Race Recap - Beast 2 Feast 5k

Wow, I have a long way to go.

Thanksgiving morning Nate and I bundled up for the Beast 2 Feast 5k race held around Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis. It was the first time I've done this race - I was offered a comp entry if I provided feedback on the race, registration, and organization. Hard to turn that down!


Speaking of the race review: I loved it! It's fairly large, with ~2k people registered (only 700 raced because the temp was 0 degrees outside that morning!). The packet pick-up was fast and convenient. They had plenty of porta-potties so you literally didn't have to wait! When does that happen at a larger race? 

The T-shirt is great. It's one of those poly-pro blend shirts with a great fit that is really comfortable to wear around the house. I'm so tired of getting the cheap-o technical shirts that are made poorly and have a weird cut... so this is a huge perk! Anyone else with me?

The race announcer was really fun. He was witty, giving the racers fun Thanksgiving Day trivia and talking about how lucky we were to have such warm weather (ha!). He lightened the mood and racers were laughing together and talking to one another in the start corral. That humor and racer comradery really made the race!

The course was flat and fast, well marked, and seemed to be true to distance. 

Back to the race report:
I originally registered when I was about 8 months pregnant. Nate cautioned me that I was not to try to get back to running too fast just to race. Smart, since the morning of the race I was just 6 week and 1 day after C-section (most aren't allowed to run at ALL for the first 6 weeks!)

Nate and I in front of the official race sign. Can't turn up to take a picture with blow up turkeys!
We met Jeff and Teresa there and did a short warm up. Then, we were off. I ran a sub 7 minute first mile, but then could tell my wheels were already coming off :(. The third mile was above 8 minute mile pace and I had that same awful clumsy leg feeling I had last year during New York. Oh, NOO. My lungs were not working hard at all - it was completely the fact that I couldn't control my legs to get them to go any faster.

Sigh. 

I finished in 24:08, 7th place for women. Teresa won it for women (YAY!), Jeff was 5th for men, and Nate took 9th. Not a bad TNC showing!

GOO TNC! Congrats to the other TNC athletes across the country that also raced on Thanksgiving!

I knew I shouldn't have had expectations, and I think for the most part I didn't - I just wanted to see where I was at and how much work I'll need to put in this next year to get back to it. Turns out, A LOT. A TON!!!

But, I did have a tiny bit of hope in the back of my mind. After jogging back to get warm-ups and starting the cool down, I was still struggling with my legs. I  teared up a little then, wallowing in my own self pity. I stopped to walk.

I'm usually known as a very positive person despite challenging weeks/months - but at this moment all I could think about was my legs, bad memories of struggling through a terrible, terrible fall in 2013, and the fact that I had just run a 5k averageing 7:40 something.

Am I really able to go from that to racing a marathon at 6:10 pace?

I'm embarrassed to say that one of my thoughts was, "Well, at least I was fast at one point in my life..."

(Debbie Downer!)

But then I thought of my beautiful daughter and how much I absolutely love her and this journey is both for me and her. I also remembered that today was the first day I was even supposed to run, I still can't even do a crunch because my abs are still separated vertically and still healing from a low vertical incision. I have done just 2 or 3 strength workouts, and even those have been super light (stregnth workouts are key for me since I rely on a very strong push-off and bound forward). I'm very weak - turns out if you don't do strength work for 9+ months, you become weak! I'm breastfeeding, which takes an enormous amount of energy, and haven't had a good night of sleep in 6 weeks (and I am greatly affected by sleep deprivation).

I turned my head around immediately... there's no time for self pity! I started to run again with a half smile on my face and hope in my heart.

I can only get stronger each and every day, and it will be fun to be able to improve quickly in the months to come. I know I can do it - I just had a minor negative reaction after the race :)

Game on.

Nichole Porath

Nichole is a blogger, elite level runner, and coach. She ran professionally for Brooks for two years after qualifying for the 2012 US Olympic Marathon Trials. During that time she founded TNC endurance, where she coaches and motivationally speaks to organizations large and small. This blog details her rise to national-level racing, and continues to follow her as she gets back into racing after starting a family. Read on, friends!

7 comments:

  1. Charlene Zandler LarsonNovember 30, 2014 at 9:41 PM

    Patience

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  2. To even think about running can be exhausting, plus adding on all the things you have been through im suprised you didnt end of sleeping instead (thats what would happen to me). The live you have for her will and already is the most importabt n sweetest thing. When ym ever and shes the fastest runner!u getfrustrated with your physical shape its ok to walk because when shes older she will be there saying "i have the beat mon

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  3. Kristy Powell WynnDecember 1, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    You, of all people, will get there!!! 9 months to make a human...give yourself a break! My prediction...you are back to 6:10 at 8 mos post baby . I know how you feel...I'm still feeding and tired, but I still go...I am getting there...not the 7:45 for 13.1 I was at one point....but I'm working on it!

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  4. Ok Debbie Downer no more. You had the great opportunity to run a race 6 weeks after giving birth to Greta. I know deep down you secretly hoped that you would be where you left off pre-pregnancy. Give yourself a break. You are working hard being a mom right now. Yes you have a ways to go but you of all people love a challenge. Take it on, but first give yourself a chance to complete it's healing and enjoy your precious time you can't get back with sweet sweet Greta. You did awesome.

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  5. I can only imagine how difficult that it is to go from being on top of the world to starting over fresh. Unfortunately thats just what you have to do. On the positive side is you aren't doing it alone and you have a long period of time to get back there. Even better is you are already ahead of the curve. Just 6 weeks ago Greta was still playing hide and seek inside you! Now your out running regularly who does that :) .

    Heck in a couple of weeks your body will probably start to get used to this training regime. Even more better is that come spring when its time to get super serious and begin those hard track workouts you will probably be on a regular sleep schedule. If there is one thing I know its that trying to race and run with a body thats not well rested SUCKS!

    I guess the point I am trying to get at is you can do it and I believe in you. Thats not just me being fluffy and trying to be nice. I am excited to see or should I say hear you chasing me down this spring (fear is a great motivator).

    One final thought: A wise fella once said: To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.

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  6. Long time reader, first time commenter. You did great! You're 6 weeks post-baby and you had a C-section! I'm impressed you could race at all that soon! You will get it all back, I'm sure. Just takes time and patience (not always the easiest thing for a runner!).

    But, I completely understand how you feel. I had a baby in June and my running took a major hit. Plus I had only been running for a little over a year when I got pregnant and I had just started to pick up a tiny little bit of speed and BOOM! - everything slowed down. Coming back hasn't been easy and my first several races back have been pretty disappointing, but I'm getting there. Slowly. And I'm hoping I'll eventually surpass my previous PRs since they were all from my first year and half of running (and I know I've got way more in me than that!).

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  7. You all are awesome - thank you for reminding me to be thankful for what I have and to take this journey one day at a time :).

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