Pregnancy Update, weeks 27 and 28

Week 27:

Symptoms: While I can still sleep through the night, I started waking up with rib pain this week. I figured out that it’s because I’m a back sleeper and always end up on my back no matter what I do. I turn to my side after a while (I think it wakes me up). But it takes a good hour or so for my ribs not to feel sore anymore. Hunger level seemed back to normal.

No back pain except sometimes when I run and the baby’s head(?) rubs against the sciatica nerve. Thankfully it doesn’t last.

Craving: I’m not craving anything sweet per say but I do enjoy finishing my meals with something sweet.

Medical: I took the 1 hour glucose tolerance test and I passed. Yeah! I did avoid all sweets the day before just in case, but I was way below the threshold anyway with a result of 96. I’m sure keeping up with running helps a lot with it. But it’s still nice to know I don’t have to be on a restricted diet or something like that.

The Belly:  Growing and growing. I’m sure it doesn’t help with how my ribs feel. I’m pretty tiny so it’s starting to press against the ribs too. It definitely feels heavier now. I’m having to adjust things around a little more as I sit down and just be more aware that it’s here.

Mood: Very relaxed after Thanksgiving.

Workout: I ran a little less due to one long hike we did this week. I’m glad I didn’t push it anymore than that. It was definitely a colder week. My shortest run didn’t require any break which is a surprise for me those days. I had a good 4ish miles run in the park but as I was cooling off my knee felt sore. I was worried I might have injured it but it was fine the next day, so I have no idea what that was all about.The coolest part about this run was when I was cooling off and this lady started talking to me. She talked about how it motivated her to get back into running to see me run pregnant. She was working on a run/walk program after not running for a while. It really made me happy to feel that I could inspire someone to keep up their running efforts.

I was planning to run on Friday but we met a friend and decided to go on a hike instead. I am very glad I skipped the run since we hiked a good 7.5 miles. While a lot of it was flat it was still a good workout and I even got a small blister.t r

My last run of the week was probably my favorite. I went for a late afternoon run and at first the baby was pressing on the sciatica nerve, but the pain eased and I was feeling good and “speedy” even (Ok I passed only one person but still). It motivated me to run a little longer but I had to stop due to the night falling.

Sunday: Prenatal yoga + 2.78mi @9:11 pace, road.
Tuesday: 4.66 mi @10:08 pace, road
Wednesday: 30mns of yoga at home
Friday: 7.5mi hike on the Art Loeb trail.
Saturday: 5.36mi @9:37 pace, road
Total: 12.8 mi run

Week 28:

Symptoms: Still dealing with sore ribs every morning. My chiropractor felt it was due to landing on my back too. I added more pillows in our bed and it has improved a bit but it depends on the nights. The hard part is that once I wake up enough to feel the soreness I can’t go back to sleep. It makes snuggling a lot harder too.

The Belly: I got a few baby hiccups this week (started feeling those around Thanksgiving). Bending over is no longer and option, I have to bend with my knees to grab anything that fell on the floor. It also feels heavier and heavier. I can tell the baby is gaining weight. The kid has been mostly head down and transverse (feet in my liver) but it still has a lot of space to move and when it does it feels really weird. The kicking is fun, the gymnastics can make me feel slightly nauseous.

Weight Gain: I’m up 4 pounds since last month. I know my midwives weren’t worried about my tiny weight gain but I still feel so relieved to finally be gaining weight the way most pregnant women do. So total weight gain so far is 13 pounds. I know I should be thankfully my weight hasn’t exploded since I got pregnant.

Medical: I was measuring at about 27cm at my appointment. Baby’s heart beat was around 148-152. My blood pressure a healthy (zombie like) 105/54 (Blood pressure drops during pregnancy). Everything looks good so far.

Mood: Holly molly, it’s the third trimester and I still haven’t tackled my to-do list! It’s a little overwhelming to think that in about 3 months the Lil’One will be there and we still need to register, find a pediatrician and I hear even look for daycare already.
We also did our Christmas tree and I realized that next year we will need an extra Christmas Stocking on the fire mantel. We did tackle a trip to Ikea and found a great chair for nursing and some shelving for the room.

