Way Late Get Lucky 7K Race Report

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Things have been pretty busy in our house in the last couple of weeks - finishing up our guest room so that we can dive into Baby's room, getting a lot of annual review paperwork done for work, and crossing more off the baby to do list (like registering) have been just a few things keeping me busy. I've wanted to get this post up even though Steve posted pics on his blog 10 days ago. I'm supposed to have a trainer date with my brother right now but have come down with some sort of super nasty bug so had to bail on him. I guess now's a great time to catch up while I'm on the couch feeling like poo... As I mentioned in my last post, I decided to back down to the 7K a week or 2 before this race. I just didn't know that I'd make the cutoff of 3 hours, and it would make me feel terrible to DNF a race. In the week leading up to the race, I had a couple of bad runs and was starting to wonder if this was it, if I was officially done with pregnancy running. I had 2 runs in a row where things just didn't seem to click, including the day I went to pick up my race packet. I was really glad that that I had switched to the shorter race. Steve and I started off the morning by driving to the halfway point of the 13.1 to see local tri buddies Mark and Kris. We parked our car and ran 3/4 of a mile there and back just to say hi. I was a little nervous that this would take a lot out of me given my crappy runs earlier that week, but it turned out that I shouldn't have been worried. We headed over to Minneapolis to get to my 7K start line and walked another 3/4 mile to join the masses. I immediately hopped in line for the porta potties! The race was HUGE. I really hadn't paid much attention ahead of time, but there were over 5,000 people signed up for the 7K. The pace markers were literally blocks from the start line. We snapped this photo of the two of us before I had to use the porta potty one more time.
Steve, Me, and The Bump
The line was moving really slow, but I wasn't too worried. The race was chip timed, and I knew I'd be lining up toward the back anyway. I heard them start before I even got into the porta potty but knew I'd still have a number of minutes to spare. I handed Steve my extra clothes, and we snapped this photo before I joined the rest of the crowd:
Baby's getting ready for a ride!
My goal was to take the whole race easy. That's been my strategy through this whole pregnancy - listen to my body, make a few friends on the course, and just enjoy getting some fresh air. 1K and 2K: 14:55 - I spent the first 2K getting into a groove. Since I had literally started behind everyone, I had a lot of people to pass! There were quite a few walkers and walk/runners out there, and we were having a beautiful morning. As I hit the 1.5 K mark, I heard them announcing the winner approaching the finish line. I had started 12 minutes after the gun, so I guess this wasn't so surprising.
I somehow missed Steve in the crowd, but he of course found me with his camera!
3K: - 7:31 I saw a porta potty but decided I didn't need it yet. We turned out of the wind, and I peeled off my long sleeves. I'm a hot runner even when I don't have the pregnancy hormones at work, so high 30s/low 40s is sleeveless weather for sure. 4K: 11:40 - four + minutes of this was a porta potty stop. At the halfway point, I really had to pee, and even though there was a line, I knew I'd enjoy the rest of the race much more if I stopped for a couple of minutes. One woman asked me if I was in the line. "Yep!" I exclaimed, "Right next to the pregnant lady!" She then went on to tell me that she was 4 months pregnant and had never had to pee so bad in her life. Just then, another obviously pregnant woman exited the john. That made 3 out of the 10 or so of us in line who were preggo :) I was in and out in a flash, grabbed some water at the water stop across the street, and I was on my way! 5K: 7:17 - feeling good - SO glad I stopped for that potty break. 6K: 7:05 - My legs felt great, my lungs felt good. My bladder was definitely the limiter. There were a few people huffing and puffing around me, and I offered the encouragement that we only had 1K left. 7K: 6:59 - People around me were sprinting to the finish. I did pick up the pace a little, but my body definitely kept me in check.
Baby and Momma feeling good to the finish. How many other people do you notice without sleeves?

