After not running basically at all first trimester because I felt so fatigued, I had begun running again in the second trimester, felt good, worked with the doctor to come to agreements on how much running, and just kept feeling stronger!
So then three and a half weeks ago, I got a crazy stupid idea. I loved the thought of El Scorcho 25K - there was a huge safety net to it being on a 5K loop where you could stop after any given one, and it was the only event at the absolutely coolest part of the day for the next couple months. While running felt good, getting out the door when you're pregnant is still hard. So I was also looking for a firm goal to keep me motivated. My first 25K seemed like a strong motivator. I reached out to the race director who agreed to let me in even though it had sold out months ago - he was appreciative of my volunteer efforts as the North Texas State Rep for the RRCA so it seemed this was his thanks for that, so nice of him!
I had also chatted with my friend Elizabeth about the fact I was thinking about the event. She's friends with the race director and, out of nowhere, she offers to pace me the entire 25K race! So sweet of her!
After several weeks of 25ish miles each week, and a last long run a week out of 12.5 miles, I was feeling trained up for this 15.5 mile race. I had practiced with my headlamp (some areas are really dark) and have not really gained much weight so my balance didn't feel off (it's mixed terrain and can be rough). I formulated my packing list for a full week ahead of time. I even arranged a hotel room to get a big pre-race nap and rest afterward before driving home.
At the race site, Elizabeth and I found a spot right off the trail, with an easy walk to the portalets, and set up our things. My friends arrive right before the start with our 7 matching tutus. Yes, tutus. Jennifer had made our group of twitter friends all tutus to wear.
I had measured my waist for her to make it, but it was a little looser than I had hoped. So the tutu only made it the first 3.1 miles before being comfortable won out.
As we finished each loop, it was great to hear spectators cheer. I was pretty focused but heard personalized cheers as well. They meant more to me than I'm sure those people even know! A half mile out from the end of each loop I'd figure out what I needed to do at that quick break - drink gatorade, refill water bottle, did I need to potty, any stretching needed. My sister had come to watch and actually stayed through three loops; she was an invaluable help as "crew", prepping my Gatorade and refilling my water bottle, grabbing supplies I needed to find. After the third loop, I even changed my socks and shoes, because the humidity and distance made me nervous about getting blisters.
And Elizabeth stayed with me for every step. I felt pretty good. Kept a good pace and walked every 5 minutes as the doctor wanted. Not too tired from the time of day, and no tummy problems - spaghetti and meatballs three hours before race start was a perfect pre-race meal for me.
But the last loop was different. My body had started stiffening up, especially the hips with the weight of the baby and the start/stop of run/walk-ing. As we started the last loop, I was saying how great I felt. Then we took the first walk break of that loop. And when it was time to run again, ugh. I just couldn't get any pace going. I also realize I only took 2 GUs the whole race, so I probably could have used a pick-me-up before I started that loop. My heart rate was staying low because my jog was so slow that eventually, we cut out the walk breaks and jogged the last twenty five minutes.
We could see the finish coming, and I told Elizabeth I had no gas in the tank left for any sort of kick to the end. And then we got closer. And I found that last big sprint. The last 0.16 miles I was able to pull a 12:06/mi after the entire last loop had been a 17+ min/mi pace! Guess when I needed to manage it, I found just a little speed. :-)
Here's the full results for my run:
And here's the post-race pic with Elizabeth on the right. I embraced the baby bump three loops in, it was just too humid to waste time being modest. :-)
An immediate post-race ice bath and then another one 16 hours later, and on Monday now I'm feeling pretty good. No DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). And saw the chiropractor this morning to make sure all the kinks were worked out.
So my first 25K race under my belt...what should my next goal be? ;-)