Saturday, October 20, 2012

13 miles at 13 weeks

As is my wont, I ran another half-marathon this morning with my latest little passenger (surprise! we're expecting our fifth baby in the spring!  We're so thrilled!!!!!!!)

This race was totally different than any I'd ever run.  I've trained for it very diligently, but my knee is still only about 65% of what it needs to be, I'm starting my second trimester, and the biggie:  I have an ovarian cyst that has been causing absolutely mind-blowing pain (apparently, continuing my shake-things-up pattern of exploring weird pregnancy maladies).  If you've ever had one, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about; if you haven't, just imagine the pain from either a) the worst menstrual cramps you've ever had or b) the middle of labor--not quite to transition, but pretty close.  And imagine it going on for weeks, all day, no breaks, untouchable by Tylenol.   It's been pretty devastating.  For almost six weeks we didn't know if the baby would make it (still not entirely in the clear, but things are looking much better--the worst was the second month where I didn't know about the cyst yet and I just woke up every.single.night from the pain, convinced that I was in the process of miscarrying, until I finally went in for the first of several ultrasounds, but it took about two months before I went in) and that was really hard.  And on bad days I can't do anything at all.  Fortunately the bad days are almost invariably Thurs/Fri/Sat/Sun, so I can sort of plan ahead and Neil is able to be around more.

But on good days, I can run a half-marathon!  And today was a great day (which is FABULOUS because two days ago was one of the worst ones yet).  With everything that's been going on, we threw out any ideas of setting personal records, and just planned to have fun.  We left all our timing equipment and iPods at home, and the course itself didn't have a single volunteer yelling out splits, so I really had no idea how fast we were going--I just ran slightly slower than usual, walked through every single water stop (staying hydrated for the baby!) and generally enjoyed myself.  Our time ended up being 2:08 (9:47/mile), which is the slowest I've ever run (10 minutes slower than the last one I ran while pregnant), but honestly, I'm just thrilled that I ran the whole time and that I ran it, period, considering that most of my training runs involved being doubled over in unbearable pain at some point.  (Incidentally, since I know someone will wonder, my doctor told me that I could keep running since it wouldn't cause any damage and might help to take my mind off things.)

And it really was lovely.  We ran the inaugural half in our hometown, which meant that we were running trails that we run all the time, and running through campus, and running through our cute little historic district (I wasn't such a huge fan of the 2-mile incline at the finish, but whatever...it was definitely the hilliest race I've ever run!  TONS of hills all the way through).  We just chatted and laughed and had a great time together (and I saw the kids' pediatrician at the start and finish and we hugged and chatted and finally got to meet each other's husbands, so that was also kind of fun, since she is the one who told me about the race in the first place).  It's been interesting to see how much I'm really enjoying running again lately, even with the pain, because I've been forced over the last year to focus on miles rather than time and competing against myself.  In January I was SO excited when I ran my first seven-minute mile, and I thought this was going to be my best running year yet--I was planning to run a marathon this fall, and a half-marathon in spring.  And instead I spent months in physical therapy and almost cried with joy the first time I ran 5 miles without my knee going out on me.  My Nike + died a few months back, and so I've really just been running to run. Today was like the ultimate run for the sheer joy of running, and it was so wonderful.  So great to be with my best friend.  I felt like I ran a good race--I kept an even pace, I had enough energy to run up the last 2 miles of hills without slowing down, and I had enough juice left to sprint to the finish and cross the line going full throttle.

And then we came home and I went into my usual post-race-shock-passing-out thing, and my dear husband had anticipated it and had a mound of fluffy blankets and hot pads waiting so that he could cocoon me up until the convulsive shaking stopped and the stomach cramping started (really glad it held off so long!) Now we just have to somehow get through the rest of the day when all we want to do is sleep...I think we sent our babysitter home too early!  And now I am in bed grading and writing this.  The end.

13 comments:

Laura said...

Congratulations and congratulations! Sounds like a great race and what a wonderful way to share about your little passenger! Very sorry to hear that it has been a tough pregnancy and hope that you're able to get some relief.

sproateus said...

It's official: I have super-human friends. It scares me to think what you'll be able to do when you have fully-functional knees, when you're no longer in debilitating pain, and when you're no longer sharing your body's energy and nourishment with another human being INSIDE you. Seriously. The implications scare me. I mean, I know you already plan on completing a race that killed ancient Greek heroes (poor Pheidippides). But why stop there? Did someone say world domination? Oh, and SUPER CONGRATULATIONS on the half marathon AND on Bailey offspring #5!!!

Rachael said...

World domination sounds a little on the unambitious side. I was thinking more...galactic. (And my kids spent the last two hours watching Luke face off with Darth Vader while I napped.)

sproateus said...

Where's the "like" button for this? Also, when you achieve your galactic dreams, can I be the ambassador to (or imperial senator from) Betelgeuse? It'd look really impressive on my CV. Thanks!

Erica said...

Congrats on the new baby and another congrats on the half marathon! You are amazing and that baby is lucky to be brought into such a sweet family :)

Aubrey Hammer said...

Wow, it sounds like you're going through a lot! I'm so sorry to hear about your cyst. You are such an inspiration to me!

Jolena said...

That is quite the story and I'm so glad you got to run just for the sheer joy of running. I really, really, really want to get back to that place. The last marathon I ran was more the kind where I had committed so I did it even though I was having some health problems at the time and it just hurt, so it wasn't fun to run. And since I've been busy having two kids, so haven't ever gotten back to that place. I'm so glad running is good for you right now and helping when everything else is crazy. And seriously, ovarian cyst while pregnant? That is just wrong in so many ways and I hope it will go away and you will have a good rest of your pregnancy and all that good stuff. You constantly amaze me, so I'm just excited for you all around. :)

Mary Beth said...

I think you are possibly superhuman. Which is I guess good news for me on the genetic front. (Today I finished week 1 of training for a 5k; maybe someday I, too, will be a superhero!)

Love you! And congrats on running a great race. ♥

Kristyn said...

Congrats on the pregnancy!!!

And I can't believe you ran that race while experiencing all the pain you've been feeling. I love your dedication. I want to say I would do that too, but honestly I don't think I would. That is hard stuff.

Btw, I had the worst long run today. Hopefully the next long run for the both of us will be better!

Elise said...

supa-human genes, woohoo! so, for this 5k on Saturday? I'm contemplating not training at all. This is the REAL meaning of "couch to 5k", Mary Beth. So my training will consist of no fast-food the week before the run (you'd think it wouldn't be that hard, but it is!), and a hard-played game of soccer on Tuesday.

Brandon and Aubrey said...

We must have a pregnancy link or something... I am 12 weeks and embarking on yet another crazy pregnancy filled with bed rest, medication, shots, and kidney stones (again) all with 5 kids running circles around me. I totally know what you are going through! Hopefully it makes you feel better that you're not alone... At least it helps me! Good luck!

Emily Anne said...

You are a marvel. Hope the pain subsides soon; so sorry you've been suffering with that.

Excited to "meet" #5 on the blog :)

Amanda said...

I have had 3 cysts and they are SO PAINFUL! I feel for you. Hopefully you can get some relief soon. Congrats!

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