First Postpartum Race: UWL Turkey Trot 5K

Well, it only took almost 9 months but I FINNALY get to post my first race recap after having a baby! This was actually my first 5K race “take two.” Remember way back in August when I told you my girlfriends and I decided to train and run a 5K race together? Well, this is what motivated me to start running again. I hadn’t finished my training by the time the race rolled around but by golly I was going to run with my friends. They all assured me we would stick together and that they weren’t that fast so I had nothing to fear. Well, the day of race dawned COLD and POURING rain. Even though I thought we were crazy to go out in the weather I still wanted to run this race. We gathered at the race site only to find out,  just minutes before the start that they decided to cancel it! I have to admit I was a little bummed….but not really!

I had my sites set on this Turkey Trot as my next “first race. “I had run this race in the past and I knew it was a fun one. There were a few things that I needed to take into consideration now that I am a mom.

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First of all, sleep. Hunter actually went to bed last night pretty easily and at a fairly decent time. I on the other hand was stupid and stayed up late surfing the internet, hanging out with Brian, and reading! Hunter got up bright and early at 5:30am! I changed him and nursed him and some how convinced him to go back to sleep. I unfortunately did NOT go back to sleep. I only had about an hour before I wanted to try and get up and start getting ready so I decided to just stay awake in bed. I was hoping Hunter would keep sleeping so I could ready sans baby.

Another thing I had to take into consideration, and also one of the reasons why I found running when Hunter was younger challenging was breastfeeding. I wasn’t too concerned about Hunter being hungry while I was gone now that he nurses less frequently since starting solids but I was more concerned about myself being comfortable. As I got ready I debated if I should pump. I was afraid that he might wake up too close to the time that I would have to leave and then I wouldn’t have time to nurse him. So I pumped and prayed he didn’t wake up while I was doing it. I was able to get enough milk for a full bottle and I sure am glad I pumped because he didn’t wake up until almost 8:30am, right when I had to leave! Other than that I knew he would be safe and happy hanging out with grandma while I was gone!

One of the best parts of this race was that it was within walking distance of my house! The perfect distance for a nice warm up. I had honestly debated signing up for this race because I figured I didn’t need to pay money to stay motivated I was pretty sure I would still run. But as I walked to the race, heard the music blaring to pump people up and saw all the participants walking towards the start I was glad I signed up just to experience the race day excitement. This is a pretty popular race with between 1500 and 2000 participants. People dress up (I saw lots of Turkey hats!), the University’s marching band plays, their mascot is running around and there is a lot of excitement in the air!

I actually got to the race site about 15 minutes before the start. I walked around a little bit to see if I could find my friend Nicole and her son but I never found them! The weather this morning was beautiful! It was cold but not freezing and once the sun got a little higher in the sky it really warmed things up. I can remember doing this race in past years and it was snowing!  This race is a prediction run which means when you register you try to guess what your time will be and there are prizes for those who come closest. It also means you can’t wear a watch. This was a good challenge for me because up until today I was using my Garmin to do run/walk intervals. I really wanted to run the whole race and without my watch telling me when to walk I had no excuse not to. I wasn’t really sure how the run was going to go. I had some pretty good training runs last week which consisted of two 20 minute run intervals with a 5 minute walk in between but I had yet to run 30 minutes straight. I actually hadn’t run at all this week because of a bad cold and a change in my schedule which had me working on a day I would normally run. When the gun went off  I just went for it figuring the enthusiasm of the crowd would carry me that last mile.

Because there are so many people in this race and the course is somewhat narrow because some of it takes place on one of our local bike trails you are always running with the crowd. It is also pretty cool to see a sea of runners headed through the Marsh (where the trail leads) while you are farther back on the course. The BEST part of this race is the finish. A few years back they redid the stadium and football field at the University and because of this they rerouted the finish line so that you end on the field. I was so excited about the race that I even put together a new play list. My final motivational song “Don’t Stop Believe’n” (Glee version) came on just as I was nearing the entrance to stadium. I pushed it all the way to the end with a big smile on my face!

Normally I would have hung around the race finish snacking, finding out my time and chatting with people I know but I wanted to get home to this guy

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He was so proud of his momma!

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I’m so glad I got to run in this race! My finishing times were 32:02 gun time, 30:51 chip time. I looked up some past results and I had pretty similar times to this year’s. Thanks to my mother-in-law and her friend for watching Hunter  (Brian was out hunting today).  I would really love to run the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot on Thursday BUT it’s a 5 miler AND I’m not sure if I can get someone to watch Hunter. Not sure if I’m up for future races this Winter but at least I got back in the game and I look forward to maintaining my running and looking ahead to more races as a momma!

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