Crossing the finish line with a smile on my face
Total time: 55:25 with an average of 12:45/mile. Subtracting my bathroom stop, that puts me at under 11:45/mile. At 7 months pregnant, I'm satisfied with that. Heck, at 7 months pregnant, I'm satisfied with still being able to move!
Sporting my medal just after finishing
Other numbers (not that I'm too concerned): I placed 4568/5109 total runners and 3208/3668 females. I passed 352 people out there, and 22 people passed me. Overall it was a fun race. It was well-run, had a pretty course, and had a good, excitable crowd there to cheer - even through the time I hit the finish line! Plus, I now have one more medal to put up in Baby's room - a reminder of races we've done together :)
Final thoughts: I don't regret downgrading to the 7K. I felt great and have been having good runs since, so I think those 2 bad ones were just flukes. However, factoring in several more potty stops, a few food stops, and maybe a walk break or 2, I would have really been cutting it close to meet the cutoff for the triple 7K. I'll keep my eye out for more races this spring. As long as I'm feeling good, I may as well be out there enjoying myself!

Never Say Never

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First of all, thanks everyone for the kind comments! I'm starting to feel like I "need" blogging a little more than I have in the last couple of years. I started it as a support system when I was training for my first Ironman. I took a lot of comfort in reading the blogs of other athletes who had finished or were training for Ironman - seeing how their training was progressing, reading the same insecurities I was feeling, and having the general feeling of camaraderie. Over the past couple of years, this blog has sort of just been a place to write about my races and general training, but I haven't relied on it as much as when I first started blogging. Now I've come full circle and am entering into a whole knew unknown territory, and it's so comforting to see so many women out there who have been through this whole process (some multiple times...) or who are preggo along with me now. Just like in Ironman training, I'm reading others' blogs knowing that my "training plan" may differ from the women around me, but the finish line looks the same!

I didn't do much of anything last week outside of work, including workouts. I really haven't been sleeping well, and it caught up with me big time. I think a huge part of it was anxiety. I feel like my to-do list for work and life right now is huge, and there are a lot of nights when my mind just races. One of my coworkers (who is due 6 days before me) told me last week told me she's all ready for her baby to come - room is set up, clothes are ready, name is picked out. All I could think of was, HOLY CRAP ALL I'VE ACCOMPLISHED IS BUYING A BOB STROLLER! Steve's in the process of painting our guest room and we're hoping to get registered and on track this weekend, but there's a lot of loose ends to take care of. I know that it will all come together, and from what I hear, this usually ends up as a "hurry up and wait" kind if situation, but the nesting brain of a preggo lady must be appeased.

On the bright side, I had another doctor's appointment yesterday. Everything's checking out great. Yes, I have gained over 20 pounds in just over 27 weeks, but they actually haven't even brought that up. Have I mentioned that I like my doctor? I did ask her again about running, just to make sure she's still cool with it. Since I'm growing normally and all of my exams look good, she said to just keep using common sense - no overexerting myself. I should keep taking it easy, be aware of any abnormal cramping, and keep my breathing in check (which thankfully still hasn't been much of an issue).

Aside from feeling like a lazy pile of poo, which doesn't seem to be good for my physical or mental health, we've been pretty busy around here, and I have been finding myself in a lot of situations I never thought I'd be in - I am these are the first of many times this will happen. Thus, I bring you the quick and dirty of proving myself wrong lately...

NSN #1: We will never buy an SUV: I thought it for years. I've always seen them as unsafe, unnecessary gas guzzling vehicles. As Steve's car has been heading south over the last couple of years, we started exploring all of our options and have been eyeing the Chevy Equinox. When the transmission started making threats 3 weeks ago in addition to the car leaking coolant like a sieve and the dash lights not working at night (which I'm pretty sure is not legal...), we decided to call it quits. We really don't want to be dealing with an emergency dead car in a couple of months with a baby on the way. It's a pretty small vehicle that will be versatile enough for an active family but actually gets better gas mileage than my small car. We've already put a hitch on it for our bike rack. In an effort to merge family and multisport, it seemed like the way to go. Plus, it's gotten great safety ratings. It resulted in a couple of extra sleepless nights, but we like it so far.

