It’s Sunday, August 27th. Tomorrow is the first day back to work for teachers, and students start up with mini-schedule on Tuesday, September 5th. The first full day of classes will be on Wednesday, September 6th. That day also marks that I will be 32 weeks pregnant.
This was a summer like none other, first and foremost because I have been pregnant. There were many things that did not occur this summer that usually would. For instance, drinks on patios. Sure, Dan and I were able to make some of our evening outings the same with trips to Telegraph Taphouse, but having an ice cold alcohol free Erdinger doesn’t pack the same punch as a Lagunitas IPA. Right now, I am drinking a club soda with grenadine and cut up peaches. I’ve got to cool off somehow! I also did not travel much this summer. Figured it would be wise to save money and really didn’t want to deal with the potential pains of flying or driving long distances while pregnant. Since I didn’t travel, I was able to teach summer school in July. I was very happy I did, as it kept me busy and earning the extra money was awesome!
“Adaptation” has been key. That’s really the best word for how I’ve dealt with summer 2017. Because of my ever-changing body, I needed to adapt my running. Notice, I adapted. I did not quit. I am proud to say that I ran 4 times a week all summer long. I golfed in ladies league on Mondays. In August, I added in a baby bump boot camp on Thursdays and a cardio class on Fridays. All of these things kept me busy, and most importantly kept me sane. I knew I needed to keep my running up this summer, because it really is a key part of who I am. Other summers, I would have signed up for races in Calgary or Edmonton during July or August but this year I held off. I knew driving up there to do a race would not be the wisest idea. However, I kept an eye out for events local that I could do.
That brings me to yesterday, when I ran in the Taber Cornfest 5km. This event was celebrating their 25th year, and would be offering a 5km and 10km option. Taber is a small town 50 km east of Lethbridge. It would be an easy drive out on race morning, and while I was not going out to break any records or place in any divisions, I was going out to race the best that I could at that given day.
With summer being so hot down here in Southern Alberta, my paces for training runs have not been anything crazy. I had come to terms with that in the past month, knowing that just getting out there and completing the training runs during the week was what mattered…not how fast I was going. I had a goal in my mind to run around a 33 minutes 5km in Taber, roughly a little faster than an 11 minute mile. Based on how my running was going in August, I knew I could attain that goal.
Race morning was nice and cool. It had gotten quite tolerable the night before and this carried on into the morning. By the time the race started at 9 am, it was only around 59F. I went out and held a pace that came naturally to me and felt comfortable. I kept checking my heart rate during the first mile and it was always under 150. My breathing was in check and I was feeling great. Suddenly, mile 1 came and my watch hit 8:39!
I was WAY ahead of my 11 minute mile pace. For a brief second I thought about really slowing it up. But, my heart rate was good, my legs were feeling strong….so I stuck with my gut and just kept on going. Mile 2 slowed a bit, but it was still a 9:03. OK….if I can hold the final mile around this pace and watch my breathing I can definitely finish under 30 minutes!
The last mile was harder than the first two, as my heart rate did climb up a bit. I kept watching my FitBit and whenever the bpm got into the 170s I would try and focus on my breathing to bring it down. Mile 3 clocked in very close to the same time as mile 2, with a 9:04. I did let myself go a bit the final stretch, wanting to close the gap on the women in front of me. When I crossed the finish line, my watch stopped at an unofficial distance of 3.16 miles. My official chiptime would be a 28:02! I placed 4/23 in my age group, 11/98 in women, and 35/158 overall.
Running 5km races are not really my thing. They are hard for me! Call me crazy, but I’d much rather run a half marathon. It took me a really long time to get my personal 5km best of a 20:42. The fact that I am about 7.5 minutes slower than my personal best all while being 30 weeks pregnant makes me super happy. Why does it make me happy? Because it shows that my hard work this summer is paying off. I have been reasonable with my running this summer, with the overall goal being to remain healthy while progressing in this pregnancy which should then make it easier to get back to my racing form after the pregnancy.
With being 3/4 of the way through my pregnancy, I know every week will pose a new challenge. I am also mentally preparing myself for the possibility of having to stop running any day. There are a variety of things that could come up that would put my running to a halt. If my doctor told me that it was no longer safe for me to run, I would stop. I mean, come on…I am not an idiot. If something I was doing was putting the baby and/or myself in danger, I would quit it. But, I have been having a fairly low-key pregnancy with no issues so my doctor has been very supportive of my choices to continue running and working out. I am very fortunate to have an OB who supports my running, as she knows it is something I did not just start overnight. Before being referred to my OB, my family doctor was also very supportive of me continuing on with my running, as long as I didn’t have a high-risk pregnancy. I actually had an appointment with my family doctor last week to just confirm that he would be able to take the baby on as a patient and his words of encouragement meant a lot.
I am also very fortunate for the support my family and friends have given me this summer. They are pretty well adjusted to the fact that running is a part of my identity, and it doesn’t seem to surprise them at all that I have continued. I think this is one reason actually that my husband sometimes seems to forget how far along I really am in this pregnancy, because I have still gone about my running as I normally do. He doesn’t seem me out there training in the summer, but he knows I’m out there doing it. And he knows it makes me happy.
So what are the two next two months going to be like? For running, I will still continue with my 4 times a week running. I will be joining my cross country kids on their runs during the week, and will likely be the caboose of the group. I also am considering doing a 4-week session of the Baby Bump class at Kinetic, as it is offered on a Friday at 4:30 pm. This will keep me active and help burn off the energy from the work day. My mom comes to visit near the end of September. She will be a huge help around the house getting things set for baby, and we will be having my baby shower. There is also the Lethbridge Police Race on September 30th, where I will be doing the 10km, my mom will be walking the 5km and my husband will be doing the half marathon. When she leaves in October, I will have just had my 33rd birthday and I will surely start to feel the nerves and anxiety attached to becoming a family of 3. Baby is due November 1st, which may seem like a far way away from August 27th….but we all know it’s closer than you think! I can pencil in a lot of things, but I know stuff could change in an instance after one doctor appointment!