Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Belated Race Recap: Evansville YMCA Half Marathon

I've discovered that I write blog posts like I wrote papers in college, procrastination is the key.  I've done a few races this month, so I thought I should eventually write about them!

The YMCA Evansville Half Marathon was on October 7th and is probably one of my favorite races to do.  Part of the reason is I like the training program leading up to it, but I also know the course very well, it is pretty flat and usually runs pretty fast in my opinion.

Ahh, early morning.  Bring on the caffeine!
It turned out to be a good race for a lot of people, several of my friends (and myself) got PR's at this race or completely kicked some A at their first half.  I was completely not expecting to come anywhere near PR for this because my training kind of lamed out the few weeks coming up to the race.  I had that "just try not to suck" mentality going in and the first couple of miles were a little rough, but after mile 5 I started feeling better.  I kept trying to do that "running math" in my head, since I don't have a GPS I  judge my pace by my overall time on my stopwatch and I knew I was going to end up pretty good.

At mile 11 I had an "oh crap I could get a PR if I really try these last two miles" moment and so I really pushed myself to finish strong (and my hands were really really cold and I couldn't wait to warm them up). I did and I got a PR by about a minute over last year...yay me!

The Stats:

bib number:1886
location:Evansville, IN
overall place:912 out of 1922
division place:59 out of 148
gender place:355 out of 1105
Nothing like a porta-potty with attitude.

One of my favorite parts, running the warning track at Bosse Field.
So...not as good as I was hoping for at the beginning of training, but muuuch better than I expected when I started the race.  Unfortunately, I didn't stretch my quads like I should have, and it was very hard to stand, or sit, or look like a normal person while walking (according to my loving co-worker) for a few days.  I should listen to the stretching police my husband more often.

We did it!  Lauren was so full of awesome, finishing her first half in  2:06:53.
Has anyone got a new PR this year on a big (or not so big) race?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

Photo: All of these graphics can be used.  Please feel free to tag and comment.  Hugs to you, Robyn Remembering Our Babies Memorial Boutique .  http://www.rememberingourbabies.net & http://www.october15th.com
Picture courtesy of http://www.rememberingourbabies.net
One of the reasons I started blogging was to get a little more comfortable with expressing myself. I am a horrible emotion bottler.  This is ok sometimes, I don't want to be one of those people that word vomits every little thing that happens to them every day of their lives.  Other times, we need to share to start healing or to help ourselves and maybe others.  My ultimate goal with this was to spread awareness of miscarriage and pregnancy loss.  When I lost my pregnancy, no one else in my immediate family had ever been through anything like that, and since a lot of pregnancies are lost early, you tend to grieve with little guidance or understanding.  Through the process, I found some people that were willing to come forward and share their experience with me that I never knew had lost a pregnancy.  I really want to do the same for others since, and show others that it is okay to talk about having a miscarriage or losing a pregnancy.

My husband (Christian) and I have been married for 3 and a half years and have been together for over 7.  We have a lot of fun together, but we both want to expand our family.  He has a daughter that we both love so much, but she lives pretty far away.  We also want that experience of being able to share the love we have for each other and for little C with a child of our own.  We started trying to get pregnant after I finished my marathon last year, I was probably in the best health and shape of my life, so we figured what better time to start?  In January, I got a positive test and we were so happy.  It seemed perfect, even though we don't get to dictate things and I didn't care all that much, I really wanted a fall baby for some reason and my due date was September 28th.  Even better, my older sister was pregnant with her third baby, and we were going to be due just a few weeks apart.  We told our close families and a couple of my closest friends, but chose to keep it under wraps to the world as far as facebooking went.  The worst part about my job at the time was that there was no way to hide it from my co-workers, and not just my close ones, but all of them.  I was a chemist in a paint lab and the only time anyone wears a mask is if they are pregnant, so I got to be the source of gossip for all the lab techs.  I didn't want that many people knowing, but didn't have much of a choice.

For some reason, I was nervous the whole time, I felt like something wasn't right but I just kept hearing and reading "everyone is different", so I just chalked it up to that.  The doctor I went to, looking back, was not very helpful or reassuring, and didn't really do any kind of checkup until 12 weeks. I was sooooo anxious waiting on that 12 week mark.  The doctor told us we wouldn't be having an ultrasound then, but that was when we were going to hear the heartbeat.  I struggled through each day, wanting so badly to hear that heartbeat and be reassured that everything would be all right.  I was also jealous of my friends who were pregnant at the same time that were having 6 and 8 week ultrasounds (different doctors) and putting them on facebook.

We had a lot of tragedy early in the year, and the worst of it was Christian's sweet 16 year old cousin passing away unexpectedly.  At the funeral I noticed a little bit of bleeding, and immediately panicked, but thought maybe it was from the stress of the week.  I called the doctor and they told me to just wait a while to see if it continued.  It did off and on and I pretty much spent my days in a state of being a hyperventilating stress ball.  I felt like I had no help.  Christian was wonderful of course, helping me in any way he could and listening to me constantly worrying at this point, but ultimately I needed a doctor to tell me what was happening.  I was over 10 weeks and could see the 12 week "end" in sight, but I had had enough and finally called the doctor again. They told me to come in that day (I was at work) for an ultrasound.  Luckily, Christian was able to leave work and come with me.  We got in for the ultrasound and as she was doing it I broke down.  I had seen countless ultrasounds of my friends and sister and knew that mine wasn't right.  That was the worst part, I had wanted so badly to have an ultrasound and see my baby and when I did, there was no longer anything there besides the pregnancy sac.

We chose to end the pregnancy that day instead of waiting around to see if it would happen on it's own.  I went back to work the next week and had to deal with everyone knowing, or the comments like, "shouldn't you be wearing your mask?" and it was incredibly hard.  I don't know what I would have done without Christian, my family and the friends that knew, God, and running.  I know it seems funny to put running in with all of the most important people in my life, but it helped me deal with the stress of worrying while I was pregnant and gave me something to focus on afterwards.  Even months later I still have moments when  someone that had heard I was pregnant asks how my baby is doing, or I get formula in the mail because I signed up for a newsletter or something.  I just passed my due date a few weeks ago.

I'm sorry this is incredible wordy and personal.  I also want to say that I am not trying for sympathy and I absolutely don't want this to be a pity party or for anyone to feel sorry for me, but if I can help someone else that is struggling by sharing my story then it was worth it.  It does get better, but it never goes away.  I am blessed in my husband, family, friends, and God and hope that I can help someone else that may be hurting.

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, so spread the word that this doesn't have to be a taboo subject and that it is ok to talk about and help each other through the hard times.

Thanks for listening!

For more information, visit http://www.october15th.com.