NSN #2: I'll never need a bra that big: My love for the Enell sports bra is no secret. I've professed it here many times. Right after becoming pregnant, I realized that one of my first purchases was going to have to be a new sports bra. The Enell is VERY supportive, but it's not very forgiving. If you're busting out of it, you simply can't breathe. I normally wear their size 0. I went to the one store in the Twin Cities that carries the brand with the intent to buy a size 1 and possibly a size 2, too. It's funny how "you'll grow into it" suddenly becomes OK again when you're pregnant. I haven't let someone use that phrase on me since about 5th grade. When I tried the 1 last October, though, it seemed SO much bigger that I only bought that one thinking the 2 would be a very long way off. A few weeks ago, I noticed that the 1 was causing a lot of chafing and seemed like it was getting on the tight side, so I went on the emergency hunt for a 2. Thank God for Ebay. I can't afford these things full price anymore. When I switched to the 2 a few weeks ago, I realized that I'd waited WAY too long and that a 3 may not be far off. Lord have mercy. Thankfully their sizing goes up to an 8, but if I get to a 50DDD in this process, somebody'd better shoot me. I still owe you all a post about the rest of my exercise clothes, but the sports bra is something you simply can't skimp on.

NSN #3: I'm not one to back out of a race: I had grand plans to run the half marathon this weekend. I've still been doing long runs and feeling good, but it seems that 10-11 miles is about my max before I start to feel a little tired. I signed up knowing a lot could change, but I didn't realize that my pace would keep slowing so much. They changed the location of the course and set a 3 hour time limit. Granted, some of my runs have been on really terrible slushy footing, but my pace is often 13+ minutes per mile. That doesn't leave me any cushion if I just wanted to walk the last 2-3 miles (or to account for the likely 4+ bathroom breaks I'd need), and I don't trust myself not to push it if it means a DNF. A DFL I could handle, but not a DNF. When they changed the course, they offered a free downgrade to the 7K so I took it. The 7K has a 2 hour time limit. Go figure. I'm still going to keep up my long runs for as long as I can, but I don't want to be pressured into keeping a certain time. By the way - in addition to the amazing number of potty stops you need during a long run, it's crazy how much food you need. I've been good about drinking water on my runs, but over 10 miles used to be my cutoff for when I'd consider taking a gel, and I rarely need one before 13. With Baby on board, I consistently need 300-400 calories during a 10 mile run.

NSN #4: I'm going to lose all of my running partners as my "pregnancy pace" just keeps getting slower: My friend Haley has been great and is still joining me for some of my longer runs. It's amazing how fast they go by when you have somebody to talk to! A couple of weeks ago, Abigailius contacted me. She's a fellow blogger athlete who is also preggo and due 6 days before me. We live just a few miles from each other. It's one of those crazy intertwined life stories where when you start making the connections, it's a little freaky. We went to the same undergrad, we have done many of the same races, I peripherally knew her husband years ago, and Steve taught her sister. Our first run was so fun that we have our second running date tonight!

NSN #5: This winter is never going to be over: We're supposed to hit 50+ degrees twice this week. They're predicting that all of our snow could be gone within a week. I'm not holding my breath that we're truly out of the woods, but it feels so good to think we might be getting close!

NSN #6: I'll never find maternity clothes that fit: I have been looking for weeks. Fortunately, I found a couple pairs of pants that have been working great, but all of the maternity shirts out there look and feel like tents. Plus, it's highway robbery how much they charge for those unflattering chunks of fabric. I have been starting to freak out as my bump is getting increasingly larger and I'm down to the same 5 pre-pregnancy shirts that have been compassionate enough to grow with me. I looked at a bunch more places yesterday and came up with squat. We really can't afford for me to blow an entire paycheck on 3 shirts. Last night on my way home from the dentist, I stopped by my second Herberger's of the day and had success!!! I didn't actually find a good maternity shirt, but I found SEVEN regular shirts in sizes and styles that will fit me for at least a couple more months. Those seven shirts were each 85% off, and I scored all of them for $52. That puts yesterday's extensive shopping excursion at 1 pair of pants, 2 camis, and 7 shirts for $100. I was so relieved when I got home that I was downright giddy!

On my Trainer a week ago - I can't fit into Aero, but I can still hang out with Coach Troy!