Perhaps we can all agree that young children do not enjoy the sight of a large pregnant woman running next to them clutching her stomach and making noises like a pained animal. I can now also inform you that the pregnant woman does not find it enjoyable either.
Let us now rewind to the beginning of the race. My best friend in Næstved, Stine (that's pronounced STEEN-eh), asked me to run this 5k relay with the athletic instructor team at Scala. I was actually quite honored since I'm not an instructor. I just give free medical advice about their classes. The other big bonus was I got a shocking lime green t-shirt for free. The downside was that their female team had won the year before. And I was not crazy about having time pressure on me.
I was nonetheless really looking forward to it. I mean, they have noticed my big belly, so they weren't putting pressure on me either. The race, by the way, was Danmarksstaffet, which is run in the woods right behind our apartment; on the trails I run on most days of the week.
What was my strategy? Wake up early to eat a smaller breakfast at 6:30. (The race start was 11:00). Then go out for an hour run, to get all of those initial potty breaks out of me. I had hoped this would be just the warm up I needed - I knew it was going to be all about avoiding stomach problems.
I biked to the start in the pouring rain and learned I would be running first. I had just enough time to pee and line up at the start.
I had music today and my garmin. I couldn't help being reminded of this exact race one year ago, where I ran a 20:12 (as the first half of a 10k, actually), which was, according to the local paper, the fastest female time. I felt really energetic, but had to force myself to start in the middle of the pack. The gun went off, and I immediately started passing people, despite the crowded conditions. I ran between a 7:30 and 7:45 pace for the first 2km and felt just awesome. I wondered if I could make it under 24 minutes.
2.5 km came and this is where I got a sudden very sharp pain in my left lower abdomen. It was too much. I had to stop. I walked. Maybe it would go away. I ran again and it got worse. I know my pregnant body well enough at this point to know it was my intestines. I tried to run again, but it was excruciating. I had to walk. I hobbled to 3km and ducked into the woods. I thought I had taken care of the problem, and I had somewhat, but could really only hobble-run in pain the rest of the way. It was so extremely frustrating because I had a TON of energy, but couldn't run through the pain. I walked and ran in spurts and watched everyone I had passed before now pass me.
ØV! It was tough to accept. I do realize I'm over 34 weeks pregnant, but in my mind I am STILL the woman who runs a 20 minute 5k. (øv, by the way, is this little Danish word that conveys both disappointment and a sense of "oh well!") I rallied my strength and ran in terrible pain the last ½ km to cross the line in 27:59. It was not fun. It hurt. I waited for Finnbjørn to kick and that took less than a minute. It's always nice to get that immediate feedback that even though I'm suffering, he's doing just fine.
Ok, so let me level with you all. I hadn't expected to run fast. But the first 2km went so well, that I suddenly thought I could. So give me your opinions: are all these stomach troubles simply due to a big baby pressing on my intestines or do I have a lingering gastroenteritis that needs to be investigated further? Anyone with have personal experience with this?
In other news, SR, The Lorax and Natali left for the US yesterday. Life for the next 11 days will be very strange.
Running songs of the day: Well, I only listend to two songs - Dance Floor by The Apples in Stereo and Colours by Grouplove.