HAPPY SAINT PATRICK'S DAY!!!!
I hope everyone has had a wonderful day. St. Paddy's day has always been one of those days with mixed emotions for me. As a kid, I loved the festive atmosphere and the chocolate coins, but these were also accompanied by the overwhelming fear that I wouldn't have enough green and I'd get pinched. I even remember begging my mom at 10 years old to buy me a big, bulky green sweater from the Goodwill in November just so I'd have a good green item for the holiday. This year, though, I celebrated things differently.
While I still wore a bit of green, I did the majority of my celebrating yesterday. Yesterday, I ran the Shamrock Half Marathon. Yes, I'm 27 weeks pregnant. Yes, I had clearance from my doctor. Yes, I finished. Yes, I feel fine. No, I don't think I'll shoot for another one this pregnancy.
This half did not start out well. The day before had been a bit warm, and a heavy work load had left me very tired. I was still a little swollen and stiff when I woke up. What I really wanted to do was curl up in bed and sleep, and instead I was preparing to run 13.1 miles. There wasn't the usual excitement. In fact, if anything, I was cranky about having signed up. I kept telling myself how bad ass I was, and that helped, but I really just wanted to call it a day.
The first four miles felt miserable. My goal was under 13:00 min/mile, and I was holding at around 12:00, so that was fine, but it just seemed so hard. My legs hurt, I was out of breath. My running buddies were far ahead of me (it's a race, so we don't stick together), and I was lonely. I kept praying I would find my groove, and for the first time ever I actually wondered if I would finish the race.
Then, around mile 4 I started to feel a bit of my old groove. Things didn't feel so off. And, right as I was starting to get comfortable, I saw a familiar site. I saw a girl that I had run with on Marathon Training Team. She's actually the daughter-in-law of one of Hans' coworkers, so there was that cool connection, too. I ran up to her and struck up a conversation.
Honestly, we must have both been needing a distraction, because we started to chat and continued to chat the rest of the way. After that, the miles just flew by. I ticked them off, one after the other. Mile 6, mile 7, 8, 9, 10.
|Feeling great around mile 7.|
It was around mile 10 that general fatigue began to set in. I was stiff and tired. Luckily, though, I was a bit mentally prepared for this, as the same thing had happened in training runs. I took in some extra fuel, had a bit more water, allowed myself to walk through a water stop, and continued on. Mile 11, 12, 13...
And then, there it was, the finish line. There were flags and balloons and tons of people. As I crossed the finish, I heard the announcer call my name, and I cheered a little. They don't call everyone's name, so I was just lucky to have mine announced. It was like my own little victory.
|I just finished!|
So, how did I feel afterward? Not bad. Actually, I felt surprisingly similar to how I felt after my last full marathon- stiff, but able to move. I could have felt better, but I also could have felt much worse. That said, I definitely stiffened up more throughout the day, but food, water, and rest helped a ton. Today, I'm feeling pretty good. I still have sore spot or two, but not too bad. I don't really want to do it again any time soon, but I'm still planning to continue running- just not that far. All in all, I'm happy.
Oh, and just so everyone can see, here's a gratuitous belly shot taken the day before the race (Saturday).