Last Wednesday, on National Running day, I ran the Sugarcreek 5 Mile Trail Race! Here’s my recap of the race! When I ran this, I was 19.3 weeks pregnant. This race is part of a series of races that the Ohio River Road Runner’s Club puts on. I love these races, because if you’re a member, which I am, you get to run most of them for free!
I got to the race site about 45 minutes prior to the race start. This was an evening race, which aren’t my favorite, but since I wasn’t RACING, I figured it didn’t really matter that much. The park that the race was held at doesn’t have a large parking lot, so by the time I got there, the lot was already full so they were having us park in an off site lot about a half mile away! I parked and got my Club card to go register. I walked to the registration because I was still digesting my dinner.
After registering, I jogged back to the car to return most of my items. I decided to keep my phone with me though, since I was 19 weeks pregnant and running on trails. Figured if I needed to make a call, it would be better not to have to wait until a race official found me. I jogged back to the race site and tried to get my Garmin loaded up. It was then that I realized…..my Garmin was dead. It wasn’t a huge deal because I didn’t care about my pace anyway–I actually try NOT to look at my pace now that I’m pregnant cuz it just makes me feel bad. However, since I was running on trails/hills, I wanted to keep track of my heart rate during the race to make sure it didn’t go too high. Therefore, I was pretty frustrated that I’d forgotten to charge my watch! I decided I would just run at a conversational/comfortable pace, which I figured would be equivalent to a low enough heart rate.
I had about 15 minutes before the race started, so I hit up the restroom real quick. Another great thing about these races is they are primarily attended my men, so there was absolutely no line for the women’s rest room, but a super long line for the men! Haha, suckers…
I went to the start line, and out of habit, I went to the front. I don’t really know how to line up for a race unless I’m in the front of the line! Haha, I knew tons of people would pass me right away, but I didn’t want to get stuck behind a crowd. The gun went off, and almost instantly, 30 people passed me. This was…..demoralizing……just a few short months ago, I would have gone out with about 10 other people—all guys. Yet now, in a few short seconds, I was already passed by several women. I just kept going at my preggo pace though and told myself that my time/place didn’t matter anymore. I was just racing for the baby! More people passed me, and before I knew it, I was in about 90th place…
The trail starts off pretty easy by going through a field and down a hill. There were a few river crossings though, so I went over those slowly due to the slippery rocks. About 1 mile in, a woman ran up behind me and said “must be really hard for you to be going this slow, huh?” I smiled at her, wondering how she knew I was pregnant….or IF she knew. I recognized her but wasn’t sure who she was at first. I replied “Yea, well….I’m 19 weeks pregnant”. “I know”, she said “I saw on the registration sheet that you were here. I know who you are.” “Oh!” I said “Well, I’m Hannah, what’s your name”. She replied with her name and clarified that she was the race director of another race that I’ve done the past two years, and that she knew I was typically a top female runner. She talked to me for a few minutes and then passed me. I thought it was pretty cool that someone finally knew me! My goal of doing local races last fall was to become known in the local running community. It seems now that I’m pregnant, I’m starting to become known–for competing while preggo.
The trail got a little more difficult in the next couple miles–several hills, steps, rocks, and roots to climb over. I took it conservatively though by walking up the super steep hill, and going slow down the steep hills so my belly didn’t bounce.
I came back to the end of the race by finishing off by going through the same field we started in. I saw my new friend, the race director, in front of me, and I was able to catch up with her! I told her good job, and then kept going. She crossed the finish line right behind me! We high fived each other, and a few others around, and then chatted a little more!
My time was 44 minutes which I was pleased with, because that was still under 9 minute miles even with the hills! I still felt very good at the end of the race, and my belly didn’t feel strained at all! My only “discomfort” during the race was I had to pee with about 2 miles left, and there were no port-a-potties, so I had to wait till I finished.
My place was 1st in my age group, and 82nd (out of 200) total. Not bad for pregnant! Best of all, I enjoyed the race and got to meet someone new! Oh, and I got a sweet finisher’s “medal”. They gave us mini traffic cones…..cuz of the horrible parking for the race. 😉
My next race won’t be until July because we have a pretty busy remainder of the month, but I’m hoping to do a couple in July! We’ll see—-all depends on how I feel as baby grows!