Sunday, April 7, 2013

Lincoln Recap

This might be short, I've got mixed emotions about this race.

The Lincoln Half was another race I signed up months ago, and had been planning before I got pregnant. Finding myself with Marathon on board changed my goals for the race, but not my determination to do the race. Training didn't go as well as I'd hoped, since it all occurred in the first trimester when I was drop-dead tired, but I got some miles in and was confident I could at least finish around 3:00 - not the PR I'd planned when I signed up in January but still, a time I would be happy enough with considering how much my circumstances had changed and how much less I could push myself now.

Friday night I picked my husband up from the train, dropped my daughter off at her grandparents, and off we went. 3 1/2 drive ended up being closer to 4 1/2 because I needed to stop at most of the rest areas (pregnant! eep) and we ended up checked in around 10:30. I had fast food for dinner along the way and pretty much crashed out right away; my husband slept most of the drive and he stayed up til nearly midnight. (Crazy.)

The alarm went off at 5:30 and we got up, got dressed, and hit the Starbucks in the hotel for breakfast. I was a little nervous because I had to switch my usual pre-race fare and go for a plain croissant - there were no bagels. But I wasn't terribly worried, my stomach has never been picky about what I eat before hand and I've even eaten spicy cheetos and gone out for an unplanned run, so I figured I'd be okay. (And I was. There's not that much difference between a croissant and a bagel.) We headed off to packet pickup expecting huge mega lines, because the race had sent out a scolding email to expect lines because not nearly enough people had picked up at the expo. (We were hours away - we had no choice.) It took mere moments though, and while I noted some sidelong glances at my belly, it was pretty much in and out.

I had planned on wearing my tank top, tights, and running skirt, but the shirt was a fluorescent yellow that I took one look at and knew it wasn't one I'd love, so I had no compunction against stretching it out. I had forgotten these were unisex so the medium I ordered actually fit fine over my belly - it would have been much too big if I wasn't pregnant. We took a couple minutes to get bibs up, hike the half mile back to the hotel to drop our bags off, and get back to the starting line.

Us at the start. How cute are we!

The portopotty lines were ridiculous! The race had almost 1700 starters but it's usually smaller - and well - 10 portopotties for that many people was just not adequate. That's my only complaint though - the race was otherwise fantastic. I met up with Nicole who was pacing the 3:00 group,  and the race started on time after a quick speech from "Abe."

The course was beautiful, and our plan was to hang with the pace group the first 3-4 miles, then spring ahead if we felt good. Nicole grabbed this cute shot in front of the capitol building where we paused for a second while running:

Us in front of the capital building. So that chest strap? That's my water bottle belt - it no longer goes on my waist! Eep. Not very comfortable anymore, but not sure what else to do with it!


Shortly after the 5K point I was feeling great, which we hit around the 40 minute mark, and we pulled ahead of the pace group. Starting with then was a great move, they were running 3 and walking 2 and I think that was a better mix than the 2:1s I'd been doing. We moved up the pace and were generally running 12-12:30. By mile 5 though I was DESPERATE for the bathroom and asking volunteers how close we were - that mile FLEW by with me running fewer intervals and faster running. When a girl's gotta go...! My husband teased me the whole mile, but damn, I was ready and thought there was one at mile 4 - not 6! Oops. We clocked a 14:30 for mile 6 with the bathroom stop, but it was much, much needed, and we were off.

Mile 7 brought a gel stop where I grabbed one even though I'd been eating my sports beans and Keith grabbed one too. I figured I probably wouldn't use it but he could if needed a second later. The water stop came up next and then a mega hill of doom.

Now, I will say - I generally don't do hills unless I'm on the treadmill. My area has some rolling inclines, but no real hills. And call me a lazy runner but I just don't care that much to look for them - most of the local courses are flat and while I know it would be beneficial, hills suck and I refuse to make something I enjoy so much...not fun, if that makes sense. And hills aren't fun! I don't mind hitting them during races, but we walked the hills. They were huge. I forgot Springfield was hilly because the one time I'd been there was before I was running.

But we passed the hill of death (and walked a couple more hills after) and I was doing fine, keeping a pace I was very happy with. We were on pace to finish around 2:50, which was a time I would be very very happy with.

But mile 10 hit, and suddenly I was having severe round ligament pain. For those who haven't been pregnant, round ligaments are on the lower/underside of your belly and they're the main muscles that support the uterus (at least while pregnant). RLP isn't dangerous to the best of my knowledge, but it does mean you're overdoing it. I took a longer walk interval to let the pain go away and tried running again, warning my husband that if this didn't go away I had to stop. By 10.5 I knew I had to be done - even walking wasn't decreasing the pain much. It made it tolerable but the moment I started to run, it hurt a lot.

I have a high pain tolerance. If my legs had been hurting (muscle aches I mean, not damage pain - obviously if I think I'm injured I stop running) I could have run through it. But belly pain while pregnant...I just wasn't willing to mess with. This was always the contingency plan; I was only okay doing a long race if I promised myself I'd stop if I needed to and walk the rest. I just...didn't think I'd need the contingency plan.

So, we walked the last 2.6 miles. At points I struggled not to cry, because I was so disappointed and so frustrated. Keith tried to console me, but I was just majorly disappointed. I knew it was the right decision. I KNEW I needed to make this call and it wasn't one anyone else could make for me. I knew I had a contingency plan for a reason and this was the reason my doctor was okay with my running - because I would stop if I needed to. If I'd been home I would have cut the run short. But it was just so disappointing!

