Today I ran my first post partum race, the Turkey Trot 10K, 9.5 weeks after Baby Kevin was born! This race is part of the Marine Corps Marathon event series, and I was really excited about it because the races are always really well done and a lot of fun. I was also looking forward to it because all 3 of us would be racing- including Baby K in the stroller! We all woke up bright and early this morning and got dressed and ready for the race. It was chilly outside (in the 40s) so we made sure to bundle up the baby and bring the weather shield for the stroller. He looked so cute (and big!) in his warm fuzzy outfit!
The race took place on the Quantico Marine Corps Base, which isn’t far from where we live. We got there quickly and found two of our friends, Danielle and Cassandra, who were also running. After a few quick photos we made our way to the start line.
Unfortunately we parked in the wrong place, and ended up having to walk over a mile to the start! There were ‘Event Parking’ signs close to where we had parked for the Gender Defender 5K this past August, so we assumed it was starting in the same place. We were wrong. By the time we got there the race had already started, and they were gating off the start area and sending the sweep van to follow the last runners. Oops!!! It was quite a sight to see us all sprinting to make it in time, but we did. It definitely got the blood flowing earlier than expected!
Going into this race I wasn’t sure what to expect from myself. I started running again 5 weeks ago but have been taking it pretty easy, and I knew (or I guess I should say I thought) my speed was nowhere near where it used to be pre-pregnancy. Once I started running I felt really good, and decided I was going to push myself. It has been a LONG time since I’ve been able to do that while running and it felt amazing! I started off fast, maybe a little too fast, but it felt effortless so I went with it.
- Mile 1 – 8:02
- Mile 2 – 7:37
The course definitely was not flat- hardly anywhere in Virginia is- but hills have always been one of my strengths so I tried to attack them without losing too much speed. It was kind of awesome starting all the way in the back and passing so many people. It motivated me to run even faster! I grabbed a water cup around mile 2 and inhaled some up my nose as I tried to drink it. I didn’t bring a water bottle like I usually do and I regretted it almost immediately. I would have liked to have easier access to water when I needed it- I was really thirsty!
After the water stop I hit a turn around point and headed back in the direction I had just come from. Right before mile 3 I ran past Kevin and Danielle. They had decided to run together and it was so awesome to see them. We excitedly took pictures of each other before continuing on our way 🙂
- Mile 3 – 7:52
I hit the halfway point around 24:10, and I remember thinking that I kind of wish this race was a 5K because I would have crushed my current PR (23:07). I was holding back a bit for the second half of the race and I knew I could have run faster! But I continued on my way, starting to feel the effects of running so fast (for me) and being thirsty. I couldn’t wait for the next water stop! I should also mention that I didn’t have a chance to use the bathroom before starting to run since we were late, so I had to pee the entire time. If you have given birth, you know that afterwards there are sometimes ‘leakages’ that happen that you cannot control. Well I was leaking all over the place. Sorry for the TMI, but it’s true. Somehow, despite this I was able to hang on to another sub-8 minute mile.
- Mile 4 – 7:58
I started hurting in the 5th mile. It was getting harder to maintain my pace and I was ready to be done. There was finally another water stop, so I took two cups and stopped to walk for a few seconds to make sure I actually drank them instead of inhaling them up my nose. The water made me feel a lot better and I was able to pick it up again… until a terrible hill that destroyed me for a minute or so. My mile 5 split was a lot slower than the previous ones but I was able to recover afterwards and picked up the speed again for mile 6. Right as I hit the 6 mile mark and headed toward the finish line I saw Danielle and Kevin on another out-and-back, which made me smile and forget about how I was hurting. I looked down at my watch and saw that there was a possibility that I could PR if I kept the pace I was running, so I booked it to the finish and claimed myself a brand new Personal Record!
- Mile 5- 8:27
- Mile 6- 7:47
- Mile 6.2 -1:46
- Finish Time – 49:35 (7:59 average pace)
I could not believe that I PRed at this race, a year after my last 10K PR, the Veterans Day 10K that we ran on our wedding weekend. Over that year I was pregnant and had a baby, and I felt like I had lost a lot of my fitness. But somehow I was able to take 24 seconds off that time at only 9.5 weeks post partum. I was so proud of myself!
I immediately got my little box of food and my Warrior Chip coin and found a place to sit and stretch. When I got up to go to the bathroom I realized (TMI alert) that I was STILL leaking pee a little bit and didn’t even realize that I was. Ugh. Thank God for black capris! Note to self: do more kegels. Just keeping it real over here! 🙂
After actually peeing in a toilet rather than all over myself I went to the finish line to wait for Kevin and Danielle. I also found Cassandra there, who had finished in 53 minutes!
They came through at 1 hour and 14 minutes- not bad for Danielle’s first 10K and Kevin’s first 10K with a stroller! That is hard work!
After the race we had some fun in the finisher’s area.
Kevin and Cassandra both wore Steelers gear and didn’t even plan it that way! Crazy!
We even got to go on the winners’ podium! The first place male was nice enough to let us borrow his prize for our picture, which was a frozen turkey. Good thing I didn’t win. I’ll pass on the turkey!
It was so nice to be racing as a family. I am excited to run many more races together in the future. Maybe someday little Kevin will be running alongside us rather than sleeping in the stroller the whole time!