Sunday, March 20, 2011

Germantown Half Marathon Race Recap: 1st Female, 5 Months Postpartum

1.5ish mile w/u
18 min waddle c/d (err...2 miles maybe)

Ummmmm........WHAT? Did I seriously just run that 5 months, 5 days after giving birth to my adorable baby girl??? I guess it just goes to show that I have ALOT of room for improvement in the half. I am looking ahead, BIG BIG GOALS! Finally, things are starting to click for me, it has been YEARS since training has gone this well and I have been injury free! All it took was getting pregnant (just kidding).

In all honesty, I didn't feel "in top shape" running this race, I mean I felt great BUT I also felt like I was still only half way there....well, that makes no sense...let me first explain how this weekend unfolded.

I woke up about 5:30 AM to feed Maddy, then downed half a cup of coffee, half a powerbar, and one salt stick pill (with my sports drink of course). Houston (the champ of a husband) had barely just arrived, having driven from Lafayette to Germantown that night/morning. His team had a meet, but he was determined to watch me race.

I had planned on running this race in my brand new Green Silence racing flats from Brooks, however, at last minute I got a little scared of the hip thing, and decided to run in my trainers (the Launch) this ended up being the smartest move of the day, as I don't think I would have faired as well if I had wore the flats. My hips/hamstrings/butt/thighs/shins/everything hurt on the 20 minute shake out I had done the day before to test them out.

Decked out in my new Brooks gear, I jogged the 1.2 miles to the start line, and after 2 trips to the woods to pee (I'm above a porta john) I stood around and tried to count as many fast looking females as I could. This pre-race ritual is not recommended, as all it ever does is create a great deal of pre-race anxiety. Really, whatever happens, happens. I knew going into this race that I was only shooting for a sub 1:26 effort, and that I was probably not the favorite to win. I counted 3 fast people, I figured 4th, yes one hotel room paid for (the race director was kind enough to wave my entry with my 1:27 win 8 weeks prior at Frostbite).

So the gun went off at just after 7:30am, and I settled in to what I thought was a 6:30 pace (wrong- 6:10, oh crap). I got a little offended in the first mile and it fired me up a bit- a gentleman in a blue singlet asked, "what are you looking to run?" I said "1:24", he snarled and said, "little quick for that arn't you"? Umm, EXCUSE ME? Just for the record- the first mile of Germantown is always fast, rightfully so, its downhill. So 6:10 was actually the slowest split I have ever had on mile 1 of this race.

I found a friend early and clicked off a couple of 6:20's. From previous years running this race I knew and expected my hip to tighten up from mile 4 until the half way point, which it did. This time, instead of struggling to run 6:30's, I ran consistent 6:19-6:22, until I hit the park.

A half mile later, I ran across the 6.55 mile point and realised- I was on PR pace! Excited (and probably a little too quick to drop the hammer) I clicked off a couple of 6:12-6:15's, and started passing, passing, passing, I was making up time like crazy.

One reason I got a little anxious is because when I ran this race 2 years ago, I had a highschooler DRAG me through the last half. This time, I was in no mans land and tieing up fast. My legs felt heavy and my stomach was all cramped up, I was doing everything I could to maintain.

I hit 10 miles a little slower than I would have liked, but still had 1:22 in my grasp. That all changed, however, when I turned the corner at 11 miles and quickly fell apart, my legs died.
Maybe I gave in a little, but my legs just wouldn't go. I felt like I had just ran 10 all out quarters, I wanted to stop- there was no power. I then realised that there would be no PR for the day when I split 6:40. I wanted to cry, but held back-there was a really nice man biking beside me, giving me directions (thanks..even though I have run this race 3 times- now four) I managed to drop down to 6:27 before turning the corner to finish in 1:23:40, nearly 4 minute faster than I had run only 8 weeks earlier.

I quickly went over the race in my head- and tried to evaluate my current fitness. I had felt awkward and all over the place, my stomach HURT, and I may have peed myself (sorry, TMI). I am also not at race weight (Houston would KILL ME if heard me saying that) my legs and body are just not there yet. But all in all, I was pleased. Looking back at my training from 2009, I didn't think I would be anywhere near what I ran at this race in 2009.

I guess this goes to show that M was right all along, "Pregnancy makes you faster."or maybe, "nothing hurts as much as natural child birth."

I don't know, you tell me.

Race pictures coming soon...or not at all. I probably wont post them. I don't think spit all over your face is a nice accessory.

Maddy waiting on Daddy in Germantown!


Haley said...

Sounds like an awesome race Meggan :)
You'll be in the shape you are aiming for in no time!

Renee said...


i hope you beat that man who said you were "going a little too fast" that pisses me off for you! you are such an inspiration, in more ways than just running! congrats on an awesome race!

Stephen Spada said...

Great result Meggan! Nice progress...

Stephen Spada said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Caitlyn Clark said...

Awesome job! And thanks for the heads up with the shoes. I haven't had the chance to run in them (except once) because I've got this weird back injury. I've been out for almost a month just waiting for swelling to go down and to see a physical therapist! (I think it's a herniated disc... They don't want to do scans etc. until they have ruled out everything else... just in case I want to have a baby soon... Which is unlikely!)

Can't wait to be putting in some mileage again, I'll have to pay attention to the effects the shoes have on me.

PS: You look great! No one would EVER guess you just had a baby!