Friday, June 8, 2012

My Pregnant Marathon

That's right folks, 'My Marathon' turned into 'My Pregnant Marathon'!  Clearly this was not a planned event, I don't know any woman who would purposely get pregnant 10 weeks before running her first marathon.  We both knew that baby #5 would eventually make it into our family, but we figured it could wait a while, let me get my body stronger.

   I was still nursing #4, logging high mileage, had recently lost about 20 pounds, and so when my cycle returned I assumed it would be regular?  Not sure why I thought this, but I did...then again I think I was doing pregnancy math in the heat of the moment which is obviously NOT a good idea. 

And so one lovely morning while my sweet hubby was looking at the broken dryer pretending he knew what he was doing,  I took a shower and upon exiting looked in the mirror and realized I was 'showing'!!  Not possible!?!! but with baby #5 my body wasted no time assuming the position, I took a test and VOILA!  That is correct folks, I took a test because I looked pregnant.

I told my dear husband the news while he was still filding with the torn apart dryer...He dropped his screwdriver and decided it was time for a new dryer anyway.

  I decided to continue with my training, you can't dedicate 4 months to something and then just give up.  I ran my longest training run, 22 miles, just a few days after learning of my new situation.  No troubles.

  I had my first OB appointment and he said I should be fine to do the race, just take it easy he said.  It doesn't hurt that he is also a runner.

  The big day arrived.  I dropped my boys off with a good friend for the weekend.  I cried as we drove away, my baby toddler did not...

  We left the afternoon before and had a lovely drive over to our destination, about 4 hours drive.  Met up with our friends/training buddy, got our numbers, I weighed in for the heavy weight division.  I am quite thin, but I am also quite tall and their weight limit seemed awfully low.  The few pounds I had gained put me at the mark, I was officially a heavyweight!

  After driving the course we went back to our little cottage we had rented, ate a yummy pasta dinner and then I realized how grateful I was to have my hubby NOT be running.  He had trained with me up to 18 miles, then dropped out due to an injury.  I realized I needed him to help me figure everything out.  When running a marathon its important to have all the details ironed out well in advance.  Clothes, shoe/sock combination, fuel, pace, etc.  Because I my body was rapidly changing I didn't have the luxury of doing this.  Some things were easy.  Clothes still fit almost the same, fuel was an easy guess, same stuff, more of it.  Pace and shoe/sock combination proved to be a challenge.
As far as pace goes, I told myself, 10 minute miles, nothing faster, take it easy! 

The sock issue was huge, that's right, 26.2 miles, 5 months of training and my biggest issue is my socks?  If this had been my first pregnancy I doubt things would have been affected that early in the pregnancy, only 10 weeks, but it's my 5th pregnancy and so my body quickly slid back into pregnant mode, my joints all relaxed and my hips rotated open, thus changing my gait.  I had noticed just a few runs earlier that my feet were rolling all around n my shoes and it HURT, 2 miles into an 8 mile run I sat down  in the dirt on the side of the road and ditched my socks, it was a last ditch effort, if that hadn't worked I would have turned and struggled to walk the 2 miles back home, that's how bad my feet hurt.  So I opted to not wear socks, I noted all the hot spots and then my sweet hubby cut moleskin to wrap my feet and toes in.  It would have worked wonderfully if I had been running in a dry environment, but I wasn't.  I was running in the rain, or rather through water that just seemed suspended in the air (it was weird, I live in a desert so I don't know what its really called).

My hubby and training buddy's wife dropped us near the start and went to park.  We wouldn't see them till mile 4. 
We got to the bathrooms early, which was good because there weren't enough and some people didn't get to go!

Then we stood around in that misty water and waited....
We got started and the atmosphere  was so jovial and exciting!  The first few miles wound through town and locals came out in their robes to cheer us on.

I hit mile one, 9 minutes...crap! slow down!
Mile 2: 17:30....crap crap!  Then I had this wonderful relaxing feeling that said "You and your baby will be just fine, so have fun!"  and I listened and had a great time.
Mile 4 I saw my darling hubby, passed off my t-shirt and cell phone that I had forgotten to leave in the car.
Mile 5 the course veers off along a bay, they closed traffic in one direction so there are very few spectators from this point on, they had a bus running, but it looped and therefore was kind of unpredictable and slow.
Mile 6  I had to pee and was grateful to find a joggers john
Mile 8 I was maintaining about 9 min/mile pace, found a flat bed trailer to rest my feet on as I stripped the wet wadded moleskin from my feet.  My legs cramped slightly at this point and so I had to keep moving.
Mile 10 start pacing/chatting with this darling girl, had just finished her Jr. year of college.
Mile 12 Bathroom break, again...  About this time the leaders started doubling back on their home stretch, it was fun to have people cheering for each other.  I also picked up the pace again hoping to catch the cute girl I had be talking to.
Mile 13  My hubby was cheering me on!!!
Mile 14 My training buddy doubled back, putting him about 2 miles ahead of me. Caught the chatting buddy, but had to keep moving.  (she would finish about 25 minutes after me)
Mile 15 I reached the turn around
Mile 17 I saw my sweet hubby again
Mile 22 I passed my longest training run and the course veered inland.  My feet were blistered and I could feel them ready to pop.
Mile 24 I was so bored my ipod didn't even keep me occupied, a few old dudes commented on my pace, I kept picking it up, because I knew the faster I ran the sooner I would be done. 
Mile 25 I ate another gel just for something to do
Mile 26 I see my training buddy ahead
Mile 26.1 I catch my training buddy and say, "Lets do this!"  I sprint towards the finish, it was downhill.
Mile 26.2 .2 miles makes a difference!  I cross the line at 3:48, a good time.  I was pooped, stripped my shoes, couldn't walk, huge blisters, starving, ate lots of food.

Apparently my finish took our training buddy and our spouses by surprise.  I had been 2 miles back the last time anyone saw me, so for me to pass him with .1 miles to go was quite exciting.  I guess he just threw his hands up and shrugged, like, "where did she come from" but then he chuckled and kicked it in, finishing a few seconds behind me.  We each placed the same in our respective age/gender categories.  I also finished 2nd in the heavyweight division.  The plaque hangs on my wall, I will give it to my baby when he gets older, a momento of his first marathon.

After not enough time in the recovery area we headed out.  I begged a stop at the beach to ice my legs.  Afraid the sand would hurt my blisters DH piggy backed me to the wet packed sand and I waded in, the cold felt wonderful, but the tide was strong and my legs were weak so I didn't go in very far.  DH brought me back to some driftwood, put my sweats back on me, and helped me hobble to the car.  We had lunch, lots of hot food!  I fell asleep as soon as we got back to the room.
It would be 6 days before I could walk normally again. Sitting down was tough. 
Over the next couple days I wondered why I would do such a thing, but about the time I could walk again I started planning my next one.  It will be a while, my hubby wants to run the same course next year, I will go in the supporting role, with my new baby, because someone has to drive him home, but maybe two years from now.

My husbund gave me a 26.2 sticker for the back of my mini-van.  I love it, and while the rest of my van is covered in dust, I regularly take a baby wipe and make sure my sticker is clean.  When we upgrade to a newer mini-van I will peel the sticker and take it with me.  I may be a nerd, but I earned it.

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