Pride - Letting go of it...

I have agonized over the decision to still do the Maple Syrup 50k this upcoming Saturday. It was supposed to be my first ultra marathon. I was really looking forward to testing myself over the distance, especially at a race close to home and with fairly easy trail terrain.

Once I found out I was pregnant, I decided I just wanted to finish the distance. Mostly just to say that I finished an ultra at 17 weeks along. Plus, I had logged so many dang miles in preparation for it!

Not to mention, I was still nailing workouts while 14-15 weeks along - so why wouldn't I still be able to do it? Seriously. I can't believe it myself, looking back just a week or two later. At 15 weeks along I did a 40 minute cruise interval workout at sub 6:40 pace (30 sec rests every 5 mins). And... it wasn't *that* hard (i.e. not my typical near-death tempo/cruise interval goal).

Over the last 7-10 days, my running has changed. I feel like my ligaments have loosened up and I can't spring off the ground or lift my knees like I could before. Take a look at this race start photo from the Defeat the Stigma 10k trail race last weekend. Normally the step off the line would look really powerful. Now, not so much.

Ready, set, go! Start of the Defeat the Stigma 10k, photo by Mountain Goat Running, LLC

Sara and I look like we are having the time of our lives - love it! :)
My paces have slowed a bit, and when I try to move fast, I feel like I'm moving around SO MUCH more. I'm no longer smooth & strong. I'm someone who is fit enough to move fast, but whose body won't allow it to. Sigh. Guess it was nice while it lasted?

My SI joint feels like it's moving way more than it ever has before as well. I don't remember this with Greta, probably because I was a ball of muscle before becoming pregnant with her. Yep, that picture is me ~3 months before starting trying to get pregnant. The ONLY picture where I sport a 6-pack. Yep, I'll cherish this picture for the rest of my life. You know y'all have one of those. The one where the lighting is *just right*?

This makes me want to do some sit-ups.

Thank you, Generation UCAN (read my nutrition story here to see the before shot).
I thought: I think I can still finish, and walk when I need. The race is a bunch of 5 mile loops, so I could stop anytime. The temps for the weekend look nice and cool, so overheating isn't as much of a concern.

But... would I actually step out of the race? Yeah, probably not. Stupid pride.

Plus, I've done very little on the trails. The uneven terrain causes even more movement in my loosey-goosey core/hips, and that's not good.

Letting go of the race was more about pride. And stubbornness. I HATE not doing/finishing what I originally aimed to. There would also be a lot of pride resulting from a 50k finish!

I finally realized that both reasons above were dumb in the long term. Running while pregnant is all about remaining fit and enjoying the journey. Instead of spending the rest of the weekend (or week afterwards!) lying on the couch trying to recover from the 50k, I could really enjoy the 10k.

Glad I came to my senses! This time, anyway :) See you at the Faribault Nature Center this weekend!

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!

3 comments:

  1. Sound like your perspective is perfect :) There will be a 50K down the road in the years to come!

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  2. Don't forget you have to be ready for the Fast and the Fury next weekend.
    My coach Mesa, said she is starting to taper and hopes to be in fine form. It would be a real shame to talk to her and after she gets done licking my face (we have a weird coach athlete relationship) have her tell me her human was to tired from a 50k to race well at the ultimate dog race of the spring season.

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  3. Way to be smart. Pride will come at the end of this pregnancy when that healthy baby looks at you...
    I also agree with Jeffery above...Mesa is a great coach, but she learned that from her smart coach.
    Even if you don't fee the pride, we are all proud of you for what you can do and have done. We are proud to call you "coach" and "friend". Xoxo. Maybe we can do a 50k together some day...

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