It’s been a little over a week since I ran the 2014 La Jolla Half Marathon. But I have a bigger announcement… I’m running for two!
Yes, I’m pregnant and expecting #3. I signed up for the La Jolla Half Marathon in December and when I found out I was pregnant in February, there was no backing out of it. I ran this race while 14 weeks pregnant and had to modify my training to my changing body. That meant no speed work, cutting out runs and running at a slower pace. I still did my long runs and kept about a 10:30 – 11:00 min/mi pace. Not so bad! I still had time for prayer and had my list of people that I pray for with each mile. The long runs were fun— I wrote the names of people the back on my hand and it would fill up so much that I had to migrate to writing on my wrist!
The La Jolla Half Marathon is an absolutely scenic race — but hilly! You start in Del Mar and end in La Jolla Shores. So you can only imagine all the gorgeous sites you’ll pass. You even run through Torrey Pines State Reserve and pass by the beautiful golf course. The area I live in is surrounded by hills and my training on those hills came in handy. I found myself doing a lot of passing on the smaller uphills. But where I rocked it was the downhill, which made up for the times I “took it easy” on the uphill. There is a technique to downhill running, believe it or not. There were probably 2 big hills where I walked – through Torrey Pines and the infamous “Princess Hill” that you don’t expect at mile 12. I didn’t want to stress my body and it worked out in the end. I felt good and wasn’t sore. Needless to say, I didn’t get a PR but I finished at 2:28 — pregnant belly and all. To give you some perspective, I finished the AFC in 2012 at 2:47 (not pregnant, also less trained) and that was an easier course!
My goal for the Triple Crown is still up in the air. I would be 7 months pregnant for the America’s Finest City Half Marathon. I figured that I could still “walk it” and get my Triple Crown. But that’s where the story changes…
I’ve been on my feet a lot since the Friday before the race. I was preparing to put on a fashion show for April 26 (Saturday) and was doing a lot of running around both Friday and Saturday. After the fashion show, I headed to Mass then got myself ready for the race. Race day I was up at 4:30am and got myself ready to go. I finished the race around 10am and arrived home at about 11am. I got in a 1 hour nap before I picked up the kids from my parents’ house. Then I headed up to Whispering Winds Catholic Conference Center in Julian, CA (about 1 hour away in the mountains) to see my pastor at the end of his Cursillo retreat.
Monday after the race was an early start since I play the piano at daily Mass in the morning. The rest of the week up until Thursday was spent running the kids around, cleaning house, getting music and clothes ready, writing letters, doing laundry. I was on my feet A LOT.
Thursday I headed up to Whispering Winds again, this time for the Women’s Cursillo retreat where I was on the music team. I have to say, we worked hard. We spent late nights rehearsing and getting our skits together and we literally ran from building to building, making sure that we were playing for Mass, meditation, adoration, and introductions for speakers. Not to mention going back to our lodge to dress up in costumes to entertain people during meal time. Since it’s a mountainside retreat, all this running around occurred on hills.
My body had enough. I started to bleed a little and I was absolutely shocked. It was quite concerning because I had normal pregnancies — no problems at all. The spotting was significant enough for me to worry (and I’m not a worry wort – to a fault). My fellow music team members comforted me — all were mothers, one also nurse practitioner. They assured me that it was because I was under a lot of stress and that I needed to take it easy. They prayed over me and it was beautiful. I don’t ask people to pray for me too often but I reached out to my husband and my friends. I spent some time after morning Mass sitting in prayer in front of Our Lord and offering up my sufferings. It became loud and clear that He was telling me to slow down.
The nurse practitioner said to keep my feet up and not to do so much walking. I’m the type of person that can’t keep still for too long. There’s always something that needs to get done, help needed somewhere, something always needs to be fixed, tidied, etc. It was absolutely humbling to have people do things for me and to literally be chauffeured around to get to where I needed to be. I also felt the prayers helping with my health, patience and humility. Slowing down made me appreciate the blessings and beauty around me at the retreat: the birds and animals freely moving around, the cool breezes that relieved us on a warm day, the wonderful people so willing to help and pray for me, not to mention that there were at least half a dozen nurses on the retreat! God is so good.
The bleeding has subsided and now I’m in the middle of taking a 10-day rest as recommended by the OB even though it hasn’t been restful. There’s still meals to be cooked, laundry to be done, a house to be cleaned, gardens needed to be tended — pretty much I’m back to reality. I find it hard to rest but my busyness is what caused problems in the first place. So I’ll recline as much as possible but I have to answer when life calls.
…back to AFC: Perhaps if I’m not as busy the week prior to or after the race I think I’ll be okay. We’ll see.
The moral of the story, sometimes a nudge (or in my case a big push) is needed to get you to stop and appreciate the blessings all around you.