Garmin Marathon and Grace

I ran the Garmin Marathon eight and a half weeks pregnant. It’s one of those tricky times. I don’t look really pregnant yet, I’ve not got extra weight to carry. (Though this whole second pregnancy I pretty much immediately started showing, so there was no hiding from people who know me.). Though the pregnancy symptoms were out in full force.

My first pregnancy with Jules was pretty easy and I knew it. This time around I’ve not had the same fortune. I’ve been incredibly nauseous and fatigued. I’m still thrilled to be running and working out, but it has been something I’ve had to keep pushing myself out the door to do with more effort than is typically needed.

I went into Garmin tryin to curb my expectations. I knew that it was going to take me longer than typical and I needed to try to be ok with that. One of the biggest things I’ve noticed this time around has been the change in my breathing. IT IS SO HARD TO GET ENOUGH OXYGEN! It’s naturally slowed me down; and though I know it’s part of the deal, it’s incredibly frustrating.

There’s not a lot to say about the race itself. It’s a road marathon, so not a ton of adventure. It was chilly which I like. When I started training for this race the plan was PR, which was now out of the question. I planted myself with the 4:15 pace group. It’s a time that seemed potentially sustainable. I figured if I needed to slow down I would. What I didn’t expect was to have so much trouble letting go of mental expectations.

The first 12 miles were comfortable enough, but I finally had to pee in a no longer a choice sort of way. I stopped to go to the bathroom and let the pace group run away.

The second half was harder than I’d like to admit. Running it was fine, but I was so annoyed at my pace. I needed to slow down, so I did. I went into this pregnancy knowing that my body would let me do what it could and I would be ok with it. Well, I wasn’t being very ok. My new hope was to keep things under 4:30.

The group running the marathon distance for this race is not huge, so I spent a lot of time alone alone, which I’m pretty used to, but was kind of lonely this time. It’s one of those days where nothing was really wrong, I just wished that I could push in a way I can’t right now.

Nathan called and we chatted for a minute. He was asking if I wanted him to drive out and see me finish. I really did. I had about an hour of running left and was looking forward to his face. I finished up, and crossed the line in 4:25 to see Nathan, Jules, and an amazing group of Team RUN816 runners.

I have very different expectations for road racing than I do trail. That is part of the problem. I expect to not really need to eat, I expect to run steadily, and I expect to not walk. I don’t currently get to hold to these expectations. I was grateful for the support I received and all of the positive comments and encouragement. It would be easy for me to just say it was great and I’m proud and excited to have done that. (I am, but there’s a lot more in my little brain.) I want to try to be honest with fitness and this pregnancy though. It was fine. It wasn’t too much, that’s a pretty comfortable distance for me and I didn’t have any real issues. It was still disappointing though. I need to work on that. I need to know that my current best and abilities are good enough right now.

Since that race temperatures have risen and so has the humidity. Running has gotten slower. I’m still glad I’m getting out there. Truth is, my mileage is higher than my first trimester mileage with Jules. I should be proud of that.

My next race is May 19th and I’m excited that it’s on trail. My time expectations are different. I don’t feel self conscious about hiking when needed and food is plentiful. Nathan is going to run with me and I am so excited for that.

For now, I’m going to keep running and working on giving myself grace. I’m also going to continue to try to be honest with how I’m feeling. There are a lot of pregnant women and moms out there who are very active. It’s great when it’s easy, but I think it’s important to share that sometimes it’s not. I just keep moving forward with what I have.

I know my mileage will drop over this pregnancy. It already has. I mean, I’m not training for ultras so it’s inevitable. I’m coming up with other things to add in too. I just got a stand up paddle board and took it out for the first time. It was magical. I’m looking forward to learning to give myself more grace, and become a stronger athlete and coach because of it.

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