I always love a good virtual race. This year, like last year, I joined in with the readers of Run with Jess for the 2nd edition of the Cupcake Classic. Jess encourages the runners to bake cupcakes and take pictures of themselves after the run. This year I decided to do something a little different when it comes to the picture, hey I might as well entertain myself with it, right?


My husband was amused by it, he thinks it makes my feet look fake. At least I can still see them for now 🙂

Cupcake Classic Virtual Race


Asheville Runway 5K Race Report

I wasn’t able to run the inaugural race last year because I was being treated for an ectopic pregnancy the day before and forbidden to run the race by my Dr. Thankfully given the circumstances, and although the race was normally non refundable, the organizers offered me a 50% credit for this year.

While I had originally signed up for the race in 2011 to see how fast I could run a 5k. I knew it wouldn’t be the case this year! The course is a perfectly flat loop starting from the hangars, going down the taxiway, up the runway and back down the taxiway to the hangars. I don’t think it’s possible to find a flatter course in Asheville.

My goal was to run it for fun. Well ok, as I told a colleague that I met at the start I would be thrilled to finish under 30minutes being that I was 20 weeks pregnant. But if I didn’t, I knew I would be perfectly ok with it.

The race was well organized with plenty of special event parking (free) and shuttles to take you to the start. Although most runners chose to walk to warm up in the “balmy” 50 degree! I had switched to long sleeves at the last minute because it was just too cold for me.  Thankfully the start area was well protected from the wind and I was able to warm up a little.
I had gotten there with plenty of wiggle room because I still needed to pick up my race packet. As it turned out, that only took a minute or so. So I just walked around to keep warm, went to the port-potties a few times, signed up for a chance to win free airfare and checked-out the aviation day tables that would open up later.

The sun rose and things warmed up a good bit. It wasn’t supposed to be very warm that day, but it turned out that the sun broke through the clouds right around race time and that I could have down a T-shirt after all. We lined up for the race and waited… the start was delayed about 15mns due to a plane landing. And then we were off. At first everyone seemed together but quickly the line started to stretch. I was still far from the first turn when I saw the first runners on the other side. The benefit and drawback of a flat open course is that you know exactly how far you are for the top runners. It was really cool however to see all the runners and walkers stretched out around the runway. I found my pace and stuck to it. I was passed in the beginning but started passing people half-way through. Baby was doing good, not jumping on my bladder or sitting in a weird uncomfortable position.

I took the second turn and headed back towards the hangars. I surprised myself by finishing just under 27 minutes. Yeah for flat courses, I had not been this fast in a month. The finish table had whole oranges, apples, bananas and water which I helped myself to. Overall it’s a well organized race when you see how many people participated. And let’s be honest, how often do you get to run on a runway right? I hope to do it again when I’m not pregnant and see if I can get a PR.

I finished 21st/105 of my age group (25-34) and 215/708 runners.

Pregnancy Update: Weeks 14, 15, 16 and 17

I had big plans on catching up and doing weekly updates. Ah! Not happening. I am not starting my 5th month and barely starting my 2nd trimester updates. Oh well. Life matters more than blogging sometimes.

Week 14:

Symptoms: Some ligament pains as things are stretching and adapting to the growing uterus. Sometimes when running, sometimes randomly.

The Belly: Definitely feeling things changing. There is a tiny bulge showing which has nothing to do with bloating. Yeah!

Mood: Other than my fall scare last week, I’m in a pretty good mood. I feel very excited from sharing the news officially on and offline. Officially starting the 2nd trimester. This is exciting because it’s supposed to be the “honeymoon stage” of pregnancy but also because at this point the risks of miscarriage are way way lower.

Workout: So much for the easier running last week. I suddenly find that I need more time to warm up. I have to walk as a warm-up too now, sometimes it also takes me up to 10 minutes into the run to fall into the groove of it. I’m taking walking breaks when needed, especially with the sciatica acting up. However fueling has been helping. I learned my lesson and I now have a small snack even before my short runs. It makes a difference.

Sunday: 3.1 mi @8:38 pace, road +prenatal yoga
Tuesday: 3.1 mi @9:42pace, road
Wednesday: 5.5 @9:45 pace, road
Thursday: 3.1 @9:40 pace, road
Total: 14.8 mi

Week 15:

Symptoms: I’m pretty sure I’ve felt the first flutters. Amusingly two hours after seeing the mid-wife who said most first time Moms don’t feel anything until 18 weeks. Baby doesn’t like to be told there is a normal time line 🙂 I was sitting down when I felt this little flutter. It took me a second but I was like, “wait, this was not digestion! Hi Baby!!!”. Very excited to feel it, and felt it again the very next day. 🙂

Medical: Midwife appointment. Hubby got to hear the baby’s heartbeat for the first time, his comment was “wow it’s fast”. Uterus is measuring a week ahead.

