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Monday, December 30, 2013

Coughing, Morning Sickness and Intervals Oh My

It's been a couple of weeks since my last post. My last tale brought you the sad news of my first DNS due to illness. Well let me tell you, that illness moved into my home, made very good friends with each one of my family members and pretty much made itself comfy. It was a rough few weeks and my husband is still battling off the last of it. Not only did it last a couple of weeks for each victim, but the worst symptom was the cough. Having so much chest junk going made it hard to run. Throw in the rest of my "troubles" and running has not happened.

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm also pregnant with #4. And while the woes of the first trimester haven't been nearly as bad as they were with #3, I still have been hit pretty hard. I am tired, absolutely wiped out. add the low level of all day "morning" sickness(such a cruel term for someone like myself who wakes up with it and goes to bed with it), on top of the illness and my treadmill has gotten dusty. Yes, I need to take care of myself, especially because I am now host to another spawn beautiful growing baby. But at the same time, I still have some pretty big races coming up.

Next up, the unofficial Tinkerbell challenge. Like it's buddies the Dumbo Double Dare and the Glass Slipper Challenge, it is a 10k on Saturday/Half Marathon Sunday combo, just without the extra medal you get during the other two race combos. And this combo is in less than 3 weeks. So I finally had to drag myself back to the treadmill. I don't feel like I'm too far gone, but obviously not exactly where I need to be.

I've had to change things up since being sick and getting pregnant. First being hydration. One of the awesome pregnancy symptoms I've been blessed with the last few pregnancies is a metallic type taste in my mouth. It lasts the first 15 weeks or so. It makes me kind of queasy, it makes food and drinks taste funny, especially water and coffee. The two things I need most in my life are the two drinks that turn me off. I've been trying to keep hydrated in other ways, chocolate milk, coconut water and Gatorade.

The second big change I've had to make is to my speed. I have seen some mamas to be maintaining speed through the early parts of their pregnancy. That is not me. It's hard enough for me to drag myself out for a run feeling like I do. I've found it comfortable to go from straight running to intervals. Since my break, I've had to move down to 2:1 intervals. And I'm ok with this. I feel like I met a lot of my speed/time goals over 2013 and at this point, I'm glad that I'm still moving. I have never been active during pregnancy, never. I feel like a rock star, albeit a slower rock star, just for doing what I'm doing, when I'd love to be in bed 20 hours out of the day. As long as I finish my upcoming races, I'll be happy.

The third change? Clothes. I had all of my awesome costumes planned out for the Tinkerbell 1/2 and Princess 1/2 marathons. I bought early, because I'm a planner like that. Being that this is the 5th child I've carried, I get a baby bump rather quickly. I made the sad discovery last night that the outfit I'd planned for PHM in 7.5 weeks is already on the snug side. It's not going to happen. My shirts are too short and tight and I just had to celebrate the extra weight loss and buy a size small skirt many months ago. So I'm experimenting with what is going to work the best with my growing midsection. Look for more on that later, because it's not as easy as buying maternity workout clothes, at least not unless I want to shell out a few hundred dollars on clothes I will wear for a few months.

So I will keep going. Keep plugging along and hope for the best when it comes to my Tinkerbell races. I'm just going to relax and have fun, something I've yet to do during a race, because no matter what I told myself, I was always trying to go for time. Now I don't have to worry about that, and I'm looking forward to having fun!!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Hardest Race Is the Race You Never Start-Huntersville Holiday 1/2 Marathon Recap-The Race That Wasn't

I'm not sure if this is an actual quote from someone or if I am making it up in my head, but either way, I'm learning it true.

I've heard stories before of people having to back out of races, due to injury or illness. The idea was terrifying for me, and I thought I would just die if that ever happened to me. I'd hoped it never would. But it did, and now I'm battling with my pride to get over it.

Let's start at the beginning, several weeks ago. A week after returning home from the Wine and Dine 1/2 marathon, we got some game changing news. I am pregnant with baby #4. It certainly wasn't expected but it is welcomed. This obviously means my upcoming races would not be as easy as my past races have been. I'm tired and nauseated thanks to all day morning sickness. Training itself has been hard and I've skimped on a lot of it. I did what I could and got long runs in. I slowed my pace and knew my races would be slower than they had been, and I was okay with that. I still thought I was a rock star for doing them in the first place. I have never been active during any of my pregnancies.

