Thursday, May 3, 2012

28 weeks (and 13.1 miles) later

 The night before the Cheshire Half, I packed up my bag like any other race.  I was so surprised to be as nervous as I was because I wasn't really racing this; I didn't care about my time; and for the first time in a long time, I just wanted to finish.  Even finishing wasn't something I was all that worried about because I'd run the 13 mile distance 5 times during my pregnancy.  However, I think that there is just no beating the pre-race jitters!

Race morning I woke up at around 6:30.  So crazy to have a race literally 5 minutes down the road (with traffic).  I had my typical toast with almond butter and an apple and hit the bathroom the typical 18 million times.  Eric dropped me off at the start of the race and then drove back home.  Our condo was practically on the course (and we passed that point twice!)  So really being at home was a better spectator spot than the start/finish.  My mom joined him later to take the photos.

I knew so many people running this race, either the half or the 5K, so it was fun trying to find as many people as I could before the start.  I was there about an hour before the start, which was perfect.  They had baggage check that was well organized and I was able to stay warmly dressed up until very close to the start. 

This was the first year of this race and it actually set a record.  It was the largest (in terms of participants) inaugural race in the history of CT.  I was super impressed by everything about this race, especially since they were only expecting 1000 runners and got over 2000!  We walked on over to the start, and though it was a little late, the start went off without a hitch.

During my pregnancy, my times have gotten slower and slower.  My fastest half marathon time is at an 8:15 pace, but about 1 week into pregnancy I was already at a 9 minute pace.  Then it crept up to 9:30 then to 10:00 and lately, I've been hovering around 11.  My latest half marathon training run was a little over a 2:30 something, so that's what I was expecting to do. 

I started off faster than I had run in a long time...ooops.  I guess adrenaline happens to pregnant people too!

Mile 1: 9:30.5
Mile 2: 9:40.3
Mile 3: 9:49.2
Mile 4: 9:57.8

At about this time, I did start to notice that I was feeling my heart rate get higher than I'd felt in a while.  My doctors have never said I needed to keep my heart rate at any certain number, but instead have said I should be able to pass the talk test during any exercise.  At this point, I felt that I was getting closer to not being able to have a conversation, so I began to back down a little bit.

Mile 5: 10:04.2

Eric and my mom were waiting around mile 5.5.  I was so excited to see them, especially since I hadn't taken one walking break yet and was still feeling great. 

Mile 6: 10:18
Mile 7: 10:26

I used my handheld up until this point.  I took a gel at mile 6, but when I started to feel a bit queasy, I started taken Gatorade at every water stop, starting a mile 7.  One of the greatest parts of this race for me was that I knew the course by heart.  The entire course was made up of my regular routes.  Though I don't think this is always the best, I really appreciated it on Sunday.  I had been training so much less than I normally had, so I wasn't bored of these trails.  

Mile 8: 10:40.6
Mile 9: 10:45.8

Eric and my mom were waiting at around mile 9.5.  It was great to see them again and get a cheer for Baby PR!

Mile 10 was one of my favorite miles of the course even though I was really hoping for a porta potty.  They had them at mile 3, 4 and 5 so I kind of assumed there would be more.  However, there wasn't another until mile 11ish.  Normally I wouldn't care about this, but being pregnant and trying really hard to stay hydrated, definitely had me wishing for another bathroom.   However, I loved these miles because the cheering sections were great.  There were groups from the high school and I ran by teachers I used to have!

Mile 10: 11:04.6
Mile 11: 10:52.5
Mile 12: 11:13.6 (might have been the bathroom stop mile...can't remember for sure)

The end of the race was great, as I got to finish on my high school track.  As I was rounding the course, I saw my friends from Team in Training, plus friends from my gym and some of my current students.  It was such a great way to finish a great race!

Mile 13: 10:50.2
.1: 10:07

According to my watch, I finished with a 2:17.03, my gun and official time was more like 2:18.40.  Sure this wasn't a best time by any means.  In fact is was more than 30 minutes off my best split in a full marathon.  However, I can't be more proud.  I didn't have to walk at all; my baby and I are both healthy and I can't wait to tell him about this experience and hopefully convince him how great this sport is. 

The rest of the day I was definitely sore, especially my hips. This is not a surprise, as they are loosening up so they can do what they are supposed to do.  I also was recovering from a cold, so I spent most of the afternoon hacking away.  All worth it though!

Now I'm feeling great.  I took a day off from working out, but was back to spinning by Tuesday.  I still haven't run, but it's more about feeling like spinning rather than running than it is about feeling sore.

So now what's next?  Maybe a 10K, also in our town.  Maybe nothing, but just running when I feel like it.  All I know is that when this race was first announced, I wasn't sure if I'd be able to do it.  So glad this pregnancy has allowed me to do so!

Cheshire Half Marathon

The race report is coming (just waiting for pictures) but just wanted to let you all know that Baby PR and I crossed the finish line of the awesome inaugural Cheshire Half Marathon.  I have lots to say about how well this race was organized and how impressed I am, but I'll save it for the race report. 

Here's a couple pics pre-race while I get my act together! Baby PR's first bib! 

We finished in a 2:18ish, had only one bathroom stop, and I didn't have to walk once.  Not too shabby for 28 weeks! (However it was a way different experience than "racing" a half marathon and certainly a different pace!)