I ran my half marathon this morning. In previous posts I have talked about learning to run with a bug in my belly and not wanting to seem fragile or that my pregnancy is a disability. As I stood sixty people deep in line for the porta poty with five minutes to race start thinking, “I will not being any kind of race or other activity before my bladder is empty, ” I admit I wanted to look pregnant. I felt a bit vulnerable. What if I can’t do this? Who wants to be the chubby runner with a beer gut? Not this chick.
But I was nervous for reasons beyond body image vanity…..Julie says I can’t get my heart rate above 150 and that 120 is much preferred. Carol says I cannot get hot no matter what (it got up to 102 today). Aunt Deb says not to push myself and that no one will think less of me if I run only four miles. And I have to pee a lot especially since my fear of dehydration drove me to consume unbelievable amounts of fluid on Saturday and Sunday morning. And I am carrying like ten extra pounds.
So I set out with a very Man, I Love Missoula sorta way. My mama/cheerleader dropped me at the start and then positioned herself to snap a shot as I raced by. I knew so many people at the base of Blue Mountain as the bright orange sun crested over Mount Jumbo.
My plan was to run 15 minutes, walk 5. This was hard as I felt great and I was checking my pulse every few miles, never above 126. I bet I looked so hardcore, starring at my watch with pointer and middle finger to neck. I was wearing this great spandex skirt thing that I found. It was turquoise, cute and concealatory in all the right places. You don’t just gain weight in your belly and boobs when pregnant…fyi. Chaffing was a concern.
So I ran and walked when I felt like it. I stopped at every aid station. I had so much fun. I quickly realized two inevitable facts: My favorite running shirt that once fit perfectly and has run hundreds of miles with me is now a belly-exposing, hoochie shirt no matter how much I pull it down and I was going to pee my pants the entire run. The second fact was more troubling than the first. I feel like I need to tell people this because it is unbelievable and I guess kind of normal and no one talks about it. It was wild. I squirted with every step. I was SO thankful for the aforementioned concealatory skirt. As it also conceals urine-soaked spandex. ewe.
One thing I couldn’t let go of is a time goal. I was really nice to myself and thought three hours I can do. But, never sacrificing heart rate, hydration (of which I was apparently so good at that I sprang a leak) or any other bug-in-my-belly codes for it’s time to stop now. In the end I was able to catch the chatty short woman with the tall man but couldn’t reach sweat-soaked gray t-shirt or lime green shorts. I did it in 2:36.
In the photo below check out the fatigue and defeat on that guy’s face ’cause I just screamed by him toward the finish line.
My knees are sore. Running pregnant is different. I think I will swim more and run less for the rest of this pregnancy. Maybe not. I do love running. And I think bug does too. The little stinker was quite active this afternoon.