing - well, this is it. The home stretch. The final push. The crowd cheering for you. Even though I was a 31-weeks-pregnant woman, I could pretend in my mind I was an Olympic athlete if just for a little while.
Once in that corral, I couldn't stop myself from "turning on the afterburners" as Mike calls it. LOL I started sprinting and was probably doing an 8-minute mile for the last part of the race. The crowd was deafening... were they cheering for me? Hell, I doubt it, but at least I could pretend. I did hear someone read my shirt who said, "Run like a mother! And she's pregnant!"
Mike and I held hands as we crossed the finish... and the moment I stepped over the sensor I was so overcome with emotion I started to cry. It doesn't matter if I'd done the race 50 times. The euphoria was unbelievable. People who wonder what "all the hype is about" probably have never experienced that.
So, all in all it was a fabulous day - and didn't kick my arse too bad! Of course my pelvis was the sorest but as long as I kept moving it was manageable. We had a busy rest of the day (of course) and could not relax, nap or any of that good stuff...although we did go to bed early that night. For once in MONTHS, I slept a FULL eight hours without getting up to pee! I think my body just shut down...lol Another thing I was proud of was that I ran the WHOLE way! Except for when I needed water and walked a few steps while downing my cup, I was constantly jogging.
No more races for me til after the baby is born, although I will keep running my 3-5 milers. Completing this race while pregnant was an amazing accomplishment for me and gave me an entirely new sense of what I'm capable of.