I did something Saturday I thought I would never do: I ran a race as a bandit — an unregistered runner. I tell myself I have registered for this race in the past and had to drop out, so they owe me one, but that’s not really right.
My friend Erica wanted to run a 1:45 half-marathon to qualify for the first wave in the Twin Cities Marathon. I had agreed to run this with her, feeling confident I could help her reach her goal. But I procrastinated registering, and the race filled up. I still felt obligated to run with her, so I decided to just do it. I know, I know, where are my ethics?
I haven’t run a race since July 2010, when I ran a horrible, hot 5K pregnant with Genevieve. It was one of the last times I ran in that pregnancy, and I almost blacked out at the end. I remember sitting in my car, thinking, oh my God, I’m going down. I snatched my son’s juice box and drank it all and cranked the air conditioning, and that helped. But that’s the last race I did.
I was ready to stand at another starting line, feeling happy and healthy and eager to get going.
I woke up at 3:50 a.m. Saturday so I would have time to pump, make a bottle, eat something and meet my friends to drive up to Brookings, SD, for the race. It was about 40 degrees and gloomy out, which is pretty perfect racing weather for me. I wore shorts, a tank top, arm warmers and gloves. My hands are always cold. I also was super nervous, worried that I was overconfident and I would let Erica down. I was terrified of that, actually. I told myself to run nice and steady and just relax. We knew if we didn’t make it, we could try again in Swan Lake in June. That definitely took some pressure off.
Here are the splits:
1:45:59 — her actual time was 1:45:2X but I didn’t stop my watch at the right time.
I did not cross the actual finish line — I hopped off the course pretty close to the finish, and ran in the grass alongside until the line.
This was my second fastest half-marathon (1:42 in Swan Lake in 2009). Erica did really well. She pushed herself hard and finished strong. I was so grateful to be part of her race. It was really fun to run together, and work together.
I felt really good — and am very excited to try for PR in Swan Lake. There was no point during it that I felt like I was working — it truly felt like I was out on an easy training run. I know a lot of that had to do with the company. I had zero pubic pain after this effort, too, which is a really nice feeling. I still plan to take a few days off, just to make sure everything is settled down. It’s tough — once you have a good race, you want to race every weekend. But I know that is what gets me into trouble, I need to be conservative and build slowly, with my eye on qualifying in Twin Cities. That is the real goal, and the only one that matters. I don’t want to get injured on the way there, like I did in 2009.
Of course, on Sunday, I jammed my foot so hard into the edge of one of our baby gates that it’s swollen and painful today. I am hoping that settles down. Please let that settle down. It hurt (hurts) like hell, though. If I get a parenting injury, I will be so pissed!
During this race, I ate more Clif Shots than usual — and fed them to Erica as we went along. I think that helped keep me feeling strong. I remember in Fargo being unable to get my gels open and totally bonking the last 10K because I was super hungry and couldn’t manage the gels. I had kind of forgotten how I lose all dexterity when racing and didn’t open the packets beforehand this time. I need to remember that for my next race. I had a moment of panic trying to get a sleeve of Shot Blocks open.
For my first (second baby) post-partum race, I feel pretty excited. Genevieve is 6.5 months old. I was up half the night with her the night before (and almost all night last night, good lord, baby). Philip brought the kids up after the race to hit the local children’s museum (more on that later).
It was pretty much the perfect day, perfect racing weather, a perfect race with a great friend. And my friend Christine ran a 3-minute PR, and my friend Patrick ran his first marathon.
I can’t complain.