The inaugural Thelma and Louise Women’s 1/2 Marathon in Moab, UT-Mother’s Day Weekend 2012
Happy June!! I hope all is going well at your stores as we move into summer.
For those following my postpartum running journey…here’s my update!
Inaugural Thelma and Louise Women’s Half Marathon in MOAB, UTAH: When I signed up for this race, I was 2 1/2 months postpartum and giddy with the idea of racing again. It didn’t occur to me that on top of, you know, running a 1/2 marathon, I’d be nursing and caring for a growing baby while TRAVELING. And with my husband busy at the hospital, this was going to be a solo trip with the help of a close family friend who lives near Moab (she would meet me there and watch baby while I ran the race) As race day got closer, I realized I was maybe in over my head deciding to drive a 4-month-old who cries if she doesn’t sleep in her fisher price “snug-a-bunny” swing (which is way too big to bring to a hotel!) 4 hrs away to stay in a hotel for the first time the night before the race. On top of that, the shuttle bus to the race start left the parking lot at 6 am and I had to coordinate feeding baby who refuses bottles by feeding her in the parking lot before I got on the bus. It all seemed like way too much work just to run another half marathon. At 2 am while baby cried in our hotel room, I almost made the decision to ditch the entire idea all together. What was I thinking? I held baby and thought SURELY there were other running moms out there in the night experiencing the same thing as me right now… and we were all going to be in this together. I remembered standing in the start at the 2011 Arizona Rock n Roll Marathon, and listening to Kara Goucher on the microphone telling the thousands of us in the race start corrals, that she’d just been through a scary hospital ordeal with her 4-month-old baby. I’m sure she didn’t sleep much in the days before the race and she won the race. I thought of Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell the authors of Run Like a Mother and Train Like a Mother, whose awesome Another Mother Runner podcasts kept me going through late night delirious baby feeding sessions all winter. (another mother runner.) I thought of Cindy, one of the co-owners of Running Skirts, who ran an amazing marathon PR at Chicago last fall with her infant waiting for her at the finish line. Thanks to all the running moms out there floating in my head, I got dressed in my gear, drove us out to the finish line parking lot, fed baby, kissed her goodbye, and got on the bus reluctant and exhausted (and disturbingly thirsty). None of my usual pre-race rituals had happened and I was glad to have my GARMIN and shoes on and a few gels in my skirt pocket.
As they drove us out on the road towards Canyonlands National Park, I completely relaxed and enjoyed the beauty of the red rocks and the stunning vistas and made friends with the girl sitting next to me. We lined up at the start, and I realized this was actually my very first women’s only race! There was a really cool camaraderie among all the women, and a fun spirit of adventure in the air. When my husband and I were younger, we spent a lot of time camping and backpacking in Moab, and the morning light on the red rocks brought back a sense of nostalgia and inspiration to me. Everything was suddenly big picture and I decided to live in the moment. As I ran on this beautiful course, I realized that this race was ALL WORTH IT because I felt truly happy running down the road, running towards the finish where my angel of a family friend would be waiting with baby (who I already missed after the first 30 min.) This was a nice Mother’s Day gift to me!
The other, eh, issue, which I will get to later, is that I was running on an injury. I managed to stay at a nice pace until about mile 8 when I felt my weak postpartum core crumbling despite my efforts to stand tall, tighten my abs, and not arch my back as if I were still prego. I felt like a meringue puff melting in the sun. My right shin throbbed. If this were a 10k I would have been fine– as 7 miles seemed to be my expiration point at the Salt Lake Half Marathon a few weeks earlier as well. But I kept chugging along, enjoying the race as if I were on a vacation from my life, and I ended up coming in 32nd– not bad while still hanging on to 20 extra lbs of baby weight! For the first 8 miles or so, I was well on track to run at least a 1:41 half, but the end was literally a hot mess and I finished with a 1:49.
Greek Key Sweaty Band, Running Skirts Strappy Tank and Preppy Pink Skirt. Running Skirts Run Love Compression Socks
BEST part of the finish? GIANT horse troughs filled with icy cold water. I took off my shoes and got in one right away. Perfect ice bath immediately after the race!!
If you need a cool running destination vacation, consider any of the races in the Moab series- they are all really great!! http://www.moabhalfmarathon.org/
I saw lots of ladies at the race in their Running Skirts and Sweaty Bands! Here are a few great pictures from the event.
Running Skirts at the Thelma and Louise Half Marathon
the lead vehicle… complete with “Thelma” and “Louise” and Brad Pitt’s character!
So… on to the injury and rehab. It was a perfect recipe for injury: With a weak post-baby core, I ran two half marathons at around 3 and 4 months postpartum. Determined to do it all, I hiked with our dog every day wearing baby in the bjorn carrier, ran every day pushing her in the BOB, and awkwardly hauled the heavy car seat on my right arm all over town. The relaxin hormone present during pregnancy and nursing made (and still makes) me feel like Gumby. All of this, plus neglecting to make rehabbing my core a priority, was a recipe for a nice juicy injury in the same spot it always appears when I’m beating up my body: right tibia.
Lucky for me,the fabulous University of Utah Orthopedic Center is right up the street, and my smart ‘ol husband is in his Radiology residency and happened to be working there the day of my appointment! He had the joy of reading the x-ray of my tib/fib and telling me NO STRESS FRACTURE. Whew! The Ortho sent me to physical therapy to help realign my hips and get some strengthening going in my core. Yes-it was time for a break from running. Ugh. Last thing I wanted, especially while I’m trying to drop the baby weight…. but when running is no longer a joy because of pain, it’s not worth it. I parked the BOB in our living room and dedicated the month to chiropractor, Pilates, planks, and the gym whenever I could steal away. I had to surrender.
Up next- San Francisco 1/2 Marathon and then St. George Marathon. Let’s hope the rest and core work pays off. The new Newton Trail shoes don’t hurt either…love them!