Race Recap: Gate City 8K

I originally signed up for the half marathon before I got pregnant. Once I found out I was knocked up, I did some research on running while pregnant and determined there's basically no way to predict how you'll feel at any point of your pregnancy no matter how much running you'd done before. People are stopped at a variety of points in their pregnancies for a bunch of different reasons. Some women can run throughout. Of course I'm hoping I'm in that last category but we'll see.

At 4 weeks, like I said in a previous post, I did 10 miles. I did 8 and 6 in subsequent weeks, then the three weeks before this race, I got in a TOTAL of 7 miles. Over 3 weeks. OMG. There was no way I was running a half with that level of training. I'd been too tired to get out of the house and running just wasn't a priority. I figured if I was that tired, running wouldn't help. Plus I felt off the week I was in Mississippi and only got in a MILE that entire week. So I emailed the race director about switching to the 8K. After the third email in a week and a half (side eye), I was finally told yes.

I slept... shall we say oddly before this race. Couldn't fall asleep until after 2, was up after an "I MISSED THE RACE" nightmare at 4:58. That is a fail. I had my traditional oatmeal with raisins, pumpkin pie spice and molasses and got on the road. I knew I'd be staying around for hours after my race to wait for my half-running buddies so I told Rashan he didn't have to come. As I arrived at the race, I got a spot one block away from the finish line. SCORE! I saw my race buddies and got a little sad that I wasn't running the half. I knew I wasn't ready but I wanted a second half so badly! I went to packet pick-up and easily switched to the 8K, then hung out with my peeps until the start of the half (20 minutes before the 8K). As they nervously lined up, I said, "Trust your training!" And off they went! Bittersweet.
Couldn't find my running gloves so I wore socks. LOL!
I went to the bathroom, checked my sweatshirt at gear check, did some stretches and lined up. We took off right on time at 8:20 to the A&T drum line which was pretty cool! It takes me a lot longer to warm-up now so I settled into a run-walk pattern at the back of the pack for the first mile. I was also feeling the annoyance of a muscle strain I seem to have developed in my calf during my weeks of little activity. I decided to mostly run when I realized it didn't feel any better when I walked.  It eventually went away so that was awesome! I ran all or most of the second mile and was rewarded with a water stop. Yay! I walked through the water stop, around a country club, really beautiful area, passed a couple of people, then started running again.
It was easy to smile at the appropriate times because the photogs were very conspicuous on the sparsely runner-populated course. At this point there was literally no one within 20 yards of me in either direction. Huge gaps between runners at the back. There were tons of course officials and police blocking traffic and directing runners. I mean TONS. It was crazy. It almost felt like there were more course officials than runners. Around 2.5 miles, a police car comes past me. I don't think anything of it until I see a guy come flying past me. Dude. That was the lead car and that guy is finishing the half. And he started just 20 minutes before me. He ended up finishing the half in 1 hour and 11 minutes. HAHAHAHA!! My next half goal will be 2:30. Eventually I hope to approach 1:45? Maybe? 1:11. As this guy is passing me, a police officer looks at me and says, "Go catch him." I said, "Eh. He's alright." LOL!
It is also at this point that I stopped feeling sorry for myself that I wasn't doing the half and felt SOOO happy that instead of more than 10 miles left, I only had about 2.5 (an 8K is 4.97 miles)! That put a huge smile on my face and I picked up the pace. I passed a few more people and came upon a power-walking family that I'd been trailing but keeping in my sights the entire time. There was no way they were beating me across the finish line! This was around mile 3. I thanked them for pushing me as I passed. Was that rude? They seemed okay with it. Another half mile later I came upon a guy helping his friend run and I heard him say, "You can do this, only 1 mile left." I was like OKAY! I'm running the rest of this mile! Dude lied. My phone was dying so I wasn't tracking this race.  I knew that sounded wrong but I was about to find out how wrong shortly.

Nearly half a mile later (aye carumba), WHEN I CAN SEE THE FINISH AND HEAR THE DRUM LINE, I see a course official standing in the street. I'm like why are you standing there in the way? I'm about to say something to him about it when he says, "You need to turn here." I was like, "WHY!?!?" No, I literally whined that at him. SOOO demoralizing! Take that turn away from the last mile!! IT IS HORRIBLE!!!! Shortly after, I saw the 4-mile marker and started passing people who looked more defeated by that mile than I felt. Tres bad. I told myself we'd run through this FOR REAL last mile... then I saw a final water stop at I believe 4.25 miles. I got some water and walked. I started running again after I finished my water and saw a lady sweeping her porch ducking from a bird. I laughed and said, "ATTACK!" LOL! I needed something to help me along the way!

