2016 Grandma's Marathon Recap - and an ER visit

So many things about this marathon were way different than ANY marathon I've ever done. I guess 22 weeks of pregnancy does that to a race!

First, the "interesting" things:
- I tried on my large women's TNC tank the week before the marathon... and it "fit" me as well as a sausage casing fits over what it's holding. Super.

On to Nate's TNC singlet. Perfect! I just tied the shoulders in the back.

Before the start, all matchy matchy. Craig (2:43, Jeff 2:48, me 3:38).

And... I'm looking pregnant. My face has even started to puff out like it did with Greta! Awesome.
- Even though I picked out my most fail-proof shoes to run in (Brooks Ghost), I felt blisters forming at mile 5. My feet must be wider because of the heat/humidity and pregnancy. 

My feet look as ugly as they ever have! I'll lose two of my right toenails. I also had some comical baloon-like blisters on that right foot. Oddly, the left foot fared pretty well!

-This was my 4th Grandma's marathon. First was in 2005 right after I graduated (3:07:14, not too bad for a debut). Second was my qualifier in 2011 (2:44 - recaps here and here - I re-read these again today and still love those posts!). Third was the June after the Trials (2:47).

- Moving back in the crowd to my start position was so odd! It felt like I walked through thousands of people to get where I thought the 3:20 racers might be starting. Luckily I found Teresa who was hoping for a 3:15, starting conservatively, and I started with her.

TNC folks (minus 3) ready to start! Craig, Michelle, Bart, Jeff, and me.

We're a blue type of family.
The best cheerleader anyone could ask for! He biked along the entire course, darting in from the highway to the race course to cheer as often as he could. I looked forward to seeing/hearing him SO much!

Thanks for enduring that horrendous heat suit for me! 
- This was my last year as an elite (you can qualify for elite status with a finish time of up to 3 years old). I will really miss the perks: the free entry, porta-potty at the start, last-minute bag drop, bottles, massage, tent at the start, etc. I'll need to notch a 1:20 1/2 marathon or a 2:50 marathon in order to requalify.

- I stopped a lot during the race. I would stop to stretch every 2-3 miles and sometimes stop at the water stops to make sure I drank a cup (or two!) and dumped another one over my head. I've never taken in so much fluid during a race!

Hot, humid, hot!
My legs felt swollen from the start. If you've ever run while pregnant with this feeling, you know what I'm talking about. If not, well, it's indescribable. It makes your legs and feet feel slow, clumsy, just weird. Stopping to stretch seemed to help. I'm sure I annoyed the people around me. My running pace was faster, but all of the stopping meant I was leap-frogging the people around me often. They probably were thinking: "lady, if you just ran a consistent pace, this marathon would be a lot easier for you!"

My last stop was at 21 miles. I didn't really need to stop, but it had been 2 miles. So, why not? I got water, talked to Nate, walked alongside him for a while, and asked him to run with me. At this point, I was just sort of bored of running and wanted to be done! I tried to start running again, and WOW. That hurt! My joints protested loudly.

So I walked some more. I think I walked for nearly 8 minutes total?

Once I got myself going again I told myself that I couldn't walk again. The pain of starting up again wasn't worth the "fun" of walking!

Nearing the end! Just. Keep. Running.
- I only had to use the bathroom once. I thought I'd look forward to leisurely taking my time. 

NOPE.

It was 150 degrees in that thing! GROSS! Get me outta this sauna ASAP!

- I finished in 3:38:39 officially, which still put me in the top 200 females (of 3741). That's kind of crazy. As I was reminded, technically baby finished ahead of me, knocking me down a place.

Smiling because I am almost DONE!


AND THEN -

As I made my way through the finish line chute, I noticed blood trickling down my legs. OH NO.

OH NO NO NONONONONONO.

I immediately stopped the conversation I was in (sorry Nick, I didn't mean to abruptly leave you) and walked to the medical tent. They didn't want to mess with a 22 week pregnant lady who was bleeding, so whisked me away in a golf cart to Nate's vehicle.

The E.R. sent us to the delivery floor. There they immediately hooked me up to an IV, which was a little bit of an ordeal because they couldn't find a vein to use. Finally someone from their special IV team came up. The vein they did use wasn't great, but it worked - it just left a big bruise afterwards.

2 days later
After 4 hours of tests - I won't bore you - we confirmed that baby was A-ok. I was so relieved. I had a few contractions (apparently I did, but I didn't feel much of anything.  The doc then asked about my pain tolerance... hmm). Baby's HR was also elevated, but came down as I became more hydrated.

Ultrasound. I think the tech was looking at the gender to double check what we've been told (yep, we know!), hence my smile :)
All in all, I had a great time and I am SO PROUD of myself for keeping myself under control. Not going to lie, there was a part of me that thought: I wonder how fast a 22-week-pregnant-mama can run a marathon in?!? Wouldn't it be fun to try to stick with X {Insert any name here}?

I know I'm not supposed to be competitive now, and I'm doing my best not to be! BUT, I'm also so glad to have that spark back in me. There was nothing worse than having that part of my personality squelched last year.

Let's bring on these next 17-18 weeks! And... maybe... let's bring on Grandma's in 2017! :)

Your turn:
Did you race this weekend? How did it go?

Is anyone else already looking forward to the 2017 racing season?

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!

2 comments:

  1. Wow! You are a strong mama. I actually like what things you do. ^^

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  2. I'm glad Jeff and I got to cheer for you, great job racing smart!
    Getting lured into too much walking is a common ultra running issue I feel like. The last 13 miles of my 50 last fall were mostly me trying to convince myself I should be running instead of just keeping walking, often unsuccessfully.

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