Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.

"That is happiness; to be disolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep." - Willa Cather

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Cannonball: 18 weeks pregnant marathon

The cannonball concept in running is fairly simple: you arrange a marathon on the spur of the moment. This is the kind of marathon we ran today. In all honesty, we had signed up for it nearly a month ago, so it would be a stretch to call it spontaneous. It even has a lovely website.

I have been such an emotional mess lately that I opted not to mention it on the blog. I am subject to changing my mind at the spur of the moment and didn't want to deal with explaining why I didn't run, if I were to wimp out. But this morning I was game, despite my ever-worsening plantar fasciits. If nothing else, I figured I would try to run the same amount of time as SR and then we could go home together.

The race start was a 10 minute run from our apartment and there were about 25 other runners, most of whom we knew. It was just the kind of race I needed. I need support right now. I hate to sound fragile, but I have been letting people get to me. In the last week I have had three female doctors tell me they would never run pregnant because it was too dangerous. When someone says this to me, I get big crazy eyes and ask in slow monotone "how exactly is it crazy?" - still big... crazy... eyes. And then I get stupid answers - "it shakes the baby too much", or "I read that somewhere once, I think". Maybe I give people too much credibility just because of the doctor title (and in honestly, they certainly do know a lot about the field they are in!). But, God, no one wants to hear that what they're doing is a threat to their baby. Sometimes I wish I lived in a bubble where I could just run as much as I wanted and I wouldn't have to deal with having (undeserved) guilt being bestowed upon me from all directions.

The run started ingloriously. Lots of cold, wind and hills. I claim to like these conditions, but then again, I've almost forgotten what it is like to run a flat marathon in nice weather. The latter would have been nice today.

The race was set up in 7 loops of 6 km. I ran the first two with a really nice guy, Claus Fischer, who helped me forget all of the disturbing noise in my head. And everyone there seemed to know I was pregnant - I got comments like "respect!" and "incredible!". It was great. No, I don't want my ego fed, and I'm not running marathons to look like a hero. I run them because I enjoy them and I truly believe it is a healthy thing to do in pregnancy. AND I am an absolutely normal woman who has found herself scrutinized and criticized by many a woman in Denmark, after and article was written about me in the magazine I form (there was not a lot or criticism - but the negativity that was there echos in my head every day).

After Claus went ahead, I focused a lot on my foot and decided to drop. It was killing me. But then Birgitte joined me. She has now run 184 marathons (almost all with her dad, who was there and has run over 420!) and she was like a pain killer and - and her presence simply an inspiration. We had a lot to talk about, including her own pregnancy and how she hated people giving her a hard time. She said she eventually stopped talking about it with anyone and ran in secret. Anyway, she left me after the 4th loop - and by this time I knew I could run the whole thing. My foot felt strangely better. I had run into SR who was doing well and said he'd meet me at the finish with The Lorax. Well, knowing they were going to be there was a big incentive. I was able to pick up the pace and, for the first time, turned on my music. My friend, Jerk was right behind me the rest of the way. My mantra was simply "I must beat Jerk!". I ended up feeling great the last two miles and was able to beat my pregnancy PR (4:19:59), with a time of 4:18:06. Nothing really to write a blog post about, but I was thrilled and, best of all, felt awesome! And I got a solid second place for the females (out of five?). The Lorax and SR were there to give me a hug.

SR had almost certainly beaten the course record, but had not worn a watch, so had no proof (his time was around 3:15). His comment "I don't wear watches on training runs". We thus missed out on winning a bottle of wine, which neither or us would have drunk anyway.

Morten deserves many thanks for a perfectly arranged race. Morten, I just ate a piece of your wonderful cake :).

Running song of they day: Sentimentally Falling by The Rumour Said Fire

Edit: Here is a shot of the marathoners pre-race. No, I did not wear a backpack the entire race. I just ran it to the aid station so my chocolates and non-functional camera would be waiting for me after each loop. I just realized how cool I would be if I had a pair of non-black running tights.


cherelli said...

Way to go SLG!! truly inspiring, love that you continue believing in yourself having done so much research (and being a living example). I'd be happy to do that marathon time non-pregnant and minus plantar fasciitis!! But take care of that foot ok? Coz being sidelined by PF would drive you crazy I'm pretty sure (though give you lots of time to spend in the pool training for an eventual IM :) ) Keep up the mighty fine work, have a great week.

mmmonyka said...

Niiiice! Pregnancy PR!!! Woo-hoo! Sure it is something to write about!

I think that it is acceptable to have your ego fed once in a while, even if you do not care about it:)
Why do you feel guilty? You have already run through one pregnancy and everything has turned out perfect so you know that it is not way more dangerous that sitting on a coach and letting your body grow. Do you tell people that you have already run when pregnant with The Lorax?
At least your family and SR understand it. Imagine how bad that would be if they did not support your running. So you have an awesome husband.

I mostly run in secret and am not even pregnant. I will let you know how it goes if I ever am pregnant. My family would freak out, drag me home and tie me to the radiator, I am sure of it:)

mmmonyka said...

