Currently running while pregnant: Minion’s first Half Marathon (via @le_diable )
When is a half-marathon like a marathon? When two people are running it, that’s when. Not that the actual race was any harder than a normal half-marathon, but the last 24 hours have been pretty similar to the 24-hours following my Philadelphia Marathon this past November.
Why a half-marathon? Well, first off, I love the NYC Half. I ran the very first version of it way back when it was the N*** Half (now that I am an expectant mom, I have to bleep out bad words). I ran my PR at this race last year (1:18:06). David Monti asked me if I was interested in running very early on in my pregnancy and tempted me with a beefed up NYRR prize money structure. Now, I’m not a pessimist, more of a realist, and I know that completing the first trimester is not guaranteed (ok, nothing in life is guaranteed), so I went ahead and signed up just in case. Well, this little Minion has been pretty durable, so I ultimately approached the starting line almost 20lbs heavier than I want to be, plus all the other fun stuff that comes along with being pregnant.
My most important question going into the start for the Montis was: is there a bathroom at the start? Yes, of course there was, but I really needed verbal confirmation. I used that bathroom twice in the 10 minutes preceding the start, and still had to stop again five miles in. Actually, I had to stop 5 seconds in, but I promised myself I would at least get to the top of all the hills before I pulled over.
The first 5k of this course is super fast, and I ran a pretty relaxed 21ish minutes, with splits of 6:44-51-37 for the first three. I then took it super easy on the hills (because I can!), running splits of 7:01-28 for miles four and five. I did stop my watch when I pulled over to pee (and I think the official clock should have stopped as well, but such is life).
The rest of the race is super fast, and I hope that we are lucky to get a decent tailwind again the next two years so I can really take advantage of it. Leaving the park I ran 6:41-24-11 for miles 6-7-8. The brutal headwind on 42nd street, coupled with the awkward hairpin pin turn onto the West Side Highway led to a 6:53 for mile 9. For miles 10-12 down the WSH I ran 6:40-51-38. I have no idea what I ran for mile 13 because I lost reception in the tunnel and am too lazy to take manual splits on my Garmin, but I think it was my slowest because I felt like I totally lost my rhythm in the dim light. I finished pretty strong though, somewhere between trying hard and kicking it in, because that is just something I don’t do right now.
My finishing time if I get to account for my pee break was 1:30:50. My official time was 1:31:17. I think <30 seconds for peeing is pretty good! I have had a lot of practice.
Now, to sum up my opinion on racing a half-marathon while pregnant. The race sort of felt like the first half of a full marathon. Basically, I didn’t feel like I could flip over that one gear to half-marathon effort. I just couldn’t get myself to go there. However, I felt pretty good running what felt like a similar pace and effort to the first half of my Philly marathon. I did, however, start to really feel the length of the race the last couple miles – my legs were achy and my feet hurt. This probably has more to do with not doing marathon training, than it does the pregnancy. Overall, the longer the race, the less uncomfortable running pregnant is.
However, after the race, I felt like I got hit by a train. I took two couch naps in the afternoon and could not possibly consume enough water. I crashed out early and woke up with a massive headache, and have been dragging all day. I would have to say that running a half-marathon AND growing a person at the same time is pretty taxing on the body.
I do not regret running the race, but I am glad that I am most likely done running races until late in the year. Never say never though….