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Gum Tree 10K recap at 6 months pregnant

15 min w/u
Gum Tree 10k in: 44:40 (7:12 pace) *6 months pregnant*, 1st in Age Group
(1 short walk break)
no cool down

It would break my heart if I didn't run the Gum Tree 10K in 2014. I have ran this race nearly every year since 2007, finishing anywhere from 2nd to 9th, and being that its one of the largest races in the state, stacked with elites, and only 1 hour from Starkville. I have never run particularly fast at Gum Tree (37:10) thought I have always enjoyed the race, course, and post-race celebration. I teared up at the thought of missing it this year.
6 month baby bump w/ my Gum Tree race #
A week or so before I ran the Columbus half I got an email from the Gum Tree elite coordinator basically saying, "We know you are pregnant but we 'll waive your entry anyway." Also, my husband was turning 40 a few days before the race, so we had planned all year to run it at the same time. He was not in the shape he had wanted to be (are we ever), but he was in good enough shape that he thought he may have a shot at the Masters win. I eventually signed us both up and "encouraged" him to do it. (Side note: My husband did win the Masters division, which I was confident he would. He ended up earning himself $400 for the effort, and turned around and purchased me the Garmin 220 for Mother's Day- Awesome husband award!)

I have slowed down a great deal in the last 4 weeks due to fatigue and the largeness factor. This baby is also growing very quickly and putting more pressure on my lungs and pelvis, making running much more difficult. I figured that once I reached 6 months I would really begin to slow down, and that running Gum Tree would be my last official race as a pregnant women (Although, once I was finished I contemplated finding a 5k in the next month if it wasn't too hot).
6 month glamour shot (special thanks to Instagram)
My "goal" was somewhere around 7:15-7:35 pace unless I started to feel horrible or like I was working to hard. I really wasn't sure- I had completed some tempos and a some "pregnancy intervals" at just under 7:00 min pace, but the sun was blaring and I didn't really know what to expect once the gun went off.

My first mile was somewhere around 6:55 and I was surprised how good I felt, and at no point during the first 3 miles did I ever feel like I couldn't hold a conversation. To make the time go by I waved at aid stations and talked to the people around me. I heard, "Hey, that girls pregnant!" about a dozen or so times. I even had a few people tell me, "Awesome job, girl." I hope while I was out there that I made some people realize that pregnant women don't need to hibernate for 9 months, and that exercise, when done to a healthy level, is encouraged during most low-risk pregnancies.

It was about mile 4 that I started to feel a little bit like I was working to hard, so I actually slowed down to a walk to let me heart rate get back to normal. After about 30 seconds I was able to begin running again and ran conservatively until about 150 to go when I let out my best pregnancy sprint-waddle to break 45 minutes.

Some people were rather impressed that I was able to maintain 7:12 pace without much trouble at all- others we sure I actually raced it. Its hard to make someone understand the athlete I was just before I got pregnant (I ran a 2:49 marathon days before I got pregnant -6:27 pace for 26.2 miles) which really wasn't that long ago, especially since I trained pretty normal until the nausea started, and I've been running nearly 50 miles a week throughout. But, when I put myself out there I know there will always be people that will judge my actions, especially living in Mississippi. I'm hoping for that every one person that judged me, someone else was a little bit encouraged. And, who knows, maybe I'll see a few more pregnant ladies at the races next year.

Waddle on my friends!


Carrie said…
This is all kinds of awesome! Congrats and waddle on!
Murph. said…
Yeah, I would much rather be a pregnant runner in Mississippi than barefoot in the kitchen. Mississippi is full of fun stereotypes.

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