I’m still trying to catch up on my pregnancy updates. Work is crazy busy and so are things at home. Sometimes it’s good to know your priorities…
The Decision to Run
I loved running the Asheville Citizen Times Half Marathon last year. My work covers 50% of the entry fee which is always a big motivator. I missed the first early fees but knew I had to make a decision by June 30th not to pay the full fee. Except that I got pregnant in June. So now what? I was really debating whether or not to run it. Training during summer is hard, but training during summer while pregnant? And during the first trimester? This was a whole new thing for me. Not that I have that much training and running experience yet non the less.
So I talked with my husband about it. Ultimately he is the one who motivated me to sign up. As he said it would be a good motivation to keep on training during pregnancy. I had just finished America’s Toughest Road Marathon and didn’t die from it. Thinking back of last year’s Half I honestly felt great after it. And let’s be honest if I felt that for any reason I should not run anymore or was told not to run by my practitioner I would have stopped. But both my midwife and obgyn said it was fine for me to continue to run. When asked if I could run long distances (I didn’t specify which but said I had just run a marathon) they just told me to listen to my body. Well then… I signed up.
Last year I followed a rigorous training, the FIRST Half Marathon training plan. This year, being pregnant, was no year for hard training. I am not an Olympian, I am not paid to run. The life I carry is far more precious than any PR. So instead I looked for a beginners training that would just increase my mileage back to Half Marathon level on time. I ended up choosing the Hal Higdon Novice 2 training program. The one thing is, all my runs were “easy runs” in the sense that I was not aiming for any speedy pace, I just ran at the speed I felt like running.
I alternated trails and roads, I skipped some runs when I didn’t feel up to it. I even missed a whole week (week 11)and a 12 miles run because I somehow miscalculated my timing. I focused more on building my long run’s mileage slowly than anything else.
I’d be lying if I said I was excited about the race all summer long. There was more than one time when I questioned my sanity. There were days when I regretted signing up for the race all together.Why was I doing this to myself? This body needed rest not an 11 mile run! I really doubted myself when I fell during a 10 mile race and felt so tired from it.
But no matter what I am a runner and the though of a DNS or DNF did not appeal to me. I did not dismiss the doubt, but I chose a different approach. It didn’t matter how fast I finished the race, it didn’t even matter if I did not finish. My goal was to run, walk and have fun. I embraced the idea that I would not run the entire time because that’s what I had to do during training and I knew the race would be no different.
Both my 9 and 11 miles run were wonderful runs. Yes I had to stop and pee more than once. Yes my GI track was slower and I had to adapt to it, yes I walked. But I felt good running. Being out in the forest, feeling my feet hit the ground, listening to my breath. This is my meditation, my ME moment. I was enjoying myself. I knew that if I could finish an 11 miles trail/forest road run, I could finish a road Half Marathon while pregnant.