Monday, 28 September 2009

Give some love for the pregnant lady - STWM race report

For the first time in my entire life, I slept like the dead the night before a big race. I guess it "helped" that on Thursday night I got 3 hours of sleep (thank you DH for coming home at 12:30 am), then on Friday I was up from 4:15 am to 11:30 pm and Saturday up at 6 again, no nap on Friday or Saturday. 

Race morning dawned gray and cloudy and I brought my sexy garbage bag "dress" in the car and put it on when it began to rain. Fortunately, it was just a quick shower and done by the time my parents dropped me off at the race start. 

I have to admit that I commited a running Cardinal Sin - I wore a brand new top that I bought at the expo on Friday at the race! My original plan was to wear my Awesome Shirt but when that didn't ship in time, I had to dream up something else. This is so shallow but I didn't want to wear the same shirt as I did in Ottawa. I saw these tanks from Robena [ ] with a matching long sleeved shrug. The tank has a large pocket in the back like a biking jersey to store the shrug, perfect for a morning that would start off cool and warm up. 

I was surprisingly not nervous at the start, considering I was shaking like a leaf in Ottawa. I had a little talk with Cheeto while standing there: 

"Mommy is going to take you for a LONG ride today, please behave yourself for the next few hours." 

I looked back at my race registration and saw that I had signed up exactly 4 days before I found out I was pregnant, so I was assigned to a faster corral than I was planning to run but did not change corrals at the expo. Not wanting to be a d-bag, I ran the first km a bit faster than I had planned, just so I didn't get killed. 

The first half went very smoothly. I think the real adventure began when the course split from the HM and took us into the desolate industrial part of Toronto known as the Port Lands, scene of the Poop Fiasco a month ago. I had taken 2 extra strength Tylenol when I got up and they wore off around this time. My sciatica did not flare up, but my hips! oh my hips! they wanted to detach from my body and go on vacation somewhere warm and sunny. So I popped 2 more Tylenol (still well under the maximum limit of 4000 mg) and the pain became tolerable. 

One of the course changes was the elimination of the Leslie Spit, where I ran the Poopy 30K. It's windy and even more lonely than the Port Lands, plus the terrain is as unpredictable as you can get. The new course goes through The Beaches, where there are lots of restaurants with patios and a Starbucks every 100 m, so there were lots of cheering crowds. There was this one particular group of about 5 people in this area giving high fives...when I went by them, I yelled, "GIVE SOME LOVE FOR THE PREGNANT LADY!!!" which garnered even louder cheers. Went by a church that had the BEST signs out front, "Is there a patron saint of blisters?" "Even atheists pray at mile 24." Wish I could have snapped pictures of those signs! 

Once I passed the halfway mark, I broke down the race by counting down the kilometres until I would see mom, dad and Greg, who were planning to be at kms 30-35 (right across the street from each other, out and back). That cheered me up a lot. 


...and going... 

I brought 5 gels, with the strategy of taking one at kms 7, 14, 21, 28, 35..but It Happened around km 38 - I hit the wall, HARD. I guess Cheeto was causing me to burn more calories and the water stations with Gatorade were not coming soon enough. I tried to think about making it through the next 10 minutes since I was doing a 10/1 run walk ratio, but I was walking. A lot. Time for a change in plans, fast. At this point I was still on pace to finish in 5:00 or maybe even a bit faster..the strategy turned to SURVIVE and FINISH. There was no question of DNF, not with my hip/glutes feeling decent and 4K left to go, I just had to make it to the finish line somehow. 

Made the final turn and it's 500 metres to the finish and still I cannot make myself run. I finally did with about 150m to go because I will NOT walk across a finish line...base goal achieved! Finish upright and smiling. And smile I did. FINISHING A MARATHON IS THE GREATEST FEELING IN THE WHOLE WORLD. 


For everyone who encouraged me and believed in me and cheered me on in person and in spirit, this is for you. 

For everyone who told me, "you can't run a marathon, you're pregnant!" and for those who think pregnancy is a time to be parked on the couch watching TV and eating junk food..well...I showed you, didn't I? emoticon