Santa Run 2015

>> Monday, December 14, 2015

My alternate title for this post is “My First and Only Race During This Pregnancy.” And it has nothing to do with the event itself. It was a fun race. Lots of great volunteer support. Great activities for the kids. Tons of community out cheering.

It’s just . . . I haven’t run in an event since the Laurel Festival 10K back in June. In fact, I haven’t run in more than a handful of races over the past year and a half. I used to love spending my weekends lining up at the start. Progressively, my interests have changed -- but I’ve kept up with the running regardless.

So, back to Sunday. It’s December . . . and it’s over 60 degrees. I can’t even believe it. I had toyed with doing this 5K, but didn’t give it much thought. Stephen was the one who urged me to participate because the weather was just so amazing. Sunny and gorgeous. We all hopped in the car early so Ada could do the kids’ race.

She and I both wore fun + festive costumes.

Ada did great, by the way! She’s only ever “raced” a couple kid runs. I hate to say it, but she has fallen at most of them. We never make her do them. But we told her she could try, and she got all excited.

She didn’t just want to run. She wanted to win! (She didn’t. But all the kids got a special prize at the end, so she thinks she did!)

The 5K started about an hour after the kids’ run. I spent the bulk of the time going to and from the bathroom because I was drinking all the water. I mean, it was really warm. I didn’t want to take any chances getting dehydrated. I took my last bathroom break with 10 minutes till the gun would go off and headed down to the start.

During those 10 minutes my bladder somehow filled up again -- to capacity. Ugh. I started the race uncomfortable and just wanted to stop. But I decided I’d forge on. I didn’t wear a watch because I didn’t want to know my time. Instead, I tried chatting with people near me and even talking to myself. If I could speak full sentences, I was golden. And I felt completely comfortable and strong the entire way.

Still, somewhere in the middle of the race, I got to thinking. Yeah. It was fun being out there running in an event. But I had basically paid $25 to do a 5K jog I could have done out my front door . . . sans needing to pee the whole time. I decided right then that I’ll save my money for baby stuff. This would be my first and last race during this pregnancy. Then, as I rounded the corner for the final straight away, I had to fight the urge to speed up.

That’s the other thing. Though I haven’t been racing in the last year or more, I still had been running pretty fast (for me). The competitive stuff doesn’t really go away when you’re in the moment. I struggled to remember during the race that I am pregnant. After all, I’m not really showing and I don’t have many aches and pains yet. Then I’d remember and be like “ugh! what’s my heart rate? I feel great but I don’t want to push it” -- it was a constant battle in my head.

I’m not trying to knock doing events while pregnant. I did several 5Ks and a half marathon with Ada. I think in my first pregnancy running was much more about proving to myself that my whole life wouldn’t change if I had a baby. Now that I know there is balance after birth, I don’t need reminders. At least not yet. And I also think the circumstances and challenges that led to this pregnancy have put me in a different mindset.

I crossed the finish in just under 30 minutes. My official chip time was 29:32, so 9:30/mile. That’s obviously not fast (in fact, it’s my slowest timed 5K to date), but it’s about minute per mile faster than I’ve been running at home. I could feel proud, but I -- instead -- was more freaked out that I pushed too hard compared to my new normal.

I’ll keep up with my slow 5K runs around the neighborhood. I’ll probably even look up a few fun events to run several months after giving birth. For now, I’m hanging up my “racing” shoes. At the same time, I am glad I ran. It was run dressing up and Ada certainly enjoyed all the costumes and activities! We’ll probably spectate while Stephen does a Christmas Cookie race next week.

PS: Christmas! No joke: We just started really shopping and making presents! Ahh. 

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