Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Midsummer Night's Trail Run

July 14, 2012
9:00 pm (bring your own headlamp!)
24 weeks pregnant
3.65 miles
35:33 (9:44/mile)

With our friend Tim.  And wow, you can tell I am retaining water.
  I didn't look nearly this swollen ever with my 2nd.  I think I also
need to invest in some new running shirts during pregnancy.
You know ones that fit a little better.
This is the second year of A Midsummer Night's Trail Run, but it is super well organized.  My husband and I ran it last year and even in it's first year, the glitches were minimal and didn't affect us at all.  When registration opened for this Donovan signed up and I didn't.  I had myself talked out of it.  And really at that point I shouldn't be doing it.  I would have run too hard.  However, about a month ago I ran 3.5 miles and it felt easy (the race is 4 miles) and then I started toying with the idea of running it again, because it is just so fun.  Well long story short I decided to sign up and got a 4 mile and a 5 mile run in beforehand.

This race is really a true cross-country course.  It is run on trails at a local park.  However, these trails aren't normally trails and they actually go out and mow the course.  I live in a pretty flat area of the country.  Seriously, most of you would laugh at what we call hills.  But for me, this was a hilly course.  No big hills, but lots of little up and downs.  And I don't even run little up and downs normally so this was hard for me.  But actually the hardest thing was the footing.  The grass was a little long (like maybe they had mowed last week) and quite rough.  My ankles were killing me by the end of the race.  I was super careful to watch where I was going!  Being the second year, it was a lot better attended and got a lot more competitive!  I didn't use a headlamp.  I don't like extra stuff like that and I was off the trails and back on the lit part of the course by the time it's dark enough to need it.  (I knew this from experience from last year).  And there was a lady right in front of me who had one.

The race was supposed to be 4 miles, but because of an irrigation pivot going over part of the course, it was shortened to 3.65 miles.  I didn't know this until after the race, which was great because I finished stronger than I expected.  I ran the first mile in 8:55 (which is a little faster than I have been) and I went through 3ish miles at about 29:00.  I don't know if the mile markers were right because of the shortened course.  I was super thankful for my support belt and I didn't have to pee during the race!  Thanks to a trip to the porta-potty and the cornfield.  No shame for the pregnant lady.  My legs were very tight, I think from the hills that I'm not used to.  I started to feel the muscles in my hips and below my belly (again, I think from the hills) and made myself slow down a little to keep baby safe.  I walked about 5 steps twice and there is a staircase in one spot I walked up (to make sure I didn't fall too!) just to keep myself from pushing too hard.  I had a strong finish.  The course was a lot smoother and a downhill to the finish.  I ended up finishing in 86th place in 35:33 (9:44/mile).  My goal was as long as I was feeling all right to stay under 10:00 miles and I did that :)  My husband finished in (I think) 39th place in 28:40 (?)  The results haven't been posted yet so I'm going off my memory.  My crazy husband has not run at all since June 9 when he did the Warrior Dash.  He likes races, but not training.  But for not training I thought he did great.  He pushed pretty hard and isn't feeling great today though.

Donovan on the course.

Post race.

So my conclusions are:
-Running races pregnant is frustrating.  It's hard to not race and push really hard.  I was frustrated with certain people beating me and my husband just looked at me and said, "How pregnant are they?"  And while I know that's very true, it's still hard.
-Those 16-18 extra pounds I'm carrying around make a big difference too.
-I won't run this race again pregnant.  The course was much harder than I remembered and the footing is just precarious enough that with relaxin in my joints, it would be super easy to sprain an ankle.  It's also quite competitive and I'm competitive.  So it makes me frustrated and honestly I probably ran a little hard.  After the race my belly was really tight for a long time.  My lower stomach muscles (like under baby) were sore all night as well.  Also it is in the middle of the summer and it's hot.  So if I'm pregnant and Donovan is running, I think I'll volunteer to help out, then I can still be involved without risking my body or my baby.
-Proper hydration helped tons!  I was drinking at least 96 oz of water/day all week and I felt great during the race.  Post race, I immediately drank a bottle of water and a bottle of gatorade.
-I have big goals for this race next year!  Seriously goals that scare me, but I know are possible.  I can't wait.


  1. I am the same exact way when I'm running races during this pregnancy. It's hard to forget what you used to be able to do and to reign in the competitiveness. But I give you major props for being out there and doing it at all!!!! I'm also already thinking of next year's races. I can't help it :)

    I've experienced that lower belly soreness after a hard run. It usually goes away after a day or so, but it always makes me nervous and reminds me to just take it easy.

    Congrats on your race!!

  2. cross country race, that sounds so fun! i'm sure it's frustrating at the moment, but just remember-- it's only temporary! you'll be back at it once the babe is born!