So race day came. I was ready. Mentally at least. I had not had to wake up that early in a long time. So I made myself get up at 5am to have breakfast then went back to bed for another 45 minutes. We did cut it a little close to the race and did not have time to use the port-potties prior to the start. This of course meant that I already had to pee by the time the gun went off. Oh well. At least the weather was perfect, foggy and cool in the mid 50’s.
I was planning on starting along with the 2:15 pacers but somehow found myself a little ahead of it while my Sister-in-Law went for the under 2 hour pacers. I didn’t have a true time goal in mind. I was thinking that I would finish somewhere between 2:15 and 2:30 but had no real expectations. I warmed-up and hugged my husband and off we were in the blasting music. I missed the silent communion of the running feet from last years start. It wasn’t as peaceful to my ears.
I knew I was likely going a little fast in the beginning, but I felt fine, and I knew I would have to take a potty break soon anyway. Well the first mile and port-potty came but there was a line. Same for the second one, right at the beginning of a heavy climb. I knew that hill, I walked it. This was no time for PR and uphill has been a lot harder on me since I got pregnant. I finally stopped at the 3 mile port-potty and stopped my watch during that time.
I went off again and within a mile I wanted to pee again. Seriously?! I held it until mile 5 and took another break. Thankfully things got better after that. On the steep hill before the Country Club Golf Course, I caught up with and passed the 2:10 pacers. I had been ahead of them before my first break and it was very comforting yet surprising to see that I could still catch up. As we went along the golf course (around mile 6) I felt the need to walk and questioned myself. Did I wanted to walk because I felt pregnancy tired or because my legs were not agreeing with the hill. I found that it was my legs so I kept on running. I ate a Cliff block around mile 6.
Around mile 7, a runner called my name. I finally got to meet Laura with whom we’ve exchange a few words over the last year or so on daily mile. It was nice to see her in person. I passed her then, but she caught up later.
Right before Beaverdam Lake someone else called me. My eyes caught sight of a fellow Diamond Brand running buddy. I screamed back that I was pregnant and she jumped up and down screamed “Run for Two! Run for Two!” That was a great confidence booster and I definitely had a big smile on my face after that.
I had to take one last pee break around mile 9. Then it was all about running. I felt that I could do then next 4 miles without a bathroom break and was happy about it. I met Laura again right before “The Hill” (as my SIL would later refer to it). Lookout road is a little over a mile of uphill, yet I don’t dread that section because it’s a smooth, “gentle” uphill full of nice curves. I did walk at one point however.
While last year we went down trough the university, this year they had us take an other route. One that few runners like: a “you feel you’re going to tumble down” steep downhill. Seriously it was steeper than anything I remember from the Blue Ridge Marathon. Thank God I’m used to run on trails and knew how to handle it. But I was fearful of a fall non the less. This was followed by a much longer run along Broadway. The most boring part of the race in my opinion. Slightly uphill and on a large road. Meeh! I saw a girl walking on the side, not looking too good and a policeman caught up with her to check on her well being. I took a walk break once more but still caught up with one of my co-workers.
Downtown Asheville came in sight. We went under the bridge and I smiled big time when I saw a sign saying “You were born to run Baby”. How appropriate! There was still one last hill to tackle though, my least favorite because after almost 13 miles my legs were ready to chill: Walnut St. A steep uphill followed by about two blocks to run to the finish line. I ran it last year, I walked half of it this year with no shame. I picked up running again and ran all the way to the end. Unlike last year I didn’t accelerate much at the end. I didn’t care if I was passing people. Instead I put my hand on y belly and dedicated my run to my Little One. To beating the odds. To getting pregnant after an ectopic pregnancy. I thought about the same run last year, I had been pregnant but didn’t know yet that it wasn’t a safe pregnancy. This year was a victory for me in many ways. I was still shocked when I saw that the clock read under 2:10. Really? With all my breaks I had still managed to make it that fast?
Well as my husband said, I had three times this year: the gun time of 2:09:38, the chip time of 2:08:30 and the watch time (dubbed Port-Potty time by Hubby) of 2:03:02. I finished 736/1366 overall and 60/131 in my age group. Not so bad for a pregnant girl.
Now I did have to take two short nap that afternoon, but weirdly enough I was actually less sore this year than I was last year. I’m not sure if it’s due to the easier pace, that I’m in better shape or both. In any case, my SIL said we’re going to have to put a 13.1 sticker on the jogging stroller we’re planning to get. After all this was baby’s first race 🙂