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Sunday, March 18, 2012

DC RnR HALF MARATHON

Five months and fives days ago, I looked like this:

Nine months, one week pregnant.

Pregnant with a 9 pound 4 oz baby.

Thirty-five (possibly 40) pounds heavier than normal.

Swollen to the point where my rings didn't fit. My watch didn't fit. I didn't have ankles. I only had one pair of shoes that fit. And that pair of shoes was a size bigger than I usually wear.

I was large.

Walking with K to the park was strenuous. And that walk was four blocks long.

After C's birth, I wasn't sure I'd ever get back into shape again. Unlike my postpartum experience with K, my experience with C sucked. Losing the baby weight has not been easy or fast. My incision has hurt and one of the internal stitches took an incredibly long time to dissolve. As excited as I was to get back to running, I was just as nervous. What if I couldn't get back into pre-pregnancy form? Would I be able to run half and full marathons again? Would I be able to keep a respectable pace? Would my cute running skirt from Lucy ever fit again?

My questions and doubts were too many to count.

I got back to running six weeks after C's birth. It was hard. It wasn't pretty. My cute running clothes didn't fit. I did more runs than I can count in loose fitting yoga pants from Target.

But I ran.

By Christmas I was running five miles at a time. After New Year's I started seriously training for a half marathon. At first, long runs were brutal. But slowly - step by step - it became easier. The runs got longer and my pace got faster. I was consistently able to run 10+ mile training runs at a 9:00/mile pace. The thought of completing a sub-2 hour half marathon five months after giving birth crossed my mind.

After weeks of training, I found myself toeing the starting line at the DC Rock n Roll half marathon yesterday morning.

I knew I had enough endurance to finish the race.

I thought I could finish in less than two hours.

Secretly, I wanted a PR.

My fastest (and only) half marathon to date was the 2010 Pittsburgh half where I finished in 1:58.

So with my new socks and shirt and my lucky running skirt (it now fits!), I got ready to run.

I started the race with D.

About 1/2 a mile into the race, he sprinted off ahead of me. I put my headphones in and started to run. I tried not to look at my Garmin and run by feel.

At mile two, I took a peak at my wrist and saw an 8:30 pace. Oh.crap.

Could I sustain that pace for an entire 13 miles? When we were running up the killer hill on CT Ave, I thought I might quit. Obviously hills were not part of my training plan and I was not prepared for the uphills on the course. But I put my head down and kept running. I looked at my watch every now and then. And realized that sustaining a sub-9:00 per mile pace for the entire 13.1 miles was possible.

By mile 11 I was ready to be finished.

But I kept running.

With less than a mile to go, I realized I was going to PR.

I was relieved to see the finish line. I crossed it with a smile on my face and hit the stop button on my Garmin. And this is what I saw...


Holy WONDERFUL run!

Watch out world! This running mama is back and is running better than ever.

I'm already planning my training plan for a sub-1:50 half marathon.


7 comments:

Jen said...

Yes indeed - you are one tough chik! What an incredible transformation in such a short amount of time. Truly inspirational.

MCM Mama said...

Congratulations! Way to go!

Sarah said...

AWESOME!

J. said...

Congratulations!

Becca said...

You totally rocked it, and I KNEW you would! You are definitely a TOUGH CHIK! Congrats on the comeback, you are an inspiration for me! I had a great time this weekend, and it was so great to see you, David, the kids, your mom and actually get to hang out for a while!

fancy nancy said...

Yay!!!!! Congrats on an amazing pr!!!

littlebeemama said...

Congrats! I always enjoy reading your race summaries. It inspires me to want to get back into running again (although that first month back after a long break is brutal...)