I decided quite a while ago that I wanted to run until I was 30 weeks pregnant. Obviously I knew it would all depend on how my pregnancy was going, and whether or not I had even an inkling of any complications, which would cause me to stop sooner. But I still had that 30-week goal in mind, and I had one last race in mind, too - a 5K put on by the local YMCA.
As with every race I've done while pregnant, it was penciled in on the calendar, but the final decision wasn't made until the morning of the race as to whether or not I'd be there.
Luckily, as with every other race, I was able to get a decent night's sleep, and woke up feeling good, so I made my way down to the race start with plenty of time to spare. Us pregnant ladies need to leave lots of extra time for potty breaks before a race, because 5K races do NOT have porta-potties on the course, and right now, running for 30 minutes without stopping to pee is a big challenge - honestly, that was one of my biggest concerns that morning.
A friend was also doing the race - it was her first 5K ever - so she and I chatted for a bit and headed to the start together. It was a great day for a race - cool and calm - and I was sporting my hand-drawn pumpkin shirt, which got quite a few laughs and comments. I figured since it was my last race for a long time, I might as well go out in style : )
Since I run in this area of town all the time, I've run the actual race course many, many, many times, so knew exactly what to expect. The first quarter mile or so is downhill, and even though I'm 30 weeks pregnant, it was a race, so I started out too fast. My first mile clocked in at 9:17! I felt good, though, and knew I was going to slow down, since the rest of the course was either flats or slight inclines.
And slow down I did - my second mile was around 10:30, and included a few rolling hills. I actually passed three people on one of those hills, though - I couldn't quite believe it. But I wasn't pushing myself - I was keeping to an easy, conversational pace.
As we headed into the third mile, I was definitely getting tired. The last mile was mostly flat, with just one small incline toward the end, and then a small downhill leading up to the finish line. I couldn't resist one final kick to the finish, so although my 3rd mile was run in just over 10:30, my final .1 was run at around an 8:20 pace : )
But when I was done, I knew I was done. I really wasn't that tired, but my back and all the muscles below my abdomen were really sore - that's where I've been feeling the most soreness when I've run these past few weeks. And as much as I've still been enjoying being out there and running, the soreness has begun to outweigh the enjoyment.
Add to that the fact that Dante made his arrival 6 weeks early, and I just feel that it's time for me to slow down and ease myself into these final few weeks of pregnancy.
I lingered at the post-race festivities for a while, since it'll be quite some time before I'm in that environment again, and I wanted to enjoy every last moment of it. And while I was lingering, I checked the results, and was happy to see that I didn't come in last.
And I'm happy I was able to make it to the 30-week mark, and to do almost one race every month. The only month I skipped was October, due to my back hurting so much. But since this one was the first day of November, maybe it can count for both months? : )
The final stats -
4 weeks pregnant - Providence Half-Marathon - 1:50:09
9 weeks pregnant - Matty Siravo 5K - 28:05
13 weeks pregnant - Camire's Firecracker 4-Miler - 37:37
17 weeks pregnant - Newport Naval Station Sprint Triathlon - 1:34:37
24 weeks pregnant - CVS Caremark 5K - 31:53
30 weeks pregnant - YMCA Pumpkin Run 5K - 31:25 (67 out of 75 overall, 8 out of 9 in age group)
Now it's time to start planning my post-pregnancy race schedule......