Heading into the Publix Half Marathon in Atlanta, Georgia I knew again that I just wanted to have fun and put in a solid effort through this half marathon. There were no speed goals, because I was only about 16 weeks pregnant. I had been training not only for this race but for Ultra Ragnar SoCal (coming up in April!!) so I knew I had plenty of miles under my pregnant belt, but I just wanted to knock another state off the list!
Thayne and I flew into Atlanta on a Friday morning and were meeting with a co-worker of mine who flew in the night before. It was also March Madness, so when we arrived to our hotel we realized he had, uh, been celebrating his teams winning and was sleeping it off. You could also say maybe he was carb loading for the race himself? At least he was having fun in a new city! Thayne and I headed to the expo, which was fairly small, and then grabbed some awesome pizza at a local joint.
The race started with a pretty nice downhill for the first few miles and I felt really good! I wanted to start slower and try to build into the run if I could, but also had no specific time goal (although I’d love to keep it under 2 hours if I could!). I had packed a bag full of cheez-its and shoved it into my spandex pocket (helloooo big storage pockets!) for a just in case snack. As I assumed, my first potty stop was around 4 miles. I didn’t want to stop my watch while I stopped because I wanted to know my overall time, but I did hit the lap button each time I stopped and started so I could know my actual running pace the entire time too.
The race wasn’t until Sunday morning, so we bought a City Pass and hit up the aquarium and Center for Civil and Human Rights. The aquarium was just the pick-me-up we needed after visiting the Civil Rights museum. It was moving and extremely informative but also pretty emotional!Race morning dawned chilly, but otherwise perfect! We headed to the race start with plenty of time.
My friend was going to start the first few miles with me, and then take off if he felt good. I told him there was a pretty solid chance I’d have some potty stops (hello, baby on my bladder) so he definitely did not need to wait for me!
The rest of the race pretty much continued as such… run a few miles, feel really good, be sure to continue to take in as much fluid electrolytes as possible, eat a few cheez-its, stop and use the port-o-potty. I texted Thayne every time I stopped to use the bathroom, just so he’d have a general idea of where I was in the race, how I was feeling while running and why I was stopping.
All in all, I ran the entire distance and while running I felt great during this race and held mid 8 minute mile pace. Stopping three total times (thanks, baby) obviously slowed me down by about 2-3 minutes total. It’s really hard to pull all the spandex back into the right place after it’s been a bit sweaty. I kept having to pull my tank top down too because my little baby belly kept pushing it up! No one needed to see that… ha!
There was a massive hill around mile 9, and I told myself before the race that I’d definitely give myself permission to walk up it if I felt like my heart rate was getting out of control (really this was the only limitation my OB ever gave me during my pregnancy). I definitely slowed it down but never had to walk up that hill. I felt so strong when it seemed like others started to fall apart.
I’m really proud of how much I’ve been able to train and race so far through my first pregnancy and hope that my body continues to allow me to do so the entire way. So far it’s been really fun to be able to race with a baby-on-board!The course had a great mix of downtown Atlanta views and some more natural views while running through parks. The crowds were out in full, providing alcoholic beer stops, lots of cheers and bringing the fun to the course. I’m sure having the race right around St. Patrick’s day does help to make it more of a party feel in the city all weekend long.
After the race finish, we received a HUGE bag of goodies. Thank you, Publix, for providing all the goodies for us… and in a bag! It’s a great idea to put everything in a bag and just hand the bag to us that way we don’t have to juggle a bunch of items when we’re tired.
I ended up finishing this half marathon in 1:57:05 (8:57 pace). Overall I was the 385th female (out of about 2,800) so I’m definitely not too mad about these results. Another state finished! Right now… no plans for another half marathon while pregnant so I’m not sure what’s next!
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