Aside from the upcoming Tinkerbell 10k and 1/2 marathon in January, followed by the Glass Slipper Challenge in February, I had a local half on December 14(today). After finding out I was pregnant, I decided to wait until the last minute to register for this race, to make sure I would even be trained enough(which wouldn't be hard coming off of 2 1/2 marathons just weeks prior), but also to make sure I wasn't going to be so sick that I couldn't even fuel properly. I've always been slightly sick at the beginnings of each of my pregnancies, but my last one hit me hard, I couldn't eat, lost weight and was on medication. I needed to make sure I wasn't going to be bad off like that again. Luckily(knocking on wood) I haven't been.

Being in the depths of the first trimester should have been enough for me to want to skip out on this half, but it wasn't. The signs from the universe that I should save my money and sit this one out kept coming, and I kept ignoring them. I previewed the course 2 weeks ago and it was dreadful. It was poorly marked, and it took us along some major roads that had no sidewalks and very little shoulder. I knew this wasn't going to be a closed course either. The course winded through neighborhoods and was extremely boring. But my pride would not calm down and I ignored this sign as well, still plugging along with my race plans.

About a week ago, with race day creeping up, the threat of rain was introduced. I am ok with rain, but not in the cold. I can do the cold, I can do the rain, but not together. I talked of backing out if it was going to rain, but it looked like it would hold out. So far we had me being pregnant, a poor course, cold and rain. I thought of throwing in the towel and not registering, but again, my pride was at stake. I had to come back to everyone and say "Hey, I'm pregnant, it was raining and I still did it.". I was a girl of no excuses, I certainly couldn't let this mountain of excuses stop me.

So on Thursday evening, I sat outside of Dick's Sporting Goods, debating one last time on not registering. I felt so many things telling me not to do it, but I didn't listen. I went inside, registered and handed them $65.

I was ready for this race, even if it would take me longer to finish it. I was hardcore. I was a rock star. Until Friday morning. All week long, my kids had been battling an illness. One started with a cough, then another fell, until my oldest missed school on Wednesday due to a fever and the cough. As of Thursday evening, I hadn't gotten it, so I thought I would be in the clear until at least Saturday. But the universe was still plotting against me and was going to make me pay for not listening before registration.

Friday morning, I woke up, and my chest burned, my throat hurt and my nose was stuffy. This couldn't be happening. 24 hours before the race and I had said "Screw you." to all of the other obstacles, but here is one I could not ignore. A head cold is one thing, but my chest was burning, it hurt to cough, I had to breathe lightly. I spent all day Friday trying to get it to go away. Being pregnant, my body is already stressed growing a human being and my immune system is already on edge. It also means I can't take much to treat an illness. I took all kind of vitamins, and sent my husband out for Robitussin and another humidifier for our bedroom. I still planned on doing this thing, even if it took me 3 hours.

Friday night came, and I was quickly realizing I couldn't be stupid. It would be one thing if I weren't pregnant and didn't have another human depending on my body to be strong. I was heartbroken. I'll admit, I cried and I never cry. I felt like a failure. Pretty much nobody could blame me, but I still felt defeated. I made one last ditch effort to do this race. I set out all of my things, set my alarm, and hoped that morning would bring relief, that maybe somehow the humidifier and the mounds of vitamins would heal me.

My alarm went off, and morning brought no relief. My throat still hurt, my nose was still stuffed and the chest gunk was still there. I cried a little more, alone in the dark, turned off my alarm and went back to sleep. I woke up again right at 8 am(race start time) to find that it was not raining outside, although, every weather outlet had said it would be raining at that point. I got angry again, as if no rain would have made a big difference. Still feeling poor, I went back to sleep.

I've had all day to sit and stew reflect on what's happened. I've never backed out of a race before. Training runs, sure, but a race, never. I'm disappointed in myself, even though I have no reason to be. I'm also really annoyed with myself. It's not like I've been registered for this race for months. It's not like I've been hardcore training for this race like I did for the last few races. I had plenty of time to ditch this idea and plenty of signs pointing to it not being the best idea right now. But I ignored them all and threw $65 down the drain on Thursday night.

So here I am, my pride is hurt, but I'm trying to tell myself the universe was saving me from something or another, who knows what. I need to sit back and take care of myself. I have the unofficial Tinkerbell challenge in about 5 weeks. Then the Glass Slipper Challenge. And let's not forget, the most important thing of all, the sweet baby I'm growing. I'll get over this. I've spent money on more foolish things, and I did get a race t-shirt out of it. Most expensive t-shirt ever.