Last Sunday I participated in the Union Hospital Half Marathon in a different way from years past. I participated as a member of a relay team. I am not a huge fan of the course, as it is very challenging in terms of terrain that does not favor my weak, nimbly pimbly type of legs. Probably the reason I haven’t run the thing since 2011. (For reference, I have run a 2:00:00 and 2:07:00ish on this course…some of my worst times).
However, when I was asked to partake in a ‘Prego Only’ relay team, I definitely couldn’t turn down the chance even if I knew it would mean subjecting myself to the torment of hills again. I even volunteered myself to be Runner 3, meaning I needed to be able to run the last 5.6 miles. Normally, this is an easy thing, but doing it when you are 27 weeks pregnant is an entirely different story. I prepared myself for the 4 weeks leading up to the race by running a “long run” of 5-5.5 miles. Only once did I actually run a bit further–6 miles. None of my training was done on hills. But all was done usually coursing into a headwind off the lake of about 15-30 mph (that counts as hill training, right?)
We arrived to the race about 50 minutes before race time, had some trouble locating my team, but we finally got things sorted out.
We had just enough time to get a quick photo op in, and then it was time to head over to my Exchange Point. To kill time, we worked on our tans and I made Hubby do a 400 meter time trial on the track. Yes, it was sunny and the only sunglasses in my car were my JLo’s. Don’t hate. I also didn’t take them off even for my run. Also, apparently I don’t know how to pin my bib on without making it crooked. Can’t even blame that on the belly.
It was definitely a different perspective sitting and waiting for the race to get to me. I got to see the lead males and females come through, they all looked good even though the temperature was already soaring into the 80’s. That was the one thing that concerned me all day, that I had yet to run in “summer temps” since winter has held on so long, plus the extra weight I’m lugging around acts as insulation and turns me into a heat factory pretty quickly. Soon enough, I saw a familiar neon yellow shirt heading towards me. Jen’s face was beat red and it made me nervous knowing that she had just finished 4.5 miles and I had to run even further! Don’t mind the fact that my face looks like I sucked a lemon or need to poop.
I took off, trying to keep things relatively slow and easy the first mile. I knew what was ahead, at my first mile split was when I met the first massive hill. I elected to adopt the philosophy that I would run up every hill, no matter how slow I had to go. I wanted to also try to make sure to take as many water stops as I could, allowing myself to walk through each and drink all the water. This hydration thing is key, in general, but especially when you are pregnant. You must and cannot let yourself get dehydrated.
My Mom is pretty awesome at playing paparazzi. I think my favorite part of my run was my Husband driving the car alongside me, stopping ahead and her running out ahead of me so she could take some action shots. I felt like a pretty big deal.
The miles kept ticking off, as did the hills. I was so thankful once I finished my 3rd of the 3 nasty hills and entered the portion of the course that just rolled a bit, then flattened out. I made up my time through there and soon after entered Tuscora Park where my wonderful Husband was waiting for me. I love when he helps me finish a race and this day was no exception.
You can relive my wonderful finish if you click on this link here. My favorite part is the confusion in the announcer’s voice when saying our team name. http://results.chronotrack.com/athlete/index/e/7636865
I came across the finish line to give Team Prego a final finish time of 2:04:34 (9:30/mile)
We wound up placing 7th out of 36 All Female Relay Teams 🙂
I checked my Garmy for my own personal stats, and I ran 5.6 miles in about 50 minutes, for ~8:55/mile pace. I was super happy with this given the weather forecast and abundance of hills.
T-Rex Father even race walked the entire Half Marathon. I totally give him credit (as I do the rest of the Half runners). The weather was not ideal, nor was the gusty winds, and everyone that finished achieved something awesome! I would just like to thank my teammates, my support crew (Mom, Husband) for making this race such a special experience. It is definitely a fun memory from my first pregnancy!