This morning I woke up before the sun to get ready for the Defiance 15K. It was cold and dark when I woke up. My bowels were playing a funny trick on me and it took every ounce of courage and grit to get out of bed. It felt as though every movement towards getting to the start line this morning was a huge victory.
Its not that the weather was really that horrible or that I was really feeling that bad. It’s just that it was cold and dark and the lazy devil on my shoulder was saying, “Ah, who cares, go back to bed…no one will blame you!” So tempting, Lazy Devil, but not even the blustery wet morning could keep me off those trails.
The race was on the trails of Point Defiance…trails that I’ve logged hundreds of miles on. Despite being so familiar with the course, I was still nervous. I was nervous that I’d be super slow, that’d I’d have to pee every 5 minutes, that I’d slip down the steep trail that descended to the finish line…I sort of laughed at myself for being so nervous about running a relatively short distance on trails I was so familiar with. Also, being pregnant takes a lot of pressure off! No one expects much from ya. haha.
The race was lovely and I enjoyed chatting with the other runners, many whom were running the 30 and 50 k course (just more loops of what I did). I seriously LOVE the ultra community. I chatted with a woman that organizes a 200 mile race in May (and runs it). Because everyone started together and ran the same route, it was impossible to know who was running what distance without asking. I liked this. Why? Because I could run at a 50 K pace even though I was only running the 15!
Soon after the race began, I had to pee. Surprise? I had literally JUST gone to the loo and had sat on the toilet for several minutes trying to squeeze everything out of my bladder. Despite these efforts, my bladder started aching right away. I didn’t want to waste time going potty (I already felt so slow in my pregnant body) so I carried on. About an hour into the race, the thought occurred to me, “ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE.” I decided to accept the discomfort of my fully bladder along with the ache in my legs as I climbed each hill. This mantra worked like magic! I’m adding it to my list of mantras for child birthing and life in general.
The last bit of the race was downhill. At first, it was gradual and a hill I have run down many times. Then, we took a turn and plummeted toward the beach and finish line. I swallowed every bit of pride I have and let a woman pass me on the descent. I knew the risk on falling down the steep bank and hurting the baby was not worth it. I used the ropes provided by the race organizes and lowered myself and baby safely to the bottom. Then, with joy in my legs, I bolted the last 50 meters to the finish line.
As I write, I’m drinking Pumpkin Spice roiboos tea out of my Defiance 50/30/15 K finishers mug and listening to the rain fall. Out of curiosity, I checked out my finishing place this evening and to my astonishment, I not only won the pregnant division (I made this one up), I also took first in my age group and was the 8th female finisher overall! Yahoo! Not bad for 18.5 weeks pregnant, eh?
The race this morning was such a confidence builder for me as I’ve been feeling so “unfit” as my body changes with pregnancy. Hoping to be back at the Defiance race next year doing the 50!