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Chilly Half with a Bun in the Oven

Thankfully the Chilly half wasn’t chilly at all this year.  At a balmy 10 degrees it left at least one variable out of the mix.

At 6 months pregnant almost to the day, running has been an adventure this year.  Some days I feel great. Other days walking on an incline feels like a challenge.  So to be safe for myself and the baby my goals were meek.  Finish.

To keep it casual hubby and fellow team member Syd decided to race with me.  We were treating it as a brisk jog /walk on a nice sunny day.  That was fine until the start gun went off.

Then years of racing muscle memory kicked in.  My slow waddling gait had been fine for me in training.  But today people that would never, and I mean NEVER pass me on a run were blowing by me.

So this is humility.

Off we waddled until the first port a potty. That port a potty was a beacon of light when we rounded that bend.  It was more critical to me at that moment then the finish line.  We stopped.  Worse, we waiting in line for the toilet to free up.  My already inflated 2hr 15min goal was already slipping away and a nervously hopped from foot to foot waiting to the line to dissipate.

Off we went again – until the next port a potty. Where there was also a line up.  Syd calculated we flushed away at least 7 minutes to pee breaks over multiple stops.

The way back everything started slow down.  When you’re pregnant, you feel as if it’s your job as guardian and ‘host’ to make sure you’re providing a nice environment for baby to grow.  Running any kind of distance you need to be super careful to hydrate so as not to overheat the baby.  If you’re dehydrated, you’re creating a hot tub inside the uterus and boiling baby.  Not good.   So the way home was a balance of speed walking and shuffling all the way home.

Again I watched and puffed as others shuffled by and passed at snail like paces.  I tried to pick a few carrots out in front to catch up to and pass.  Some carrots we caught, others I had to break back to a walk and let them go.

One carrot duo in front were shuffling down towards the finish line shoot and Syd woke up from his nap as I took off at the best speed waddle I could muster.  These two poor girls had become my Everest  – I would not let them finish before me!  We left them well behind as we crossed the finish line to cheers of our lovely friends who finished earlier.  Syd gave my bulging baby belly a rub of congratulations.  Clocking in at 2 hours and 32 minutes, we were done.  We got our medals and thought how suiting a pink ribbon on the medal for our baby girl-to-be’s room.

Pregnancy has been an almost daily lesson in humility.  No matter how much to try to stay active, nature is plotting against you and slowing down the pace.  It really makes you think about why you’re out there to start with.

I think my big goal is to show friends and family that even though your goals have to constantly change, pregnancy is not a disease requiring 9 plus months of bed rest.  It’s good for you physically and mentally to stay active in whatever way you can.   I’m positive that exercising throughout my pregnancy  has helped me sleep better, cope with steady weight gain,  and I’m sure it has also smoothed out this none month hormonal roller coaster ride!

Also one day when our little girl is older (affectionately nic named “Dead Weight” on these runs) I hope she’ll see that you can do whatever you put your mind to, even though your original goals may change.  The big lesson is to enjoy the journey.

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  • Thanks Mike

    See you at the team meeting tonight maybe. Big hello to Peggy and bring her her favourite vice to medicate…coffee, vino….whatever.

  • Jenn,
    What a terrific article! I’ll be six months pregnant next week, and have been swimming, biking, running and even boxing throughout my pregnancy – albeit modified. Having completed my second Ironman about eight months ago, getting pregnant soon after and having to adjust my personal goals (as well as accept my changing and growing body) was truly difficult at first, but now it’s kind of fun. I’m planning to run (waddle) the Sporting Life 10k on May 2nd this year, and even treated myself to a beautiful new maternity running skirt. Your article was a great read and truly inspirational, and I’m sure you’re new baby will love to hear those ‘Dead Weight’ stories as she grows up. I’ll have to think of a good nickname for our baby now that ‘little bean’ isn’t as fitting anymore – perhaps ‘Bladder Buster’ is a little more accurate.

    Take care and happy running!

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