My kids and I love our YMCA. My son and daughter take gym and swim and soccer and love going to play with the other kids while I get in a good workout. It’s such a win-win for all of us! Back in March just as I was on the up and up after my injury hiatus I noticed the signs in the gym advertising for their 5k in early May. What a perfect race to make my triumphant comeback!
A lot’s happened since those race signs showed up and race day morning. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to show up let alone run. But I made plans to go anyway. I Lined my mom up to hang with the kids in the stroller while I”raced.”And I went to my team‘s sponsor store, Fleet Feet to pick up a racing shirt.
Previously when I’ve been pregnant I’ve enjoyed the occasional race. I’ve always taken a moderate approach with racing when pregnant: push the pace comfortably, but don’t go to the well. If in doubt back off. It’s fun to get the motor running a little bit every now and then and I fully believe the pregnant body talks very loudly–if I’m overdoing it I will know!
So with that attitude I arrived at the race. I wore my racing top and my normal racing shorts–black bunz (well, they’re boy shorts, but those are bunz to me!) I left my son with my mom as he was throwing a temper tantrum (thanks Mom!) and did a quick 1.5 mile warm-up around 7:50 pace. Then after my third pee stop I headed to the front of the starting line for a couple of strides before lining up. I saw a couple of friends. One totally made my day and told me I was one fast looking pregnant lady and he was also happy to inform that he was testing out Pepper’s theory about sex the night before a race. His girlfriend was standing right there and she attested to his statement. I told them I was not testing Pepper’s theory. Ha!
I have been doing track workouts most weeks so I had a little bit of an idea what I could do, but then again the pregnant body is weird. On the track I’ll be feeling fine and motoring along rep after rep and then all of a sudden I’ll be D.O.N.E. and not able to continue. I was worried if I went out too fast that that would happen to me in the race. So with that in mind, I figured best case I’d come in under 22:00 around 7:00 pace.
The gun went off and everyone went out like lunatics. I felt like I was walking, but I was running in the 6:30’s. Sure enough, I started passing people like crazy after 200 meters until the first mile. I came through in a comfortable 6:37 much to my surprise!
I was in third, but I was maybe 10 seconds behind 2nd and could see number 1. I was really happy with that. I thought I might catch #2 if I felt particularly good or she faded. Mile two was a consistent 6:36 and felt great too. Shortly after the mile marker the course turned and we started up a street that a long slight incline, but to me it seemed like a true hill. Plus I was getting hot. Around 2.25 another woman came up on me. She seemed really relaxed and I thought she was going to go blazing past #2 and maybe even catch #1 who never seemed to make up any ground on me. I still thought I had a chance at #2. But as I was climbing and heating up I just could not justify going into the next gear. Making up 10 seconds over less than a mile when I was already getting tired was just not smart. So I just continued on and finished relatively comfortably in fourth place with a smile on my face. (The girl that passed me caught up to #2 but couldn’t edge her out and came in 3rd about 7 seconds ahead of me).
Oh and I finished around 20:45 which is a gigantic pregnant PR for me. But what’s better than the time is how great it felt. It felt like a nice tempo run and I didn’t crash or feel unusually awful the rest of the day which I feared I might. After I was done I found the kiddos and my mom and while my mom occupied my daughter, I pushed my son in the stroller out back along the course to cheer on the remaining runners. We had a lot of fun, especially cheering on the little three year-old girl and her mom who were last. The mom was very ambitious to take her daughter out for a 5k! She was giving her a piggy back ride for much of the race! We arrived back from our 1.5 mile cool-down before them and waited to really do it up for them as they finished. The little girl was so proud!
Then we went and enjoyed the awards ceremony surrounded by the kids teachers and people who run on the treadmills next to me. It was really nice to support the institution that so supports us and hopefully next year I can go back and run three minutes faster!
Oh and as for the friend who was testing out Pepper’s theory, both he and his girlfriend came in second.