Random: My husband got sick with a fever and I’m crossing my fingers that it’s not contagious.

Workout: A good week overall. I was able to run three times and also went for a little walk which felt wonderful. It was an unusually warm week. On the plus side my husband did some of the runs with me. Some runs felt great, others had the baby really low and it made it a little more uncomfortable. I’ve been thinking more and more about getting a support belt. Well it turns out I get to try one for PreggiePals, can’t wait to see if it helps!

Sunday: Morning walk while my husband ran. Prenatal yoga
Tuesday: 2.99 @10:08 pace, road
Friday: 5.36 @10:36 pace, road
Saturday: 3.32 @10:09
Total: 11.67 mi run


Blue Ridge Marathon Entry Winner

FLICorpLogo_4CBefore I announce the winner, I wanted to say how much I loved reading what you are thankful for. There are definitely inspiring stories of runners and I always love to read them. Whether you won or not, I hope you continue to strive for challenges and beat the odds. I used to select a winner.

Congratulations Jacy! I hope you enjoy running the race with your husband. I’ll get you in touch with Pete for the entry code.
Winner BRM

Oh and guess what? Jacy is also giving away an entry. I swear I did select her at random. I just happened to see that on her blog. So hop on over to her blog before Saturday and you’ll get another chance to enter the race.

Of course you can also register on the website of the Blue Ridge Marathon, don’t forget that the rates go up at the end of the year.


25 & 26 Weeks Pregnancy Update

Week 25:

Symptoms: Daily kicks. It seems that Indian food triggers a lot of kicks and also some weird pregnancy dreams (aka I could see the face of the baby pressed against my belly). Starting to get a sore back too. Hungry. I’ve been eating a lot this week you would think I was being starved. I think it’s a good thing given that I haven’t gain all that much weight yet.

I experienced a wave of nausea while out camping. No fun, I thought I was about to throw up and kept on spitting. In insight I should not have taken my prenatal vitamin with only tea in my belly. Lesson learned, food has to come with it.

Colostrum, enough said (it’s been about a month since it started mind you).

Craving: Pepperidge Farm goldfish crackers. Couldn’t find any on the road so I had to skip it.

The Belly: So far using Belly Cream on a daily basis has helped a lot. I don’t know that it does anything for stretch marks or not (none yet) but it sure helps to keep it moist. Avoiding an itchy belly as we get into the drier month is key. I also finally look pregnant to other people it seems. Although some still don’t notice (do they really think I ate that many doughnuts???). It’s getting in the way of things a little and it’s only the beginning.

Mood: Great, we went on a babymoon with my husband. It was so relaxing, refreshing and such a great thing for the two of us, especially with the family drama we’re dealing with on his side. It was just awesome to get out of the house, the town and go on a road trip. We went to the Okefenokee Swamp, GA and Horse Pens 40, AL. It was beautiful.

Workout: Not much on the running front, two short runs since we were on vacation and did other things. But we got a good mix of activities with paddling, climbing, hiking as well.

Sunday: Prenatal yoga
Tuesday: 2.35 mi @9:52 pace, road
Wednesday: 2 hours or so paddling on the Okefenokee Swamp
Friday: Hike/Walk 1.5 miles, climbed two bouldering routes
Saturday: 2.5mi @9:56 pace, trails
Total: 4.85mi run

Week 26:

At Horse Pens 40

Symptoms: Sore back from camping for two days, improved greatly by yoga and chiropractic adjustments. Daily kicks. Still hungry but not as bad as last week. My ankles and feet are starting to hurt a bit when I run, I guess my gait is changing? My shoes have over 400 miles on them too mind you but I don’t feel it’s the time for brand new shoes given that my body is changing daily. I may just have to use my trail running shoes instead.

The Belly:  Tying my shoes is starting to get difficult. I think I know why pregnant women wear flip flops: no laces! Putting on panty hose can be a bit of a workout too. I can’t reach things as high up also because well the belly doesn’t allow me to get as close to things.

Mood: Relaxed from our babymoon. I have a laundry list of things to do however and I know I need to get myself into it so I don’t stress out at the end.

