A Pregnant Marathoner’s Report

by This is Carrie on June 28, 2010

When I signed up for the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon it was supposed to be my “under 4 hour” marathon.  I was going to run it with good friend, Kelly, who was the one who talked me into doing it soon after I swore I’d never run a marathon ever again. It was going to be fast and fun.

Then, two months into my training, I found out I was pregnant. SURPRISE! And my running partner, Kelly, sustained an injury serious enough to end her training.

All of a sudden, I was forced to rethink my fast & fun marathon.  Upon the advice of my midwife, I reluctantly let go of my time goal & I started preparing myself for over four hours of running alone (alone except for the 20,000 other marathoners of course.)

In my head, fast & fun turned into slow & lonely.

But, barring serious injury, there was no way I was going to back out of this marathon. It was going to be a challenge, just not in the same way I had originally planned.

THE RACE

Everyone kept saying how fun the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon was, and they weren’t lying. I was totally entertained by not only the bands, but the spectators were awesome and the route was interesting too (if you want to see a video of the course, this one is great).

My goal was to run as fast as felt good, keeping a nice, easy, & steady pace for all 26+ miles.  The first five miles were fun and exciting.  Then, I really started anticipating passing Todd and the kids at mile 8. Seeing their faces for even a split second fuels me like nothing else.  I knew they were going to try to catch me again at mile 15, but it was going to be close. Sadly, we just missed each other.  But, there were plenty of spectators there to keep my spirits up.  Some of my favorite inspirational signs of the race:

“Run like Tiger Wood’s wife is chasing you.”

“That’s not sweat, it’s your fat cells crying.”

“Chafe now, Brag forever.”

It was also nice to talk with some of the other racers. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training had tons of racers, most running in memory or honor of someone affected with Leukemia or Lymphoma. Chatting with those racers had me close to tears, which is not a good way to keep, nice, even breathing.

After missing my family at mile 15, I knew I wouldn’t see them until close to the finish. I started worrying about hitting the 20 mile “wall” like I had in my previous marathon.  The negative voices started entering my head (which is never a good thing). Then, I came around a corner and spotted my Team Sparkle girls on the side of the route. They jumped on the course and ran with me for a while. It couldn’t have been more perfect timing.  Running with friends is so much better than running alone.

Then I hit  mile 20 and my family was waiting for me there.  One of the great things about not having a time goal was that I didn’t feel bad about stopping to give the kids quick hugs & high-fives.  Princess didn’t let it last too long before yelling “Mom, keep running!”  And just like that, I was past the dreaded 20 mile mark and I was still feeling good and holding a steady pace.

At mile 24, it was hot, I was starting to get tired and ready for the race to be over.  Then, once again, I turned the corner and my Team Sparkle friends were there to run with me.  We chatted, and ran and laughed, making mile 24 breeze right by.  When they left my side, I was pumped.  I knew I had less than a mile left to go and (unlike my first marathon) I felt really good.   So, I decided to kick my speed up a notch and fly the rest of the way to the finish line.

Official Finish Time: 4:56:34 (pace 11:19)

Not a bad time for having to train during first trimester yuckiness, race at 16 weeks along and deal with my darn pregnant lady bladder which made me stop twice at the long-lined porta-pottys.

My “lonely” marathon was far from lonely thanks to my loyal family and friends who seemed to show up at the perfect time along the race route (and all the random spectators who couldn’t help but cheer for a girl in a chartreuse sparkle running skirt).

And my “slow” marathon could not have been more satisfying and fun.  My body felt great throughout the entire race which is something I could not say about my first marathon. And now my little one will be able to say he/she ran his/her first marathon before he/she was born.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

kage June 28, 2010 at 7:58 pm

LOVE the medal/belly pic of course. You are a rock n roll mama for sure. Whose the super blonde? is that kelly?

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niki June 28, 2010 at 8:10 pm

amazing girl! what an accomplishment. congrats!

