Once we had warmed up and I was standing in line, listening to Sambassadeur on my ipod and talking to people about my "6 Months Pregnant Shirt" the world was an exciting place with nothing to be afraid of.
I started out really fast and felt good. But about 2k into the race, my thighs started to burn like I have never experienced. I thought I might have to walk. Somehow my pride kept me going. And then the pain of the full bladder took over. But the race was wide open with no bushes to hide in along side of the road. I considered peeing my pants. But thought that might be my pregnancy-induced dementia talking again so I snuck off behind a gas station, where I'm sure I was seen peeing by a good 50 runners. It is quite sad to not be able to get through a measly 5k without having to stop and pee. Yes, I did pee immediately before the start. Anyway, the 20 second stop behind a wooden crate rejuvenated my legs, too. I was able to finish strong without agony.
I got right around my projected time with 24:30. That was actually 6th for my age group, which I was happy about in such a big race. A good 2 1/2 to 3 minutes slower than my pre-pregnancy pace, but I'm okay with that.
After I crossed the finish line, my stomach was killing me and I was sure I would puke. I looked up and tons of people were looking at me with concern (I'm sure since they saw the shirt). I collected myself and walked off with a smile to find SR.
On my way off the course, a bunch of people came up to me to congratulate me. One guy asked me if I had seen the recent articles about running in pregnancy in the New York Times. I told him my friends (that's you, readers of this blog) had sent me the articles.
I spotted SR and he eventually said he got 3rd. Which I thought was amazing in such a big race, but he seemed disappointed with his time. I guess he just wouldn't be himself if he didn't always push himself to the limit. He did get some nice socks and and a glass with turkeys on it.
As we were waiting for the awards, many people came up to talk with me, the most notable being a 43 year old woman who had run in the Olympic trials a number of years back. She said she had run all the way through her pregnancy 12 years ago. She ran the day before she went into labor, but said the morning she went into labor she "only" rode her bike. I detected a kindred spirit, or at least possible support for my "crazy" theories about pregnancy and exercise. Anyway, she only gained 12 lbs during her pregnancy and gave birth to a healthy 7 1/2 lb baby, who is now a normal 12 year old girl. She said with clear pride, "I got home from the hospital and put on my old pants and they were too small!!!"
I told her it was great to hear that someone had exercised, not gained much weight and gave birth to a normal baby. She said, "I had a great obstetrician and my husband is an ER doctor, so I wasn't too worried." Then I told her I was a doctor in town as was SR, to which she replied "Why would you worry? You obviously know what you're doing."
Well, who wouldn't worry when the world around us is so overly protective of pregnant women? My dear mother agonizes daily about the bouncing from my running "pushing the baby out early."
And it's not like I don't care. I didn't sleep well the past two nights thinking "I haven't eaten enough fish lately. I hope the baby doesn't come early from that." I've even gotten to thinking that the baby is so used to the exercise now that if I let up something will go wrong. So we all probably have a little voodoo in our beliefs about pregnancy simply because it's something that we care about so much.
And speaking of fish (and something non-voodoo), there was a large study which showed that women on the Faroe Islands and Denmark who eat higher amounts of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids have pregnancies that last 5-6 days longer than those who eat less. And there is a dose-response relationship. That may not seem like much, but when you consider that most women do go to term, eating fish appears to have saved a significant number of women from premature birth. But anything in excess is risky: in Iceland, the women who consume the highest amount of fish have the smallest babies. And another study from Denmark showed that the highest consumers of fish oil had no protection from premature birth, but those with moderate consumption had longer gestation on average than those who consumed very little fish oil.
I will need to add more pics once our computer is working again. I'm at the hospital now :).
Running Song of the Day: Normandie by the Shout Out Louds (yet another great Swedish band)