Weight gain: 4 pounds since the beginning of pregnancy.

Mood: Right after we took the picture above I was about to head out when the neighbor called us. There was a black bear on his deck! Crazy. A little scared at the idea to run into it.

Thrilled to feel the baby move and happy to be doing well. Hubby dealing with a lot of stress at work and taking some time off. Not good for him but I get to spend more time with him and he was able to come to the appointment.

Workout:  I realized I had somewhat skipped on of the training weeks and now had to pick between 11mi or 12mi. I went for a run in Bent Creek which turned out to be 11 miles with some good hills. It was a really good run which gave me back the confidence I needed to run the Half Marathon. My evening run in the park did not go so well. I had to cut it short due to a nasty side stitch and stomach cramps which I blame on the food I ate for lunch. The sciatica has been manageable thankfully.

Sunday: 4.25 mi @8:50 pace, road +pre-natal yoga.
Tuesday: 11.37 mi @11:03 pace, trail/dirt road
Thursday: 3.67 @10:21 pace, road
Saturday: 6.05 @9:33 pace, road
Total: 25.34mi

Week 16:

Symptoms: There are days when I don’t feel the baby still, but it’s getting more regular. On Saturday, we were at a Music Festival, Steve Martin came on stage and the baby gave a kick. It was unmistakable, not a flutter but a little kick. I had my hand on my belly and I felt it against my hand. Love it! Hubby can’t feel it yet.

The Belly: It popped! The difference between week 15 and 16 is crazy to me. Lil’One must have had a growth spurts this week or something. I cracked up after we came back from a Music Festival, here I was about to jump in the shower when my husband walked in and exclaimed “Hey Preggers!” I guess it’s now obvious.

Mood: Yeah for kicks and flutters! However I fell (again!) while running. I burned/cut my hand on the pavement (note: it took a long time to heal that one). It made me feel like a complete idiot more than anything else.

Workout: So as I mentioned, I fell on Monday. I was reaching a curve and heard a car behind me, I could tell they were about to turn too. It distracted me enough that I clipped the sidewalk and with my newly popped belly I couldn’t catch myself. The knee, elbow, hand and water bottle took the fall. It wasn’t as hard of a fall as when I fell in the forest, but it was painful because of the pavement (pine needles are much kinder on your skin I tell you!). It  sucks because I was actually having a really good run. I still finished it but it wasn’t the same with stinging wounds. This has made me rethink where I run in a serious manner. I can not risk putting myself into such situations again. Running on the roads is now going to be off limits unless I run in the nearby neighborhood avoiding roads with more traffic. My goal is now to stick to the park and the trails where I honestly feel a lot safer.

On the yeah side, I ran the Asheville Citizen Times Half-Marathon and I did way better than what I had expected. I was so proud of myself for finishing it.

Monday: 3.1 mi @9:07 pace, road
Wednesday: 5.74 @9:20 pace, road
Saturday: 13.1 @9.23 pace, road, Citizen-Times Half Marathon (technically 17 weeks)
Total: 21.94mi

Week 17:

Symptoms: The pressure in the lower belly is increasing, especially when I run. It means more pee breaks and sometimes walking breaks to let it relax. It mostly feel like it’s due to the weight of the belly and sometimes odd baby positions. Kicks are more regular, almost daily now already. Hubby felt the baby for the first time this week! It was priceless to see his face, that moment of realization that he had felt Our child move!

The belly: is growing. My manager took a look at me the other day and realized she had less time than she thought to get me into maternity clothes…

Mood: A little emotional. A year ago I was dealing with what turned out to be an ectopic pregnancy and unexplained bleeding. Yet this I crossed the same finish line of the Half Marathon with a healthy baby who kicked hard on the anniversary of my trip to the ER that my husband felt it. Overall I fell incredibly thankful in this journey, knowing where I am now.

Workout:  Easy week after the half-marathon. My body needed some time to recover. I”ve decided that I’m done with the double digits. No more long races until this Little One is here in person. I did have a great run in the forest without even a break needed. It felt quite wonderful. We went on a hiking/camping trip in the forest. Got lost a little but still had a lot of fun. However sleeping on a blow up camping mattress is not all that fun when you’re not supposed to lay on your back anymore. I woke up far too often.

Sunday: Prenatal yoga
Monday: 3.66mi @9.27 pace, road
Wednesday: 5.64mi @10:13 pace, trail
Thursday: 2mi hiking
Friday: 5.4mi hiking

Total: 9.3mi ran,  16.7 with hiking