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, 17 April 2011

Brøderup Half Marathon - 25 weeks pregnant

Yes, I finally showed up at a race I had on the blog calendar: Brøderup Half Marathon (as you learned from the title). And, boy, aren't races fun? But if you're only here to find out - "how fast can she really run 25 weeks pregnant?", you might as well browse away. This was a technical, hilly race mostly in the woods. Gorgeous? Yes. Fast course? Well, not exactly.

I decided to run this race for a few reasons: 1. it's in a part of Denmark I've never seen, though only a 25 minute drive from where we live. 2. I am going a little stir crazy with my entire family in the US since Wednesday (I had to stay behind due to work) 3. It is put on by The Mogenstrup Athletic Club and they have a way of finding routes that actually require trail running shoes.

Here is some Danish artwork by a church in Snesere, on the way to the race. Sometimes I feel like such a tourist.

Beautiful day, huh? Did I mention the race started at 11?

When I arrived in Tappernøje, I didn't really know anyone. I recognized some people, but felt extremely awkward. Danes have this way of staring at people, like a 3 year old might, and continuing to stare without saying why they are staring or giving any indication if their thoughts are positive or negative. Yes, being now visibly quite pregnant, I felt like a cow on display in this provincial area of Denmark. I just wasn't sure if I was a prize cow or a mutant cow. But who cares? This cow was going to enjoy the race.

Finally two of my friends showed up. One of them, Charlotte, who had won the race for the women last year in a time of 1:46 (if that gives you any idea of how hard the route is - it's not a tiny race). It surprised me how concerned she was that I was going to run "an entire" half marathon pregnant. "Are you sure you should do this????". I told her about the 50k next weekend...

Here is a map of the route. The green areas are woods, so it wasn't on trails the entire time. I do tend to exaggerate, you know.

And here is the elevation profile. Glad I didn't look at this beforehand because I would have spent the race dreading that last uphill.

Picture of the race start by Jonas Christensen

The race started out okay. Actually, I felt kind of crappy. The first 7 or so km were mostly on roads and my calves really hurt when I run on roads in my minimalist trails shoes. Poor me. I figured under 2 hours was unlikely at the beginning - maybe if it were all flat. And then when I came through the first half of the race in just over an hour, I knew under two hours was out of the question.

But, then the trails came. Beautiful. And the weather and the air. Yes!! I started booking it and passing people. I had this recurring thought that what I was doing was nothing compared to O-Lan in The Good Earth. She went out and worked the fields all afternoon the day she had given birth! I may like to run, but don't ask me to farm on post-partum day 0!

We climbed a gigantic hill that no one ran the whole way up and then there was the view of the ocean! This was a runner's high. And I ran on, enjoying the sun and wind at my back - at a 7 min per mile pace. Heaven! With about 5 miles to go, we actually had to run through a river. Everyone had this idea that they couldn't get their shoes wet, but I ran right through- I know better. But then came fatigue and dizziness. Still no contractions, but I felt really faint and had to slow down. No point in risking anything. Thankfully an aid station with a charming older woman serving sports drink appeared at the edge of the woods. I had two large cups and foraged ahead. Now was the time for the uphill. And, damn, it was into the wind. And little contractions started. The last two miles were not the most fun, but I made it in under two hours!! 1:57:14.

Here was the finish line:

I have never been so proud of such a slow time ;). I think I might have even been in the top 5 females (EDIT: well, turns out I was 8/22- and I don't find that shameful at all) What an awesome race. And here I am. The guy who took the picture made me hold up my diploma - I'm not trying to cover the belly. Isn't that a peaceful pavillion behind me? Though a pavillion just ins't the same without SR there to enjoy it with me.This is my crappy, blurry picture of an oceanic bay by Tappernøje. And this picture was too Danish not to include: farm, blonde boy, little car, Danish flag, etc. I don't know if this will work, but here are all of my race details from my Garmin. It's actually not that easy to identify the three stops to pee. Overall pace was 8:53 min/mile.

Unavngivet af lilybriscoe på Garmin Connect - Detaljer

Running Song of the day: Accused of Stealing by the Delgados. (awesome, awesome song which I love as much now as I did in college)

And one more song; a brand new one - Lament by Mount Moriah (I think you will love it the first time you hear it!)


PiccolaPineCone said...

So funny, my half marathon today was just about the polar opposite of yours in every way - all asphalt and pavement, oh and not pregnant.
I am truly impressed by your pregnant running pace. I honestly don't know how you do it, I could barely run 9 minute miles by the time I was about 12 weeks pregnant and I couldn't run nearly 13 of them in a row!
I know you must miss the family but... dare I say it, doesn't a small part of you appreciate the me-time??
Anyway good run!

cherelli said...

Wow, an 11am start? Lovely! That race sounded really interesting terrain wise (aka fun) - that was a fantastic time for anyone, well done! I look forward to hearing how next weekend's lonnng run goes, hope it's just as enjoyable (and relatively comfortable) for you.

mmmonyka said...

Sounds magical!
You are impressive, as usual of course.

One has to love Europe for its late race starts:)

Stefanie Schocke said...

Wow....quite the course. So impressed. SO not familiar with those types of races here in the US. Such a road race girl :)

Kate said...

good for you! I'm doing a 5k on Saturday (at 24 weeks, 5 days), and I am still all proud of myself. : ) And I probably will still have to walk chunks of it.

so I'm just blown away by the distances you're able to keep up with!

Diana said...

Oh wow, the course sounds lovely. I'm baffled by the late start times of races here in Europe, but I do appreciate getting to sleep in a little more of race day because of them.
Congrats on such a great race. Hope you enjoyed the scenery and the great weather.

sea legs girl said...

PPC- Oh, man, I never run faster than 9 min/mile when I'm just out running! Things really change in a race. I told myself it was just a training run, but got caught up in trying to run the pace of the people around me.

Kate - that is aweome! I hope the 5k goes well and you may surprise yourself by how fast you actually can run it. As for the distances I run, well, our bodies simply get used to what we do over and over, that is as long as we don't get injured. I have been running long distances for well, almost 10 years now, so it's just become the norm for my body.

Diana - sometimes I'm annoyed by the late starts times, since I'm usually up at 6 or 6:30 anyway. But the good thing is I manage to run on a fairly empty stomach.

SteveQ said...

I must need more coffee. I read the title as "Broderup Marathon - Half Pregnant."

SteveQ said...

Read Diana's blog NOW (at least the last paragraph)!