Someone slap my wrist and tell me to stop looking at my race recaps and times before I was pregnant/postpartum, okay? I’m half kidding. I completed my first postpartum race on Sunday, a 10K, and felt super proud and accomplished when I was finished. I’m not sure why I’ve been going down race memory lane this week — seeing what used to be. I know I’ll get there and I know I’ll feel even more proud when I do get there.
Let’s talk about Sunday though!
I ran in the Damascus Freedom 10K, a local race created to remember 9/11 and give back to those who serve by raising money for disabled American veterans. There was also a 5k, which had the most participants, and a kids fun run as well.
I picked up my packet that morning without any problem, put my bib on, and hung out with my boys! Then my mom friends started to show up too! Danielle (in the blue shirt) and I ran the entire race together except for just a little bit at the end, when we were greeted with a 1/2 mile hill. I’ll get to that later.
My first goal of this race was to have fun. My second goal of the race was to have a pace of less than 11 minutes per mile. My super secret third goal was to actually have a pace between 10:30-10:40. Danielle and I were discussing our goals for the race and we definitely agreed the main purposes were to have fun, get back into racing, and finish. The pride and appreciation of completing your first postpartum run is indescribable.
Off we went…
For the first 2 miles Danielle and I were right on target with a 10:30 pace. It was pretty much downhill and flat. Our third mile was closer to 11 minutes and then we started to go up and up and up. We thought, “oh this will be so nice to go down on the way back… aside from the 1/2 uphill at the end” that we knew was coming. However, we ended up not going back the same way!
The course took you through Damascus regional park – which is gorgeous! We exited the park at one point to go up a street and through a housing development. That street was one of the hills that we did a walk/run with. Then we were set to cruise downhill for a bit, but guess what? It was time to go cross country running. We then entered a grassy path that connected us back to the park. The grass was doable, but unexpected. Then, the bit of a downhill that we did have was trail running! I had to go so slow, I was nervous to fall on the rocks. Sigh.
We came out of the woods and back onto the path. We knew we were on the home stretch, but soon approached the half mile hill. I really started to tank out and Danielle was probably 10-20 yards in front of me. I could see her in my site the whole time. Finally, when I reached the top of the hill I knew we were almost done. As I approached the finish I was a bit confused. The finish line seemed very abrupt and at an odd placement. It wasn’t near where we started with all the crowd.
I crossed the line without fanfare and less than a minute later I saw John come around corner saying “Ahh, we just missed you!” He had started to wonder why and where people were walking to and hightailed it when he learned we wouldn’t be finishing near the start.
I finished the race in 1:12:05 with a 11:36 pace. For comparison (which I know I shouldn’t be comparing myself to – so if you’re going to yell be nice) my slowest half marathon was a 11:02 pace. Only 53 people raced the 10K and Danielle and I were the 46th + 47th finishers. [The 5K had 133 finishers].
I felt really proud to finish my race and felt really good with the distance as well. I think maybe it might be time to start pushing myself a little more during training. My abs were definitely tired after the race, so I need to focus on some more ab strengthening moves as well. Also, I keep going back and forth in my mind about whether I want to join the ten dollar gym nearby. Maybe I should take a tour?
Anyway, my first postpartum race is in the books! A huge thank you goes out to Danielle who was a great running partner! We were discussing how great of partners we were for each other, cheering each other on when we knew we needed it. A big thank you goes out John as well, who is always a constant support during my races and training. He said he had a little more fun this time having Xander to hang out with! Little X man will quickly get used to the race scene I’m sure!
And thank YOU for all your support as well! I appreciated all your Facebook likes and tweets over the weekend 🙂
Next up is the Army Ten Miler in October! Wish me luck!