ran finished the 44th Annual Portland Marathon last Sunday…while carrying a baby in my stomach that is currently the size of a peach (or so they tell me). If you want to know about the race, click here. This post is more about my personal experience on the course and what I’m reflecting on now that it’s over.
2 Things I Learned As a Coach
1) You can’t stop runners from running.
Well, maybe that’s not completely true. What I mean is that once we commit to finishing a race…we almost have to be admitted to the hospital to actually give up on the race. Otherwise we show up, even if injured or under-trained, telling ourselves we are destined to cross that finish line.
I met, saw, and spoke to so many people who said they probably shouldn’t be running…yet there they were. Even my blogger friend admitted on her Instagram account she was injured and ran anyway (she still came in 2nd female). Sometimes the coach’s job is truly to convince a runner NOT to run. Yet, other times, the coach’s job might be to make sure the runner knows what they’re risking but then help adjust expectations and encourage a “finish well” strategy.
J ran alongside for moral support a few times.
I’m about 24 miles in to the day and he’s only put in about 6,
but you wouldn’t know it to look at his face! Heehee.
2) You have to train to walk.
This isn’t a new lesson, really, but it’s one I felt for about 16 miles. I’d been doing all my training runs between a 9:30 at 11 min pace (depending on how I felt that day). I hadn’t done a lot of walking. So when I found myself shuffling along at a 13 minute mile jog and walking, those muscles quickly let me know they weren’t ready for all this. Back in the days when I walk/jogged all my races, my walking muscles knew what was up. This time, though, the ache of running closer to a more familiar pace truly felt better than the ache of walking too much.
2 Things I Learned About My Body
1) My hips don’t lie. I’m pregnant.
Did you know as soon as you get pregnant your hips start spreading? My doc told me this but I kind of figured she meant that’d happen later, like when my stomach got big and D-day was approaching. No, she meant now. From mile 10 and onward it felt like my IT band was tightening and my hips/knees were all achey. It really wasn’t about my IT band, though. It was about the spreading hips and how that effects everything they’re connected too. A day later, my IT Band wasn’t tight at all.
2) I’m still stronger and more efficient than I was in 2011.
During the marathon, the pain didn’t get worse. I just had to keep going through it and maintain good form. Which I was able to do because, although my time doesn’t reflect it, I AM a stronger, better runner than I was when I walk/jogged marathons in 2009-2011. I can keep my core tight, my shoulders from slumping, and breathe easy. So while I didn’t get to run the marathon I wanted too, the one where I got to finally see how “fast” I had become…I did see and feel the improvement in my fitness in other ways.