This May started with my first half marathon since finding out I was pregnant last May. It was actually by running the half marathon last year that I thought I may be pregnant given I started hitting a wall halfway through and walking around mile 10, just sapped of energy. This year's Flying Pig would be my 10th straight year to participate in some distance and I was excited to keep that streak alive 4 months after giving birth.
In March I had run a 15k as my first and only race back and built mileage through April with weekly long slow runs, hitting 12 miles a couple of times ahead of the half.
On race day the goal was to finish feeling good, not sure what the pace would be given training had been about building up the long runs again not speed or a large base mileage (I ran about 20 miles a week in April whereas I used to run 30-60 miles a week for a half marathon). The day started at 3:45 am to be ready for a 6:30 race start time while getting baby fed before leaving. I got dressed, ate some oatmeal and then fed baby and pumped before heading out the door at 5:00am. My parents were watching baby during the race and I had bottles lined up for the 2-3 feedings I would miss. To have the bottles ready takes a bit of preplanning and pumping the mornings in the days leading up to the race but is freeing to allow me to be gone long enough to run and watch my husband and friends finish the marathon.
The race started after a beautiful sunrise and I started nice and easy just over 8 minute pace. As I made my way back from KY over the bridge around mile 3 I was feeling good and starting to hit just under 8 minute pace, my husband was pacing the 3:25 marathon group and although I didn't originally think I could go with that pace (7:49 min/miles), I had kept their balloons in site and thought it would be fun to catch them and run with him before the assent into Eden Park. So as I made my way through downtown, around mile 5, I caught up to the pace group and chatted with them before tucking back to focus on the climb. I kept a steady pace and felt strong through the hills and then the half marathon breaks off from the full around mile 8 and takes a decline back downtown. I picked up the pace on the decent but at this point there wasn't enough miles left to make up enough time to break 1:40, so I finished a strong 1:41. This was actually my best time for the 3 times I've run the Pig half course and way better than I expected to finish, while far from my 1:31 half PR, putting me almost back to where I was in 2008 when I started serious and consistent marathon training.
I am looking at post pregancy/baby running like starting over my running in a way, setting new post baby PRs and seeing where I can get back to with the new priorities I have and also where I can become even stronger and faster than before baby given the new focus and dedication required to train around a baby's schedule and just the new reason I have to be joyful, running and living with purpose and heck the new pain threshold I may have from the birth may allow me to find a new speed barrier, it's an exciting new running journey!