Within the first mile of the Eugene Half Marathon, I found myself passing a race walker. He was drawing many comments from the spectators, "Look at that guy! He's walking - FAST!" "Whoa! Did you see that fast walker? Crazy!"
At this time, I was keeping pace with training partner SL and JustTryingKim. I thought I could keep up, after all my last long run 2 weeks ago went great. And then I realized, things had changed a lot in the short time since then. I dropped back and ended up holding a steady pace that let me breathe comfortably, especially given the warmer temps.
|Me & training partner SL who rocked the full course|
But let me tell you, a 22-week pregnant lady makes the crowds a bit quiet. "Go race walker! Go barefoot! Go --." silence. Do I make people uncomfortable? Sick? Confused?
Running Eugene was great. It's a scenic, PR-inspiring course that certainly makes you contemplate all the great runners who have cruised the quiet streets and paths of Eugene. There will be many other reports about the course and race organization itself. I loved it but spent much of the time in my own head. I was doing fine though definitely concentrating more than normal on my body up through mile 9.
At that point, the little dude started doing some strange stuff on my right side. I stopped to walk and catch my breath. I ran again. Still feeling strange. Ok, adjust the brace. Ok good, running again. Feet hurt, time to walk. I think I'm good, let's start up again. And so it went between miles 9 through 11. Also during this time, I started playing mind games with myself.
Should I really be running this?
Of course, you trained smart and you're resting when you need to.
Maybe little man is telling me he's not happy with all this?
You just talked to the doc about the race this week, all is fine.
Maybe he likes this?
Am I hurting him?
Ok, there is no logical reason why what I'm doing is bad. I'm following all the rules. I'm just psyching myself out.
Am I putting my own ambitions above what is best for baby?
Not according to recent research, my training, and doctor.
I should just stop.
Maybe I need some fuel? I'll try some of this Gatorade. Ew. No, that was nasty. That's why I don't drink that stuff. Maybe it's the Gatorade that is making him kick like this? All those trashy chemicals in it!
Silly, that was such a small amount of Gatorade and no, it's NOT toxic. Where did your toxicologist brain go?
You can do this. Just relax. It's going to be ok.
And so, back & forth I went in my head as I alternated between walking and jogging.
Finally at mile 11 the kicking in my right side subsided and I resolved to focus on the positive. I needed to appreciate every step of this 13.1 miles because I have no idea when I'll be able to run like this again. Even after I recover physically from child birth, finding the time and energy to start running again will not be easy. Once I start building up my running again, it may still be longer before I can log double-digit runs.
When I heard the Duck band playing as I passed through the Hayward Field gates, I knew I had made it. I was elated. I hurt. I was in disbelief. I had never struggled more. I had never questioned myself more.
As I crossed that finish line, I cried. I don't know if I've ever cried when finishing a race. I was relieved. I was proud. But mostly relieved that I had survived the whole thing.
After receiving my hardest earned medal ever, I spotted Kim and L. We made our way through the finish area, me in a daze and trying not to just blubber all over the place.
For the next couple hours, we watched our friends finish the full marathon. It was a great day for everyone, including a 2-minute PR by Jess and SL finished this 9th marathon with her third best time. I was SO VERY HAPPY to see SL finish strong, after going through those training runs (mostly) together.
Today I am tired. That run took a lot out of me and I'm happy to take a break. For now, a few race-day photos. More Eugene-related fun to come later this week...
|Snap shot of Hayward Field mid-run|
|Co-worker & friend who flew out from Denver to run with me (full marathon)|
|Co-worker friend & her friend who both rocked their marathons around the 3:30 mark.|
|Post-race bliss. I love the contrast between our bellies in this pic!|
|Pre-race, BLOGGY ladies & friends: Giraffy, L, me, Kim, SL, Becca, Jess|