Photo from the 2014 Ice Age Trail 50 Miler by Ali Engin. Permission to use header photo must be obtained through Ali Elgin.

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman

Sunday, 19 June 2011

5k relay - øv!

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.

8 comments:

SteveQ said...

Uff da!

Yesterday's running song for me was Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's "The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth." It takes a while to get used to the lead singer's voice, but the song grows on me... like plaque, I guess.

Grace in TN said...

I am no doctor, but I do have experience with running, being pregnant, and combination of the two. My guess is that your stomach issues are due to your pregnancy/running combination, and your body is just telling you it's not working out so much anymore. If you are not having the sympotms outside of running/intense exercise, that would comfirm it even more for me. Totally understand these things can be hard to accept, but I suppose it is better than the alternative - that you have a bigger, more pervasive issue. Good Luck!

sea legs girl said...

Steve, GREAT song! Would you believe I had that as a running song of the day in the summer of 2007??!! Am I too cool for school or what? Can't blame you for not remembering that since you didn't read my blog back then.

btw, you can actually say Uff da in Danish, too, though I think with one f and it is said really rarely. I actually said it once and then I stopped myself and thought "oh my god, did I just say Uff da??"

Grace, I tend to agree with you. I have it outside of running/activity, too, but to a much lesser degree. It just seems weird to me since I had nothing like it with my first pregnancy.

PiccolaPineCone said...

I also think hormones come into play... the hormones during pregnancy can soften the bowels if I remember correctly and increase urgency!
So... did you team place??

Thanks for the comment on my blog. I agree nursing stops mostly by age 1 in North America & Europe b/c it becomes not socially acceptable. The global average for weaning is 4 years!! Also I noticed a huge difference in nuk use between Italy & Canada. In Italy we regularly saw 3, 4, 5 and 6 year olds happily wandering the streets, nukking away so it was a bit of a shock to come back to Montreal and be a bit frowned upon b/c La Cocotte was still using her nuk at the ripe old age of 1!!

Kate said...

I have no basis for answering other than gut instinct (no pun intended), but my guess would match that of Grace in TN -- that is, if it only happens while you run, it seems unlikely that it's gastroenteritis and more likely that it's related to running in pregnancy at this stage of the game. I think that is not what you want to hear? But as Grace said, it probably is better than the alternative!

Katie said...

Congrats on a great 5K! I know, I know, you wrote it was awful, but it's awesome that you're running at 34 weeks! I'm glad you're scan turned out well too. During my last pregnancy, I had a couple extra scans due to small fundal measurements. The funny thing was everyone kept telling me how HUGE I was, but I'd go to the doctor's office and they'd tell me I was measuring small...made me crazy. I don't really know about the stomach stuff. Somewhere around 34 weeks I started having a lot of side stitches when I ran. They were bad enough that I'd have to walk, but it wasn't related to my intestines...

SteveQ said...

Funny thing about running music: I was asked what were the last three songs I listened to... Gomez, Wilco and Dawes. Am I a middle-aged white guy, or what?

hellesblog.com said...

Hey do let me know, if you need a chat and a cup of tea to pass some time. You are so welcome.