Sunday, May 22, 2011

First Post-Baby Race Report

Six weeks ago, inspired by the weight watchers 5K challenge, I decided it was time to start training for my first post-baby race. The first few runs were tough. I was busting my lungs to squeak out an 11 minute mile and 2 miles was my longest distance. Each week I added a quarter mile and slowly increased my speed. I ran 4 days a week, doing a 5 mile long run every Saturday, and was diligent in my training. The runs started to get easier and my speed increased. When I started training, a 10 minute pace was my "sprint" at the end of a run. After 6 weeks, a 10 minute pace was the speed I ran to warm up. That is what I love about running. If you're consistent, it's amazing what you can train your body to do.

A week before the race I practiced doing a 5K on the treadmill running as hard as I could. I finished in 28:11 min. My race goal was originally to finish under 30 minutes but after that run, 28:11 became my new standard to beat.

For 7 days before the race we had cool, overcast weather, perfect for running. But I woke up on Saturday and the sun was shining brightly, bringing the temps up around 77 degrees with lots of humidity for my 11am race. I hate running in heat and humidity! (for a girl who's done most of her running during Minnesota and New Hampshire Winter and Spring, 77 is definitely hot!) I started having some anxiety about my race but Taber calmly reassured me that I was going to do great and kept saying, "PMA, positive mental attitude, you can do this!"

We got to the race, I picked up my packet, stretched and warmed up. Taber and the kids followed me to the starting line and got into their cheering positions, cowbells ready.

The gun went off, I turned on my carefully crafted running playlist and started running to my music. The first mile felt good and I finished it in 8:45 min, but the humidity was a challenge and I quickly started losing steam. It felt like I was breathing in hot water and it was hard to push myself when I came to a little hill. By mile 2 my "PMA" was gone and I was considering a walking break. I ran by a water station and dumped two cups of water on my head and down my back. That helped and I dismissed the walking idea and kept running. The final stretch had us going up a big hill and onto the high school track where we ran 3/4 of a lap to the finish line. The hill kicked my butt and by the time I got into the stadium Taber said I looked pretty beat. But then I heard them say my name on the intercom and I saw Taber and the kids waiting at the finish line and I decided I had enough in me to kick it into the finish.

Taber snapped this awesome action shot of me pushing it hard on the final stretch.

My finish time was 27:26 min, an 8:51 pace. Mission accomplished! I beat my treadmill time and set a PPPR (post pregnancy personal record) Cam is 4 months and 1 week old. When the girls were that age I definitely wasn't running any 5Ks, so I was happy. Taber and the kids came and showered me with hugs and praise. It felt good to be back. Maybe not back to the shape or speed I was at last year, but back in the game : )

At the finish line with the kiddos, who also happen to be my biggest motivation and the best cheerleading squad ever! (Taber's not in the picture since he was behind the camera but he is a huge part of that motivation and support and I couldn't do any of it without him)

The frosting on the cake was the lunch they had for the runners with food catered from Carraba's, T-bone's, The Crab King, and Panera. They had amazing tomato basil and minestrone soups, fabulous lasagna, chicken nuggets and fries, bagels and cream cheese, bananas, grapes, yogurt and drinks. best finish line food I've ever had, and this was just a for a 12K/5K event! They let everyone get the food, so we fed our entire family on a $15 race registration fee! Can't beat that! : )


  1. You are seriously so inspiring to me. 4 months after having a baby, wow! I could never do that nor would I try. Way to go Bec! Proud of you girl!

  2. I am so impressed! I ran yesterday for 2.5 miles without stopping and I was so tired. It was an 11 minute mile so after reading your post, I feel hope that in six weeks I can be like you! Great job on the race.

  3. UN-BE-LIEV-ABLE!! 4 months later, geez!! That is so fast. You must have felt on top of the WORLD (you better have!). Great, great job!!

  4. I think the most impressive part is that you beat your PR from a week before with heat and humidity on top of it. Great job.

    That is some seriously awesome post-race food, too. Wow.

  5. Becca, I am so proud of you! This reflects months and months of post-baby hard work and discipline on your part. I can certainly appreciate how hard it must be for you to push yourself to work out consistently, when you must already be exhausted from caring for three children, especially a newborn. The payoff is that you look GORGEOUS and I can only imagine that you feel like a million bucks. Good work sweet friend!

  6. Way to go girl! I can't believe Camden is only 4 months and you are already out there running... and super fast by the way... at least to me. Keep up the good work. The food after the race looked awesome. I'd totally sign up for a 5k if they fed me like that afterward. My favorite picture is of Brinley with her cowbell and glasses on. She looks so cute all ready to cheer you on.

  7. Um, hi, that is an AWESOME time for 4 months post-baby!! I wish that I got fed like that after my race.

  8. Holy CRAP! That is the cheepest/coolest race EVER! Congrats on your AMAZING time. I trained all year after I had Lily and NEVER hit that time. Also, way to be consistent! That's often the hardest part. You look amazing dude!

    P.S. I totally thought Taber accused you of having PMS when you were freaking out... definitely had to re-read that :)

  9. Rock on Bec! That's an awesome time and the consistent training is very, very impressive! I had a definite laugh attack when the image of you running past the waterstop dumping cup after cup of water on your head and back brought me back to the laugh attack I had watching you do it at Grandma's! Good times! Way to go! (my first 5k in a long time is tomorrow night in downtown Chicago... I'm going for my own PVPR - Post vacation personal record!)