13.1 miles at 13 weeks 1 day pregnant? If that isn’t an indication, I don’t know what’s! A fast backstory earlier than entering into the race particulars: after years of infertility, I lastly discovered myself studying a optimistic being pregnant take a look at on November 27, 2021 (extra particulars on that journey on my private weblog, jacquisjourney.com). Being a lifelong runner/athlete, I knew I wished to keep up an energetic and wholesome being pregnant so did some analysis by books, OBGYNs, and fellow runner mamas. My tips for working (any understanding, actually) have been “maintain it straightforward sufficient in order that you would nonetheless have a dialog.”
I made a decision at 8 weeks pregnant on Christmas Day that I’d run the quantity of weeks I’m in a future every week, at a straightforward tempo so long as my infants allowed it (oh yeah, I’m pregnant with twins AND 35 years outdated, so am thought of “excessive danger”). The F^3 Half Marathon simply occurred to fall throughout my thirteenth week of being pregnant, so I HAD to enroll. I’ve raced it 3 or 4 instances and it’s been fairly aggressive, so I promised my husband and my mother that I wouldn’t let my competitiveness get one of the best of me (although, full disclosure, it was REALLY exhausting!!).
The F^3 Half Marathon at Soldier Subject kicks off the Chicago race scene every year. Being in January, it’s a on condition that there can be snow on the bottom and sure chilly temperatures, however this yr was trying to be one of many coldest but. Luckily, the solar was out and the 13 levels felt nearer to twenty firstly of the race. The race begins by principally doing a lap round Soldier Subject, so I used to be barely nervous of potential slips and falls with the congestion in the beginning of the race, however there was SO a lot salt (no snow or slush) all around the sidewalks that I didn’t discover anybody slipping or falling. We then proceeded to the Lakefront Path, which once more was very effectively cleared. There have been spots with puddles, however only a few snow/slush areas, once more proving what an important job town of Chicago did in retaining the Path protected for runners and walkers.
The course is an out-and-back, which is at all times enjoyable when you already know others working within the race. Support stations had been plentiful (2.5miles, 4 miles, 6 miles, 8 miles, 10 miles and 11.5miles) and had water, Gatorade and bathrooms. This pregnant runner definitely appreciated that!! There are just a few sections of the trail that runners face oncoming runners, nevertheless it by no means felt overly crowded or congested. Regardless of the colder temperatures, the trail had a wide range of cheering stations together with totally loaded volunteer-run help stations. There was a slight headwind going out, and a crosswind turned headwind at instances coming again. Having a bunch of runners to run with was undoubtedly preferrred at sure factors to assist block the wind.
For my private race, I made it a objective to stick with a pack as typically as I might to keep up heat. I wore an extended sports activities bra and two heat sweat-wicking lengthy sleeve shirts, together with my “Twins’ 1st Race” t-shirt to commemorate the event. Having needed to drop out of this race a couple of years in the past as a consequence of a torn plantar, I knew I’d have alternatives to name it a day if my infants weren’t feeling it, however luckily every little thing went completely. I did cease twice to hit up porta potties, which I’m certain any pregnant runner can relate to (fact be advised, I regarded up the place every porta potty can be earlier than signing up for the race!). I wore extra layers than regular since I’d be working a slower tempo than regular and have discovered that lesson the exhausting manner. I felt completely dressed given the temperatures, and was further grateful I grabbed my sun shades on the final second. I form of made my run right into a recreation of “go catch the subsequent pack” in order that I might have somebody serving to to dam the wind for me. It saved me entertained and I had a couple of enjoyable conversations alongside the way in which. Whereas it was exhausting to NOT permit myself to get into race mode, it was equally as FUN to simply run and benefit from the second. Everybody ought to do a race only for enjoyable every so often!
Given the present pandemic state of affairs, runners had been unable to make the most of the United Membership area as in years previous, however the parking storage provided sufficient heat for runners to hang around till it was time to move to the beginning line. Race day packet pickup was provided on-site for a further $15 as runners additionally had a couple of totally different alternatives to choose up packets at metropolis and suburban areas earlier within the month. The race had totally different tempo teams which had been seemingly beloved by runners as every one I noticed had a large group intact! The race additionally had staggered begin instances this yr to supply extra social distancing (Wave 1 was underneath 2:00, Wave 2 was 2:00-2:30, and Wave 3 was 3:00+, with the 5k beginning 10 minutes after the final Half Marathon wave). As runners crossed the end line, they got a bag to place goodies in: bananas, water, Full Cookies, medals, and even foil blankets to assist maintain some heat. With the entire hoops the race administrators and volunteers needed to soar by to place this race on this yr, they deserve their very own medals! Should you’re searching for an important race to kickstart your season (or assist get you out of low season mode), ensure that to mark your calendar for the final Saturday of January in 2023!