I just registered today for my next race - the CVS 5K in downtown Providence on September 20th. It's a huge race, and I'm not normally a big fan of such large races, but it's a nice, flat course, which is definitely a requirement for me these days. I just can't drag this pregnant body up even medium-sized hills anymore - I have to stop and walk, which is tough for me to do, but I really don't have a choice. My body just isn't up to running them.
Obviously the heat and humidity we're suffering through at the moment isn't helping any, but I think even when it cools off, I'll still be walking the bigger hills. Small inclines I can manage, but I wasn't about to sign up for a 5K with a hilly course, because it wouldn't be at all enjoyable for me, and since I'm not really racing now - I'm just doing this to have fun - hills are off limits, so the downtown 5K it is.
What's got me feeling really strange, though, is the possibility that this could very well be my last race until after the baby is born. I'm not ruling out an October 5K, but I'll be in my third trimester by then, and although I'd love to still be running at that point, I'm not sure if I will be.
And since my due date is January 8, and the general rule is to let your body recover for 4 - 6 weeks before you start exercising, and it will take me a little while to work up to running 3 miles really comfortably (I still can't really fathom how that's going to feel), that means that I might not race again until April or May, which seems like an impossibly long time.
I know, clearly, a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby are my priorities now - I understand that, and that is where my focus is at the moment. But I can't help but feel a little sad already just thinking about that huge span of time without a single race on the horizon. I've gotten so used to doing at least one race a month, and have been really happy that I've been able to continue that trend through my 5th month of pregnancy. It's going to be difficult to have an empty calendar for over half a year.
I'm consoling myself by daydreaming about what races I'll do when I am able to get back into the swing of things, and making mental to-do lists of race preparations I'm thinking about for next year - finally get my bike fitted; buy a wetsuit; practice changing a flat; come up with a game plan for getting my BQ.... I'll have my work cut out for me, that's for sure - especially since I'll also be parenting THREE kids!!!!!
And I'm also consoling myself by remembering just how sleep-deprived I'm going to be those first few months, and that getting up at the crack of dawn to get to a race is going to be a very unappealing prospect, so maybe I won't be as heartbroken as I think I might be.
In reality, I'm not heartbroken - just feeling kind of melancholy. Racing has become such a big part of who I am, it'll be hard to not have it in my life for so long.
But the races will be there when I'm ready to get back to them. And in the meantime, I've got a baby to grow, give birth to, and get to know - not to mention two little boys who also do a very good job of keeping my busy - so I'll be plenty distracted!