I woke up on race morning cool as a cucumber. No race-day jitters for me. I am not a detective, but I can easily attribute this to one clear fact: I wasn’t signed up to run a race.
At 33 weeks pregnant, my already mediocre running talents were in near total hibernation. Registering for races was totally off my radar. But Matthew (my husband, remember him?) was signed up for the Bridgehampton Half and my pals Katy and Sarah were registered for the same event’s 5K so I found myself in the Hamptons on race morning looking for something to do.
A true love of efficiency and smart logistics drove me to sign up for this 5K. I wanted to get some physical fitness in and I figured if my friends were going to be doing their workouts at the race, I might as well too.
I hopped in the car with the planned racers, and we headed for Bridgehampton High School (Go Bees!). I will warn, while it’s a small race, parking near the start is very limited. If you’re planning to run this race, allow time to walk from wherever you’ve decided to stash your vehicle to the starting point.
I saddled up belly first at the registration table, ready to proudly sign up for the 5K at eight months pregnant and was asked if I wanted to register for the half marathon or the 5K. I appreciate the staffer’s open-mindedness! Women can do anything! (But this particular woman could not have run 13-miles on this specific morning.)
I visited the porta-potty which I literally never do. When I hit 30 my preference for real plumbing and bathrooms fragranced with the scent of Diptque candles became non-negotiable. While pregnant, my bladder has moved up my list of priority organs.
My training plan lists week 12 as a recovery week. That means the weekend long run was “only” 12 miles. I signed up for the Hamptons Half because I figured 13.1 was close enough to 12 and using the water stations that a race provides would be good practice. The race is something of a tradition in my little group of friends. Here’s a recap of the race in 2014 and this is a recap of when I ran the Hamptons 5K in 2015 post-ankle injury. (I skipped it in 2016 to participate in Dare to Bare.)
After running 15 miles and 16 miles the last two weekends, I think it’s safe to say I took for granted how tough a half marathon can be. While I didn’t race the distance, 13 miles is still freaking far.
This half marathon course (and full marathon course) runs through Southampton and we had a warm, sunshine-filled, blue sky day, which for runners, can be terrible. I prefer a little cloud cover, maybe a nice chill in the air? Light rain would be agreeable, too. This sport can bring out the vampire in you.
I’m headed to a wedding in Bermuda this weekend. I heard it’s pretty impossible to do a long run outside in Bermuda because the roads have no shoulder. In order to stay on track with my training plan I decided to run 10 miles before work on Thursday. Maybe you’re an early riser and this isn’t a wackadoo concept to you. But for me, waking up at 5:30am to do anything other than catch a flight is either a miracle or a mistake. This is my story.
I love marathon training. You know, overall. But at some point, during every run (or at least every run over 6 miles) I hate it.
I think summer in the Mid-Atlantic is largely to blame. It’s really hot. It’s really humid. I rarely get to the ideal state of “running auto-pilot” because there is a persevering discomfort in sweating this g-damn much. I’m running slowly. (More slowly than I usually do.) I forget to bring things. My hair tie breaks.
But those things are temporary. My negative feelings dissipate when I click my Garmin off to end the run. By the time I’m back in my apartment (or better, grabbing a post-run iced coffee), I’m usually smiling and happy no matter how many curses I spat under my breath moments before. So more than anything l love marathon training.