They offered an early start which I loved and took advantage of as the temps that day were foretasted to be very warm in the upper 80’s or low 90’s.The course only had a few rolling hills and starting so early you didn’t really see the big ones on the way out, but man they looked huge on the way back in. I started out the race running with another gal named Anne who I started talking to before we even finished our first loop of the track. She was running her first marathon at age 63 because her oldest daughter wanted to train for one and her brothers told her she was too old to do it. Well she did it! We ran together for the first 14 or 15 miles and talked about life and everything in between which really made the first part of the race a real treat. I was able to meet her daughter at mile 13 who was going to run the half marathon back with her. I had to part ways when I needed to make a potty stop and they needed to keep going. I figured it was about time and I was lucky for the discussion I had for that long. It also kept us running really good and we did no walking for that first 15 miles which I didn’t plan for initially, but was happy that I was feeling great.
Things got a little rough after I lost my chatting buddies and I stared to realize there were not many other options out on the course of others to interact with. I asked at the next aid station and they informed me that only 39 people were out doing the marathon, I think there may have been more support people than actual runners! It was a little disheartening to hear that as I was under the impression that we had 300 out there and for me that made me worry less about holding up the whole race if I really had to slow down. I know not a way that I should have been thinking anyways, so I just kept going. I could feel much more in terms of twinges and other such things and your mind can really start to play tricks on you when you are out there alone and wondering. I started thinking about the baby and making sure that I was drinking and eating enough, which of course I was and had been the entire race up to that time. I think the more scary thoughts were when I got a side stitch and thought “are these contractions” which took me a good 5 minutes or more to realize if they were then I probably would not only be feeling them on ONE SIDE OF MY BODY! LOL I did have to laugh at myself and say wow freaking out over a run of the mill normal runner side stich huh? And with that I continued to make my forward progress, but it was slower than what I was doing before.
By mile 20 I was getting tired, but I was off the trail (paved) and onto the main roads in Boring heading back to Barlow HS for the final 10k of the race. At this point my belly had really taken a bouncing and was just feeling pretty sick of running. I could feel the pulling and twinges, which didn’t really hurt anywhere, but more just felt uncomfortable and made running not and exciting prospect. I ran walked for a bit and tried to power walk, but wow I am not a good power walker and that started to feel just like running in terms of the pressure on my tum tum so I just would run or walk, the power walking was not happening. I was happy still at this point because 1. I knew I was going to finish, it would be only a matter of time, 2. I was feeling really good on hydration, nutrition, music, mind and body, 3. I was totally happy to be totally prego and out running a marathon! I also got to talk to many marathon maniacs along the way as well as some very nice fire men at an aid station that were pretty excited about the pregnant marathon runner. Rhiannon came out to the 24 mile mark which was another school and met me and finished the last 2 miles of the race with me, which was awesome to have someone to talk to and know that the end was so near. It is crazy how chatting really makes time fly! Even though the half marathon and 8k were long over by the time I finished the race team still made the finish very special for me. The announcer did a special note about how I have been running marathons all through my pregnancy and the RD personally gave me a hug and congrats. It felt great to feel so much love and support out there and it is really just another reason that I love this sport so much! Fun pictures from the finish of the race to follow. September marathon complete and a marathon a month since 2008 streak still intact!