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Me @ My Domestic Experiments June 28, 2010 at 8:16 pm

Wow! I need to stop complaining about my 5K training and get my big butt out there and lose the baby weight! (He is two! I re-gained it after he weaned.)

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Renee June 28, 2010 at 8:24 pm

I just have to say you are amazing and certainly an inspiration! I’m running my first half marathon in October and I’m trying to keep my husband away so I don’t end up pregnant. The fact that you ran and at such a great pace 16 weeks pregnant is such an inspiration. Way to go!

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Kerri June 28, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Amazing! Good for you and Congrats on the new baby. Very inspiring!!

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Grace June 28, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Woah – you are a total ROCK STAR!! Kicking butt in a marathon while 16 weeks pregnant and looking amazing. I’d love just half of your energy, stamina, and motivation :)

PS – the belly is adorable!

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Laura Scarborough June 28, 2010 at 10:07 pm

so impressed, so inspired, so excited for what sounds like a great race for you. i love how your girls wore sparkle skirts too. you look amazing for 16 weeks. congratulations on baby and marathon!

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Andrea June 28, 2010 at 10:44 pm

I just have to say how amazed I am!! I’m 18 weeks pregnant and cannot even imagine (granted I’m still sick…). You are so awesome! I’ve got to make myself like running some how. Any tips? Have you always enjoyed running? Keep up the inspiration!

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phalloeun June 28, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Oh my gosh! I can’t believe you did that while being pregnant. You are such an inspiration! And that you used a porta potty. I would have thrown up in there and then thrown up again seeing the mess I made!

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Justine Mullins June 28, 2010 at 10:47 pm

Well done, thats some achievement whilst been 16 weeks pregnant! Hell thats some achievement not being pregnant! Justine xx

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KP June 29, 2010 at 10:27 am

Don’t even know what to say… you are crazy?/ amazing!!!

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Allison June 29, 2010 at 1:20 pm

How stinking fabulous is that!? Kudos for a great run and having the coolest-looking bump. I’m looking forward to seeing some maternity refashions, though with only 6 weeks to go, I doubt I’ll be following your lead..

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Ali June 29, 2010 at 2:35 pm

YEAH! I am so excited for you. Heaven knows I couldn’t do it! But Brian has me conviced to try my luck at a Tri next year with him. ? We’ll see! Are you guys planning on coming out this summer? have a great day
~A

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sara June 29, 2010 at 10:11 pm

The belly/medal pic is my fave for sure. You look fantastic…and you are such a rock star.

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Rebecca June 30, 2010 at 6:38 am

What a beautiful story! I love the picture of you with your children after the race. Nice work!

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Emily Kay June 30, 2010 at 11:00 pm

Wow!Congrats, what an accomplishment. I can’t believe it. God would REALLY have to assist me on that one :)

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Erin July 1, 2010 at 6:47 am

Congratulations–on #2 and #4!

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Suzanne July 1, 2010 at 1:16 pm

YEA!!! Great job!! You looked great too!!! I gave you an award over on my blog!

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elise July 1, 2010 at 8:00 pm

holy COW! you are hardcore. i can’t even imagine.
and your tiny little belly is so cute in the pic with your medal.
what a blessing that your family and friends were there right when you needed them most!
can’t wait to hear if it’s a boy or a girl:O)

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seatowngrrl September 21, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Great post! THis year was going to run the Rock and Roll Seattle Full marathon and then found out I was pregnant. I was disappointed but decided to walk the half with a couple other people since I was going to be 6 months by that point. I did run a half at 11 weeks and just ran at a nice slow pace and really enjoyed it. Didn’t hurt as bad after either :) don’t tell my mother in law I did either though :)

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Kelli June 14, 2011 at 9:58 pm

That is awesome! Very similar story here, only it was my first marathon and I was 18 weeks pregnant and much slower.Way to go!

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