At one point we hit the portopotties, the last stop for them on the course, and I was so glad because that was the point - somewhere at mile 11ish - that Nicole and the rest of the 3:00 pace group caught up to us. I was in the portopotty and I heard her talking to Keith - if she had caught me I think I would have burst into tears from disappointment.

I always knew I'd finish - but I was so frustrated I couldn't finish it running!

And those last couple miles dragged. I'm a slow walker, generally, and by this point my legs were getting stiff because I wasn't running. Somewhere in the last mile the other pacer from Nicole's group found me and walked with us for a bit, consoling me and telling me it was still good to be out there and we weren't anywhere near last, etc, and then went on ahead. Plus, I apparently sucked at running tangents this race - I'm usually within .05, but my garmin clocked this as 13.41. Ouch.

We finally finished with a chip time of 3:12:22. A far cry from what I wanted, but we finished. We did run the last little stretch to cross the finish line running, and it did hurt, but we got our cool penny medals and grabbed some post-race food - a couple chocolate milks, banana, yoghurt and water. My husband grabbed some donuts and some G2 too - apparently we missed bagels but I still thought the spread was pretty good. Keith grabbed a couple pictures but I was irritated at my finish time and still looked grumpy:

Husband, there is wind blowing dust in my eyes and I don't really want a picture at the moment. RAWR.

But, it was over, and I -did- finish it. Overall, this was definitely a race I'd do again, hills and all. Beautiful course and there were a lot of spectators and nice traffic directors - the on-course support was really nice too. I felt like it could have used one more water stop, but otherwise I thought they did a great job and unlike some other races, they didn't run out of water in the end. The last water stop was actually staffed by men in uniform, which was pretty humbling. I was walking by that point but still got cheers, and they were just awesome. The portopotties were well placed for most people (not their fault I'm pregnant!) and just generally this was a well-staffed, well supported, well run race. Next year is the 50th and if I'm up to it, I'd love to go for a redemption run :) Even if the wind was majorly awful, haha!

Plus, the medal is pretty damn cool.


17 comments:

  1. Good job for listening to your body, but still finishing. I think you did great; there is always time for PRs after baby is here!

    Tabitha @ www.tabadilly.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you! I keep trying to remind myself of that - I should just be happy I can run while pregnant! :)

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  2. You did amazing! seriously so proud you finished and i understand it wasn't what you exactly wanted but you still did great! PreggoPR... that is your mantra this year! :)

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    1. and p.s. i totally tried to remember Keith's name but by the time i posted the pic.. i forgot! ooops.

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    2. Thank you so much! And I like that...PreggoPR!

      And haha, no worries! You heard it all of what, once?! Lol!

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  3. great job! I think you did awesome!

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    1. Thank you Lindy! I'm much happier now than I was when I wrote this last night. I feel pretty good about doing it at all at the moment.

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  4. This sounds like a great race! Congrats on finishing!

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    1. Thank you so much - it was! Awesome for sure, I definitely recommend it if you're in the area.

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  5. Great working-- doing a 1/2 preggers is amazing! I enjoyed the race but it was the hilliest race that I have ever done... Congrats!!

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    1. I did a hilly 10k a couple months ago but the difference between a hilly half and hilly 10k is pretty huge lol, and these were much hills! Congrats on your PR and thank you! :)

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  6. Oh gosh! There was nothing you could do but stop to walk! Annoying, yes, but you were killing it until then! And that is awesome! I mean, think about how well you were doing considering how tricky the first trimester was! I hope you are giving yourself major props!

    I like to think bagels and croissants are different because bagels are not full of butter... right?! RIGHT?! AHH! Do I have to give up my bagels?! :P

    Good to know that Springfield is hilly ;)

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    1. I know, I got yelled at by my husband for the same thing! Yes, croissants are packed in butter! I just meant both are bread-y...I have no idea if bagels have butter, I've never thought about :o More props to you for being vegan, there's so much to think about!

      I know! I feel better today but in the middle of it I really just was so disappointed. I know it was the only choice I had, but I hated feeling like I overestimated my potential if that makes sense, overestimated my ability. The more I've thought about it the more I've decided that no, I didn't - I just had an off day. Those happen even when not pregnant, and beating myself up and mourning not being able to do any more halfs is premature. I had an off day. Oh well! I still had fun :) But man, as you can see - I didn't feel that way on race day!

      And it is! But it is pretty and so fun. I think you'd like it, a good race to prevent spring doldrums because it's just so nice :) You should do it - next year is the 50th!

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  7. Congrats on finishing, even if it wasn't the time you wanted. It must be hard and very frustrating, but thank goodness you had so much support out on the course, and there is always next year!

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    1. Thank you! Yeah, my husband and I are going to have to duke it out to figure who gets to run it next year :)

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  8. Pregnant running is no joke! And a preggers half marathon? You are one tough mama!! Glad you listened to your body (even if it is frustrating and annoying sometimes). Having to pee all the time drove me absolutely bananas! Anyhow, I love that you finished the post already plotting a redemption run. Such a run addict! I love it! I also love that you've nicknamed your little one "Marathon." Too cute!

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    1. Thank you!

      Yes - having to pee all the time drives me CRAZY! I swear some days I can't even go 1/2 mile without it bothering me, and some days 5 miles is fine. I can never predict it!

      And baha. My husband and I have since discussed it and this will be my comeback half next year. I am totally planning it!

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