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Half Marathon – 9 weeks post baby!

Hooray for the first post baby race!

The Indy Women’s half marathon was 9.5 weeks after Marshall came into the world. After a LONG 6 week wait to run, I was on a mission to squeeze in a quick 3.5 week training to run the half.
It was quite the quick turn around, and although I didn’t run much more than 5 miles during my pregnancy, I knew I could do it- I just had to be willing to hurt a little bit. (Here’s the Training plan I threw together.)
One thing I was sure of… there would be no PR, but I did want to run a respectable time. I wanted to work hard and push myself, it’s been a long time since I’ve really done that. It was nice to not have the pressure of trying to PR- we had friends and family over the night before for my birthday and Marshall decided to not go to sleep until 1:30am and once he did go down, I just couldn’t sleep. So at 5:00am when it was time to get up, instead of worrying about the sleep and how I would possibly PR with 3 hours of sleep, I just didn’t care. This whole having a baby thing has made me realize I was way to anal for way to long about obsessing over sleep. Yes, it’s good to get a lot of sleep, but yes you will survive on less and it’s not that big of a deal really.
Ericka and I got to the starting line at 6:50am and found some BoMF Indy ladies getting ready to run. We started out pretty far back, which was a mistake.. even though we weren’t “racing” we still had to weave in and out of people for a good 1.5 miles. (not bad compared to being stuck in a far back corral in races like the 500 festival mini)
We split up soon after the first mile and I quickly realized, I was probably running too fast but just kept on trucking. And by keep on trucking, I mean- you want to slow down, your struggling mentally, thinking of all the miles you have left, but you get tough and keep the pace anyway. At miles 6, I was sub 8 minute miles total and had a feeling I wouldn’t be able to hold that pace but kept trying.
It really started to hurt around mile 9, I got a burst of energy once I passed mile 10, but that quickly went away soon after passing mile 11… which ended up feeling like the LONGEST MILE EVER.
Having run 9 marathons, I always use those long races to my mental advantage. I was constantly breaking things down. “Once, you get to mile 9…. you only have 4 miles left… you’d be at mile 21 in a full marathon.” While it helped to compare this “short” distance to the full- I couldn’t help but thinking how insanely difficult a full marathon would be. That distance seemed so unfathomable. Let alone that distance running faster than I was running at that moment. (which I would have to do by a lot if I want a marathon PR… sub 7:47 pace) My anthem was constantly “you can do anything for 3 miles” “you can do anything for 2 miles” “you can do anything for 10 minutes”…. etc. 
My final time was 1:46:54, which turned out to be 8:10 per mile. After my 11 miles the weekend before, I knew I would run well under 2 hours and kind of thought I could get down to something like 1:42, but half way through the race, realized that wouldn’t happen. My hope of speeding up the last three miles because I was tough mentally, didn’t really pan out. 
Overall, I’m happy with the time. In a way, it gives me confidence, if I can run that so soon after baby, hopefully I can look for some real PR’s sooner than later. On the other hand…. it hurt really bad and normally that pace for 13 miles would be very comfortable for me. Will it really get better? Clearly….I need to be strong and leverage the confidence rather than those negative thoughts. 
Favorite parts of this race:
  • Working hard again
  • Being on a familiar course
  • Volunteers at every mile yelling out splits
  • The Back on My Feet water stops- always motivating to see people you know and they were everywhere! THANK YOU guys!
  • The raspberry beer & fried shrimp at the finish

Least favorite part of this race: 
  • Um… it was really humid. My black tank top was soaking wet. Should have worn dry-fit, but am still working on fitting back into my good dry-fit workout tops.
  • The girl that kept passing me around miles 5-6. She would pass and then move right in front of me, and then proceed to slow down. We had the whole road to work with… made no sense to me. We finally parted way after 1.5 miles of that. 
  • It was a little lonely as the race went on and everyone spread out.

Ericka and I post race
Post race snuggles with my little monkey.

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