I round another corner, approaching the final turn when I see a man in a grey jogging suit. He looks like he's out for a walk, like many other people I've seen that day so I say, "Good morning!" He grumbles the greeting back at me. I'm like yikes but keep trucking. As he runs past me, I realize he's in the race. Oops. He starts walking again and I pass him again. We're getting closer and closer to the finish. We can hear the drum line. We can hear the cheers. The crowd is building. I pick it up a little. He runs past me again. I'm amused now and I'm like, "Ehhh... I'm pregnant. You can have it, sir." But then the competitor in me arises. (Is that you, baby??? LOL) And I'm like wait a dang minute. I don't give up this close to the finish. NO MATTER WHAT. If he's gonna beat me, he has to earn it. I pick up a little more and pass him. I figure that's it. We're less than 100 yards from the finish. I hear him coming again. We're running side by side to the finish. I'm SO AMUSED! LOLOL
I HAD NO IDEA he was amused, too! Tee hee hee! I absolutely love this picture! People are cheering like crazy at this point! So I pick it up one more gear and pass him right before the finish line. YESSSSSSSSSSS!!!
I felt like a freaking ROCK STAR! In the middle of it, I don't always feel like a rock star because racing pregnant makes me adjust my expectations. It can be so disappointing to know that I could've killed that course sans baby but le baby is more important than the race. I was hoping to finish in under an hour but knew that might be a stretch so my main goal was just to finish. I was pleasantly surprised to see 1:06:24 as my official time. I'll take it! I hung around with others from my group to see all of our peeps in and it was awesome! As I saw my training buddies cross one by one, I felt a little twinge but I remembered how accomplished I felt. And I was so proud of them, all completing their first half that I was okay. Afterwards, we went to Dame's Chicken and Waffles and SWEET LORD!! I had the orange-speckled chabo with a side of AMAZING mac and cheese and had enough to take home. It was expensive but delicious!

On a less fun note, I had two people tell me to take it easy before the race. Seriously? I know for a fact that neither of them ran pregnant. If they did, they'd know you don't have a choice. Breathing is much easier than it was 6 or 8 weeks ago but it's still very VERY apparent that there's something different. I couldn't run at my regular pace for an entire race if I tried. And seeing how it's uncomfortable, I don't try. I just do my current best. The phrase I tell my beginner runners is truer for me than ever before now, "Complete, not compete." Most importantly, I want this baby to arrive on time, healthy and happy. I'm not going to do anything to endanger him or her. I mean that with everything that is within me.

I thought this might be my last pregnant race but I got a reminder that I signed up to be a Girls on the Run running buddy for a little girl in a few weeks so it looks like baby and I will have a 5K, an 8K and a 10K under our belt! I want to be paired with a girl who run/walks. :) When this child gets here he/she won't be comfortable unless moving at least at the pace of my runs. LOL


Mrs Count said...

that picture with the old man is awesome! I need you to frame it or something. Maybe get BGR to use it in a national campaign. perhaps for black history month next year we can get it published in a magazine. I have strong feelings about this picture and many more ideas. have your people call me.

gradydoctor said...

I love this. BPR! Black People Run! LOL!

Sparkling Red said...

You look fantastic in those photos! Look at that hair fly. Good for you. I couldn't run one block without giving up, let alone run a whole race with a baby on board. You are amazing!

K. Rock said...

Great recap as usual. You and baby are really tracking some miles.I hope you are able to stay active for your whole pregnancy bc I know you like it. And that last picture is just perfect. You are beaming from the inside!

disco diva said...

Great recap! Talk to Keyalus....she stays active during her pregnancy.

I love your smiles!

Nancy said...

Don't know if you're running in the Boston Marathon, but please check in.

Jameil said...

MrsC... LOLOL!! I LOVE that picture!! ROTFL @ Black History Month!

grady... awww yeah!

red... merci! One of the most awesome things you could say to a pregnant runner! :)

k... Thank you! People ask me all the time how long I'll run and I say I hope until the end!

diva... I read all of her most recent posts! I need more!! Gracias!

nancy... You have to qualify by running a super fast marathon. It's one of my goal races but it's still far off seeing as I've never run a marathon before.