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.