Workout: I had one easy run on a hilly loop which required a lot of walking breaks, my hips were a little sore too. My post Thanksgiving run however was lovely. Ok my feet and ankle hurt a little, as my sister-in-law said, my gait is probably changing a lot at this point. But I only needed one pee break, not bad for a 56 mns run. Not to mention that both my sister-in-law and husband ran with me, even though I was being super slow. It was an awesome family moment in my opinion.

Other than that I’m trying to practice yoga in between the classes, it really helps with my back and other sore body parts I think. And I went on a small hike in Rumbling Bald, following my husband and his friend who went bouldering. I put the hammock up instead and read in the cold wind. I feel like getting active weeks like this with a variety of sports.

Sunday: Prenatal yoga
Tuesday: 3.1 @10:16 pace, road
Wednesday: 30 mns of yoga at home
Friday: 5.36 @10:32 pace, road
Saturday: 2.5-3 mile hike
Total: 8.17 mi run

PS: Did you enter for a chance to win an entry to the Blue Ridge Marathon yet?

Being Thankful: Blue Ridge Marathon Entry Giveway

I can’t tell you how Thankful I am for running. I mean, I could try. It will be Thanksgiving in two days and I have so much to be thankful for. A wonderful husband who is by my side everyday, makes me laugh and takes incredibly good care of me. The full support of my family, a good workplace with amazing co-workers. A healthy pregnancy with a Lil’Pumpkin reminding me everyday how lucky I am with every single kick. Not everyone who wishes to have children can. It is my most precious gift this year, something I can’t stop being thankful for. On top of it, I can still run. I’m six months pregnant and still enjoying lacing my running shoes. Running has done so much for me in the last few years. I gained confidence and not only in my physical abilities. I met people. Running is my strength, it’s my balance, it saves my sanity every day and allows me to deal with stress. Running is my joy. It allows me to stay healthy.

I’m thankful that I got to run a marathon before getting pregnant. I know I will draw strength from it in a few months, when labor comes. I know I can be a tough cookie because I ran one of American’s toughest road marathons.

As promised, I want to share that joy, the reward to finish something people don’t think one can do, the 26.2 miles that most people will never attempt. This week I say thank you to running by offering you a chance to run the Blue Ridge Marathon.

When: April 20, 2013

Where: Roanoke, VA. The race will begin in downtown Roanoke, take you up to Roanoke Mountain by way of the Blue Ridge Parkway (and some amazing view spots), then up to the Star on top of Mill Mountain, down down down to Roanoke again for a last and mentally tough climb in South Roanoke, then along the Greenway to finish by the railroad track.

What: 26.2, 13.1 miles or a relay, including  7,234’ of elevation change for the marathon runners.

Whom: Half-marathoner, marathoner, Relay runners, double marathoner… A bunch of amazing people. Seriously take the time to talk with the runners besides you, you will be in awe. Yes you do have to be just a little crazy enough to attempt this but believe me, you can do it. The volunteers along the way are amazing and the people in South Roanoke will bring a smile to your lips and feed you goodies too.

How: to win an entry:

  • Mandatory: Comment below telling me what you are thankful for and why you want to run this race.
  • For additional entries: share this giveaway ( on your blog, facebook or twitter (I Want to #runBlueRidge from @Frenchyncarolin@brm26pt2) and comment below to tell me you did so.
  • Become a follower on my blog and leave me a comment

Contest will end on Friday 30th at midnight EST. Winner will be selected at random and announced shortly after (yes you’ll have enough time to train).

Disclaimer: I was provided a free Blue Ridge Marathon race entry and one free entry to give away.  The winner of the race entry is responsible for travel and lodging expenses.

24 Weeks Update

I obviously suck at making weekly updates. I’ve always loved looking at other pregnant runner’s weekly updates. They’ve often been an inspiration to me. And yet here I am totally failing at it. It’s not that I’m not running or that I don’t have things to write really. Mostly life on the other side of the computer takes a bigger priority in my life right now. My husband spends more time at home and as a result I spend less time blogging and more time with him. I know soon enough we’ll have to share our lives with a third little person so I take all I can of our last few months as “just two”.