By the way, do you do some isolated stretching for that Plantar fasciitis? I have read that stretching and strong core and back are keys to help healing it.

PiccolaPineCone said...

Great run.
I am so happy you got out there and did it.
I agree with Cherelli, try to take care of your foot, you`ll go bonkers if you have to take extended time off!

Karen said...

You are awesome !!! I don't think I've mentioned this before, but your blog has inspired me to be a better runner and push more limits, to seize my potential instead of just letting it come naturally. Thank you.

Congrats on the new Pregnancy PR. :)

CP said...

next time a doctor gives you a hard time just tell them YOUR doctor said it was ok. It might be a fib but that will shut them up!

Grace in TN said...

Hi Sea Legs Girl - I have a pregnant racing/ nutrition question for you, if you are game. Do you typically eat anything like sports gels or beans before or during runs? Do you do anything differently nutrition-wise when racing pregnant than other times? Just curious if you have to hydrate, eat more during races when pregnant. I feel like I have to drink every 10 minutes when running during pregnancy, and I'm running 8 or 9 miles max. So wondering what you experience. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hej Tracy.

Way to go (run) Girl!!!

Hvor ville jeg ønske, at jeg kunne ha' løbet sammen med dig idag. Vi løber jo samme tempo nu:-)
Birgitte er en sej pige - nøjagtig som du og I er begge meget inspirerende.

Tracy, vi begge ved, at den vigtigste at lytte til, er en selv. Der findes ligeså mange gode råd, som der findes mennesker. Jeg får også mange kommentarer, når folk erfarer, at jeg stadig løber trods råd om lang pause. Lad os selv føle efter og gøre hvad vi mener er det rigtige for os sålænge vi ikke føler, at det vi gør skader os.

Glæder mig til at se dig igen og løbe et marathon sammen med dig, nu hvor jeg endelig kan følge med :-).

Mange hilsener


Olga said...

Nice run! Yeah, just stop talking and do more know, I've said that before:) As for PF, there is such thing as Airrosti and it works miracles (painful like hell). Basically, breaking up fascia big time. I bet Graston would help too. Then - stretch a bunch, foot and calf. Good luck! Had my 3rd PF in running history recently.

Stefanie Schocke said...

Nice PR!!!! Way to go! :)

Kate said...

I'm not winning any fashion awards, but I've found that wearing Dansko clogs almost all the time really helps my PF. That and stretching in the a.m. before even letting your feet touch the ground.

Kirsten said...

Great to hear that you can and that you will - just continue what is good for you!!
Question: At a Cannonball marathon, are all the runners these fast kind of people who finishes the run after 3½ hours and then you are the only one to continue running or are there also slower people running? I mean is it possible for a "normal" runner to participate in a Cannonball?

sea legs girl said...

As usual - the comments are much more interesting than the blog post! Thanks for making me sound boring!

As far as the plantar fasciitis goes, I think I have found my cure (may have to write about it in a bit)- but I have read all of your thoughts and suggestions with great interest because it is really a tough injury.

Thank you Karen - it means a lot that maybe I have some sort or positive effect on someone out there!! Even cooler that it's you :).

Grace - I find when I exercise normally that I need more fluids, but during marathons now it is the opposite. When not pregnant, I ran so fricking hard (and sweat buckets) that I had to drink constantly. I actually drink less when running marathons now since I'm not pushing it to the same extent. I must admit I eat more though - and it is basically anything that has chocolate in it (petit écolier cookies are one of my favorites). I had mentioned that I don't eat sweets anymore - but for races and long runs I make exceptions. Gels here taste terrible. And if I eat fruit I get extreme hypoglycemia shortly after, so I avoid fruit (and candy! - chocolate is my secret weapon.)

Henritte - hope you don't mind that I translate one of your sentences for everyone. "Der findes ligeså mange gode råd, som der findes mennesker." - "There just as many good types of advice as there are humans." THAT was a wise statement, girl. I look forward to running a marathon with you asap (before you get faster).

Kirsten- SR was the ONLY one who finished under 3.5 hours and MOST finished AFTER me! Cannonballs are generally used as training runs for "normal" runners.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

"Jerk"? For realz? If that's his real name, I feel bad for him, even if "Jerk" is Danish for, like, well-hung; and if it's not his real name, just your nickname for him, I wonder why he's still your friend. Does he know you call him that?

In any case, congrats on finishing a marry with a preggo PR.

SteveQ said...

Not sure you'll like it, but I'm currently loving "Motobike" by The Hopefuls.

Nice race, btw.

SteveQ said...

You get hypoglycemic after eating fruit in races? Fructose has a glycemic index of only 20, so with some fruit, you probably aren't getting the sugar into your bloodstream in time to use it. Some fruits, though, like dates and figs (and I think raisins) are full of sucrose (GI=100), which should enter quickly. Dried fruits might work for you and they're easy to carry and don't bruise or spoil.