It was such a great weekend away in Whidbey Island. It was nice to have a little race-cation. Even though it was just the weekend and I felt we could have spent a week over there, it was nice to get out of town. I can say that when it’s a race weekend and you bring along a toddler, you’re go-go-go the entire time. It was relaxing without being relaxing if that makes any sense.
R enjoyed herself and I was grateful we took time to stop at the Tulip Festival in the Skagit Valley on the way back from the race. We also stayed a night in Auburn, WA with my husbands relatives. This was much appreciated. R was ready to be back home though and in her crib. Neither her nor I slept much over the weekend. I never sleep in unfamiliar places or hotels.
I recommend this race. It is so beautiful and scenic, running along the coast for parts of the race and along old farm/country roads. The course went by so fast. Before we knew it we were crossing the finish line. The only catch is that this course is quite challenging. There are many rolling hills and other hills that are brutal. I don’t know how to describe the hills to be honest. Some weren’t bad, they were definitely hills, while the hill that kept growing from mile 6-8 was a killer, but the gentle downhills were nice. I think I would have appreciated them more if I wasn’t 20 weeks pregnant and feeling lots of pressure. It hurt going downhill and I would have much rather kept going up hill to be honest, even though that left me gasping for air as baby boy took all the oxygen.
It was a 7:30 a.m. start time, which gave us a 5 a.m. wake up call. We were bused out to the starting line, and driving part of the course and seeing all the hills we would be climbing wasn’t the best way to start the morning. We started in Cornet Bay on the water, and watched a great sunrise. It was already so pretty and a bit chilly. For the first few miles my hands were numb.
The first hill was literally right at the start. As we lined up we were facing a hill, with maybe a 200 meter warm up before we hit it. So yes, literally right at the start!! Talk about an early wake up call. Good thing we did about a mile warm up before the race. I had no real expectations of the race, but wanted to keep it between 1:35-1:40. I think if it wasn’t so hilly, I could have ran it a little faster. And if I wasn’t pregnant, obviously even faster.
It was a pretty unorganized race though, and the mile markers were off the first few miles, with mile 2 being our first mile marker, and then mile 1. It was a little confusing. I registered the course way long too. Even with all the hills I felt great and the course flew by. Before we knew it we were already at mile 10.
[the hill that kept on giving]
The worst climb was between mile 6-8. This hill was steeper and just kept going every time we rounded a corner. Then another climb from mile 9-10, and the last big climb at mile 11. Which by the way this is just mean to put a hill at mile 11, 2 miles before the finish. It’s bark was bigger than it’s bite though. I was in second place until right before mile 6. I ended up passing the second place lady back as we climbed up the major climb. She caught me again before mile 10 and we ran with her a little bit.
I couldn’t believe I was in going to podium finish 20 weeks pregnant. Wasn’t expecting this at all. I knew that first two women got prize money and the third place a free entry into next years race. So it gave me a little more gumption to want to get second, but I also knew I was pregnant and didn’t want to risk anything. There were a few times during the race I would tell my husband “don’t say anything,” “shut up,” and “don’t talk about it” every time he would utter words like “Are you kidding me?!” or “We have to go up that?!” upon facing a hill. I am that determined serious runner that doesn’t like psyching myself out. I don’t look at the top of the hill, rather run tall and keep my eyes a few feet ahead of me.
I pulled ahead of second place again on an uphill (see they are my friend), and new that I would have to hold her off, because I heard it was a downhill finish. I stayed ahead until right after mile 12. The downhill finish killed me and I don’t think she wanted to lose to a pregnant lady. It hurt too much to go downhill. Too much pressure. I don’t remember feeling all this pressure with R so early.
[nice downhill finish]
We saw the finish line and I tried to catch her, but ultimately didn’t and I didn’t want too push it too much with baby boy. We finished less than 10 seconds behind her in 1:36:44. Not a PR, but I felt a great time all things considered. Marc and I were casually talking nearly the entire race, except for of course on the uphills.
I was excited to see baby girl and scored a cool trophy. One of my favorite trophies and races.Whidbey Island Half Marathon Recap #fitpregnancy #motherrunner via @wholesomelybry Click To Tweet
Whidbey Island is a beautiful place and I recommend visiting and maybe even trying the race course for yourself. After we got my award and checked out of the hotel, we stopped at the Deception Pass to take some photos on our way off the island. Beautiful bridge, but a little nerve wracking walking across with an infant.
It’s a great time of year for a race, with cooler temperatures. Also, it’s right in the middle of the Tulip Festival, which is stunning. It was well worth the long lines of traffic to see the fields of tulips in may different colors and varieties.
Race #3 complete for this pregnancy, with the second half marathon of the pregnancy. I love that distance!!
Until Next Time Be Whole and Be Fit