I have to say that running has been good. Better than I would have expected by now. I’m actually taking less walking breaks than I was two months ago. I’ve maintained my pace around 9-10 min/mile. Some days are slower than others for no particular reason. But mostly not one week nor one run is the same. Take this week for example:

I ran 3.1 miles on Tuesday, it was a cold, rainy day. I had to take several walking breaks,  mostly due to the hilly course but overall I felt good.

Thursday I was hoping to run about 4.5 miles or so. That did not happen. Shortly after I started running I could feel the ligament on the right side of my belly pulling. Not only that but the joins around my hips felt sore. I took several walking breaks and short-cut my run to 3.6mi instead.

This morning I thought I wouldn’t have time to run but I did. So I went in the park again aiming for 4.5 mi. Except that I felt really good this time. Again the right ligament pulled a little at the beginning but then it went away. So I kept on going. I got to 5.3 miles and still felt good, so I continued with an extra loop around the park. In the end I ran almost 6.7 miles with only one walking and one bathroom break.

So I never know from one run to the next. Someday I think my running days are counted and on the next run it’s almost like I’m not pregnant at all. Go figure.

In any case I am incredibly thankful for the ability my body has to carry me. I am thankful for every day that I am pregnant and thankful for every single run I get with the little pumpkin riding along.

Total this week: 13.43mi +1 class of prenatal yoga, + a little yoga at home.

Other data: 9 pounds gained so far, not much (or as much as I would have expected) but the belly is measuring on track so that’s reassuring. The Lil’One is not shy on giving kicks and moving around. I can see my belly move from time to time which is so crazy.

We had a midwife appointment on Tuesday and I knew the baby was on the left due to a recent kick. So she got the doppler on the heartbeat right away. However within a few seconds, the Lil’One gave a kick straight on the doppler. I guess it wasn’t to its liking.

Running one of the World’s Toughest Marathons

 There is something incredibly rewarding in finishing your first marathon. All the months of training, sweat, pain, commitment come to fruition in that moment. It’s hard not to have the NYC marathon runners hopefuls in mind as I write this. While also means even bigger thoughts about all the people who are struggling to rebuild their lives after the Hurricane.

But yes, running a marathon is a big deal. I was proud when I finished mine. I had tears in my eyes as I told myself I was now a marathoner. To see how far I was able to push my body. I feel like I’m a better person from it. It taught me things beyond putting one foot in front of the other. It taught me that I can achieve a lot of things when I put my mind to it. We can achieve so much more than what we credit ourselves for.

I would have had those feelings no matter what course I had picked. But this morning I feel well, both a little crazy and yet even more proud of myself. Of course I knew I ran a hard course. I’m sure the organizer of the Blue Ridge Marathon didn’t nickname it “America’s Toughest Road Marathon” just for fun. I felt it, my legs felt it. But this morning it was written for the English speaking, weather loving people to see. Yep, in the midst of the whole controversy surrounding the NYC Marathon, asked some big names of the running community for what they thought were the toughest marathons in the world. Now mind you, this is not a scientific study. I am sure there are really tough marathons out there that are not even on the list. But still, according to this article: The World’s 15 Toughest Marathons, The Blue Ridge Marathon places as #8. In front of Grandfather Mountain, which I hope to run one day, in front of the rival Mt. Lemmon too.

So I have to say, this morning I feel a little bit crazy. I’m kind of glad this list was not published before I ran the Blue Ridge Marathon. I am not entirely sure I would have had the guts to do it. But looking back… I am a mountain girl, I do love the hills. I feel incredibly proud and strong to know that I finished a marathon that some big names of the American running world call the toughest. I felt it after running that first marathon, and I still feel it: I want to run more. Not to mention that I did a pretty decent time for a first marathon, on a tough course. So I want to know if I can run one in less than 4 hours on something a little more standard.

Now for the fun part. Are you as crazy as I am? Do you love challenges? Do you love the mountains? Because on Thanksgiving week I will be giving away a free entry to the Blue Ridge Marathon. That’s my way to say I’m thankful for running. You will then be able to claim that you ran of of the world’s toughest marathons. It’s ok, you can thank me later, you know, once you recover from it and all…


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

13th Asheville Citizen-Times Half-Marathon

A Little Someone made an appearance on the picture 🙂

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?

Thank you for a good race baby!

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 🙂