Posted by: Ingrid | July 5, 2013

Hanover Firecracker 5 Miler: (Pregnant) Race Report

Last year I thought about running the Fourth of July 5 miler than Hanover puts on each year but it was hot.  So I was a wimp and saved it for this year when the weather was gorgeous and I was pregnant.

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I am starting to see that pregnant running around here can be good for one thing; it serves as a reconnaissance mission for when I am not pregnant.  I hate showing up to events that I know nothing about, so it works out nicely to run a course pregnant and then decide if I would ever choose to race it.  Since I’m not supposed to have running goals while pregnant and all.  (Can someone tell me how to turn those off?)

So three days ago I decided to commit Husband and myself to an 8:00 start (and the boys in the stroller, of course).  The only thing I missed?  The fact that the course is described as “very challenging”.

We managed to pack most of the stuff in the car the night before and even got out the door in a timely manner on the 4th.  It was a beautiful morning!  Of course, nothing good ever comes from waking small children, but you can’t have it all.

Once we parked, got the stroller and boys set up, found the port-a-potties, and got our race numbers, I had about 4 minutes to jog a warm up and admire all the non-pregnant skinny runners who look like they, you know, actually run, as opposed to procreating every 2 years.

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The race started on time and was well run, though I don’t think any of us were expecting the gun to go off when it did.  We all sort of paused, not sure if it was really the start or not, and then we were off.  Now, since the 5K I ran at 15 weeks, I have done no speed work or fast runs.  In fact, I am lucky to average 9 minute miles, and that happens pretty much never these days.  So my big goal was to finish in under 45.

It felt so good to run fast(er than I’m used to).  I have missed that!  I figured I would just head out and then wait to see what felt comfortable.  Finished the first mile in 7:22, which was a pleasant surprise indeed.  Then the hills began.  Up and down and up, up, up.  That “challenging” bit was right on.  The hills were great (in an intense and sometimes brutal) way.  Fortunately I’d just done an easy bike ride and some weights the day before, so I was feeling as good and strong as it is possible to feel when you are 24 weeks pregnant, almost 12 pounds higher than your high normal weight, and completely untrained.  But seriously, to be closer to real running made me feel amazing.

The hills rolled all the way until a quarter mile from the finish line.  There were water tables on the course and volunteers passing them out, so that was nice.  It was a beautiful run, under trees and over country roads – very green and some of my favorite running.  It was also fun not knowing the course, since I never knew what was around the bend (not fun if I’d been racing).  I found my place in the crowd and stayed pretty steadily between the same people.

7:22, 7:44, 7:46, 8:13, 7:20 were my mile splits (can you see the hills?) for a finish time of 38:24.  Much better than the 45 minutes I was hoping to beat and good enough for first place in my age division.  Of course, that felt good, but the 19 year old female winner won in just over 31 minutes, so you can see the huge time gap.  I was the 70th out of 350-ish runners and I was most impressed by the male winner of the 80 years and up category who finished in 62 minutes.  That is the kind of 80 year old I want to be (fast and still running that is, not male)!

I tried to do the kid run with Isaac (who will totally run around the track) but after running maybe a quarter of the way he decided he was done.  I wanted to push it, but since he was diagnosed with pneumonia on Monday, I decided not to.  So we had popsicle fun instead.

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The fun part about winning was that I got a pair of socks AND a Dutch apple pie, which we cut into as soon as we got home.  It was some good stuff, topped with plenty of sugar, butter, and cinnamon.  I’m not even a pie lover and I enjoyed it.

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What a fun run!  Even knowing the challenges on the course I think I will probably run it again.  It was well organized and the village has events all day so the atmosphere was very festive.  Great way to start out the Fourth of July.  I celebrated again later by falling asleep on the couch.  I can’t believe how much running like that takes out of me when I’m pregnant!

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