This Saturday I ran the Cookie Dash 5k and it was a real PPR (Pregnancy Personal Record). I say "real" because I was thinking that as I got more pregnant I would naturally slow down, so I decided each time I raced while pregnant it would still be considered a PPR because I'd be further along in the pregnancy and therefore changed. I did not expect to actually have a REAL PPR which would be an actual faster time later in pregnancy, but that is exactly what happened on Saturday.
I started the race in the back of the pack, not really sure what I could do or how I would feel. I'd run 2 miles the day before and had not felt good at all, so I was a little discouraged. I ran a .6 warm-up with Mom and some friends from UAH, and took one last potty break before heading to the start line. I saw a ton of friends and it was so fun to stand around and chat before the race. I didn't hear the official start, so I hit my watch as soon as the crowd started to move.
When I started to run, I felt good so I began weaving in and out of the crowd. Eventually we thinned out and I had plenty of room to pass other runners when I needed to. That is the fun thing about starting in the back and starting out little slower. As I continued to feel good, I just picked up my feet faster. It didn't seem to make much difference on my breathing so I just kept picking up my pace as I felt confident to do so.
The course had several little out-and-back sections so I got to see my mom, a ton of running friends, and all the Just Run It participants that I'd been training with for the last 10 weeks. It was SO encouraging and fun to cheer for everyone and to be cheered for, that I think I smiled the whole race. I was also thrilled and excited to feel so good.
I finished the race in 26:45 according to my watch, and 26:51 according to the race results. My splits were 9:04, 8:26, 8:11. I finished in 26:45 (I'm going with my clocked time on this one) for a 5k at 24 weeks pregnant. My previous 5k time for 16 weeks pregnant was 27:04. That gives me a REAL PPR! I was so excited and surprised!
I chatted with friends for a while before doing another 1.3 with Mom to get 5 miles for the day. It was so fun to see so many runners I'd trained and run with, and to catch up on how everyone was doing. We (Mom, Jason and I) stopped by Starbucks on the way home for a delicious grande decaf iced cafe mocha (what a mouthful), which I felt that I'd truly earned on this most wonderful race day!
When I looked at the race results that night I was a little chagrined to see that I was 4th in my age group, missing 3rd place by 10 seconds! I could have won an age group award at 24 weeks pregnant and that would have been very cool to say! I'd just had no idea what I could do out there and with 500 runners, I certainly didn't think I'd be in any way competitive. Even when I'm not pregnant, I usually finish a 5k somewhere around 23 minutes and with so many speedy runners in this town the race has to be really small for me to place. But I couldn't be disappointed. Not really. I was still thrilled with what I'd been able to do and 4th place out of 19 in my age group was good enough for me!
AND to top it all off, I didn't think of needing a pit stop ONCE during the race. This gives me hope for the upcoming 10k on May 5th... I cannot WAIT for that one!