Last Saturday, I completed my fourth race and second 10k during my pregnancy! I feel incredibly blessed that my body is still allowing me to keep moving forward. It is so cheesy, but I can't imagine not being able to run and how much I would miss it, both physically and mentally. My doctor is good with me running for as long as it feels good. He has been incredibly encouraging of my physical fitness and assures me I will not hurt my baby in anyway. He told me at this last visit that he has some women run the whole way through, just at a continually decreased paced. Decreasing pace is not optional, at least for me.
Anyway, back to the race. I ran in this event last year completing the half marathon. The half course was pretty tough, again with the physical and mental. The course itself is physically demanding and the race isn't heavily participated, nor is it heavily supported on the course. It's a really great race to build up some mental and physical endurance! Based on my experience last year, I assumed the 10k would be similar. Tough.
I didn't even register for the race until the day before. I knew the weather was gonna be muggy and muddle-ly, I wasn't sure how far I'd want to run, there is a 5k trail option available as well. I had concerns about my bladder, as always these days, but the day before the race, I had really great circuit work out that left me feeling brave, so I went for the 10k!
Friday night, I had my work Christmas party and I didn't get to bed until after midnight. Needless to say, Saturday morning I had all of the don't wants. Too cheap to waste my race sign up fee, I got up and headed to the start line
I started off the race with the Sole Sistas who were running the same distance, safety in numbers I tell ya, and we took off. I swear I pouted for the first mile and contemplated quitting. Whattttt????? The race starts and we're running a down hill slope in the grass, Then up hill through the trees, and I'm trying not to trip on people or things on the ground. Am I crazy to be doing a trail run at 6 months pregnant? or am I just crazy to be doing a 10k trail run? (Things I think to myself)
It's evident very quickly that pace goals be damned. Let's focus on not tripping. It wasn't until we rounded the corner away from where my car was parked that I committed to finishing this thing.
We hit mile two and there are two porta pottys. It's like a sign from Jesus, that I stop and take advantage of this situation. After using the bathroom, I felt ready to cruise. It's like my entire mind set changed and I was off into the woods. Miles 2-5, I was mostly alone with my thoughts in the woods. Occasionally, I would come across other runners. Sometimes I would walk behind them a bit, sometimes I would ask if I could pass them (I feel like this is unspoken trail run etiquette), but I was mostly all on my lonesome. Up the hills, down the hills, running through the forest.
That familiar feeling set in and I felt amazing. So happy I had woken up. So happy I had committed to this run. I couldn't stop thinking about how blessed my life has been and how thankful I am for all that I have. Just this simple act of moving my two feet in a repetitive motion through the woods on a Saturday morning is an incredible blessing that I cherish. I felt so GOOD! It's like the light shone through the trees brighter, and leaves made a soft crunchy sound under my feet in a melodic undertone. Everything was colored in a positive light. I really had the best experience.
The course was tough, but I wasn't concerned with my pace, just covering the distance and enjoying the experience. It got pretty warm, but overall I felt great. I noticed my distance tracker was off with the official race markers, like a half mile off, pretty sure I took a wrong turn having my moment in the woods, but whatever. I just felt so great. So great.
Towards the end of the course, I started allowing myself to get a little negative. What if this is it? What if you don't run anymore races until after the baby arrives? What if you can't run for months and months and months? What if I can't find the motivation to get going again after so much time off? What if I fall back into old patterns? What will I do if I can't move my body? <-----See my fears.
Then this little Carrie Underwood song came blasting through my headphones, Something in the Water, and I started to tear up. I just feel so lucky and blessed and I don't ever want to take this life for granted. It's a feeling that is both exhilarating and terrifying. There I was about to start crying at the finish of this 10k I tried to talk myself into skipping that morning. In my defense, I have openly admitted to feeling weepy.
And now I'm singing along to amazing grace
Can't nobody wipe this smile off my face
Got joy in my heart, angels on my side
Thank God almighty, I saw the light
Gonna look ahead, no turning back
Live everyday, give it all that I have
Trust in someone bigger than me
Ever since the day that I believed I am changed
And now I'm stronger
It was such an unbelievably positive experience for me. I am so thankful I got out of bed that morning.
This is the tone that I finished that race with. I loved it. Loved it. Awesome morning.
Smile when you have your picture taken gah!! Things my Momma says.
Let's talk about this pic for a second. When I first saw it, I saw everything about myself I don't like. All giant hips and big arms. I may not have gained much weight sense I've been pregnant, but I definitely feel my body changing. I feel heavier, I feel like I'm losing muscle and gaining fat, and it has been challenging for me. After I took a step back from criticizing myself, I'm reminded that I am creating new life, which trumps any negative way I could ever possibly look at my body physically. I also know that no one will ever be as hard on me as I am on me. Why do we do that?
Whole 'nother post for a different day. Happy Wednesday people!