But it came with some challenges and some good lessons.
I went into this race with moderate training.
Okay – I made it up to 8 miles in my distance runs and hit a wall.
So, it’s an understatement to say that I was a little apprehensive about running 13.1 miles. But what’s the very worse that could happen? I walk it? There’s definitely no shame in that. I’m only competing against myself, right?
And that’s the attitude I had going into this race. I’m only running against myself. I’m going to face the challenges head on and deal with them as they come. And there were definitely challenges.
I was thrilled when my Nike+ told me that my pace was 9:30 for miles 1-3. Wow! I didn’t know I had that in me.
Awesome! I wonder how long I can keep that up?
Well, not very long. LOL
Well, not very long. LOL
The hills started coming!! THE HILLS, THE HILLS! I attacked them as best as I could. I dug deep and told myself “Don’t look for the top, just keep going and you’ll know when it’s over”. And it worked. I coasted down the hills on the other side and built up some momentum.
Then the dreaded wall came. As I got to the hills (Darn you San Francisco Hills!) at mile 5 and 6, it just hurt. The mental challenge was getting to me…and I was halfway up a very long incline when I felt tears building up behind my eyes, ready to spill over. I wasn’t even halfway through it and I already wanted to call a cab to take me back to the hotel.
Too bad I didn’t have any cash on me.
I text my husband and told him how much I hurt. LOL He sent me pictures of little Malia and all of their love. Thank you for the inspiration (and the much needed distraction)!!!
It wasn’t until Mile 8 when we hit the Kaiser mile. That meant FRESH ICE COLD ORANGES! Needless to say, I took my sweet old time in this section. Double fisting it with oranges, letting the juices run over my hands and face. Who cares?! I needed the emotional, mental and energy boost (especially since I thought the Kaiser mile was at Mile 6 and I had to work my way through 2 miles before I got there!!) So I took full advantage of every delicious bite, out of the dozen or so orange slices that I yanked out of trays..
But the day was the definition of “what comes up, must come down”. After my orange high, I found myself once again facing another darn San Francisco Hill! I looked up and saw thousands of women working their way up one of the longer hills of the route. WTF! Was this hill here last time?! Did the land shift since my last NWM?!?! “Moves Like Jagger” happened to be the song that came on the iphone at this point, but I couldn’t move like anything…
It took me quite awhile to make it through that section – stopping to breathe. Stopping to stretch. Stopping to rehydrate. At the top, a woman held a sign that said “Those aren’t tears, it’s your fat cells crying”. I told her, “No, these are definitely tears”. LOL Love the support you get at this race.
Anyway, I was able to take full advantage of the downhill sections at Miles 9-10, ignoring the burn in my legs and letting gravity be my best friend. The last 3.1 miles were a haze….I did my best to run the last stretch and smile at the cameras as I crossed the finish line. Then I just looked for a hot fireman to give me my Tiffany necklace and went off to eat whatever food they could give me. LOL
It was a hard fought race, but I’m so happy to have finished. I made it through the near mental breakdown and learned a lot about myself. Things have definitely changed since my last run.
Five Things I’ve Learned about Running Post-Pregnancy
My body has changed. Not only am I carrying a little more weight, but I’m carrying it differently. My hips are wider, my feet have swelled and unswelled. Running is such a total body workout that each and every change affects the way I run. I’m still not used to it.
My body burns energy differently. I may have been able to get away with eating oatmeal or a small breakfast before, but not anymore. I was burning through my energy quickly. And since I’m still breastfeeding, keeping my body fueled up was more important than before. My blood sugar levels kept crashing. I kept feeling hungry. Thank goodness for the Luna bars and oranges along the race.
Even small inclines can be tough, so don’t beat yourself up when you struggle. Running the last few miles through Golden Gate Park was a test of my endurance. The inclines no way compared to the ones earlier in the race, but the burn in my legs and the strain on me mentally still had it’s impact. Just keep going!
Kegels, KEGELS, KEGELS! Oh my lordy, keep those muscles strong because my bladder could not hold up the way they used to. I probably added 30 minutes to my time because I had to keep stopping to use the bathroom. And the downhills? With all the pounding that happens when you’re going fast, downhill – I’m surprised I wasn’t just peeing away.
Embrace the new you & Celebrate the achievement. I may not be as fast as I was pre-mommy, but I’m not going to pine away for it either. My body is different, my needs are different, but the end goal is still the same…..put out my best effort, finish, and learn something for next time….
And if all else fails, find a fireman to help you through! Thank you SFFD for the eye candy!!
|Apparently, I only had eyes for my Tiffany Box|
WOW! This is one the best posts you’ve written. I feel so inspired. Congrats and believe me when I say you have really done something worthy of applause and celebration. It’s never easy to go back and struggle through when you don’t have to and I for one… can’t even imagine.
Mary S says
Thanks B! I often wonder why I put myself through the agony.
But the rewards always outweigh the negatives….at least most of the time. 🙂