When I signed up for my 100 miler in January, my husband and I joked that this was either going to be the year that I went for a 100 miler, or we had kiddo #3. Back in April, it looked like it was going to be the latter since I ended up pregnant right before the start of my spring race season. I was so excited, because as much as I love running, I love babies a thousand times more and I was ready to sign on to get fat and pregnant.
I knew right off that if things were going to go to plan, the 100 miler was definitely off the table, but I thought maybe I would be able to finish with a 50K at the end of my first trimester depending on what my doctor thought. When I made my first OB appt, they told me that I could do what I’ve been doing. I asked what if I was doing ultras? The nurse went and checked with the doctor and said so long as I hiked my events, took breaks, hydrated, and didn’t go over a certain height in elevation (way higher than anything in my area), and bailed at 50K (I was originally supposed to try for 50-62 miles), I was clear to do my events. It was early in my first trimester and I wasn’t even due for my first appointment until almost a month later.
I had back to back races scheduled, both timed events and so I did exactly as I was told and did a very relaxed 21 miles at The Vertical Playground and PR’d my slowest 50K at The 24 Hour Adventure Trail Run. Having two healthy pregnancies before and looking pretty damn pregnant almost immediately, made us overly confident that it was safe to let people know why I was only hiking events.
The week before my first appointment, things went pear shaped fast and I ended up on bed rest. I immediately pulled out of the rest of my races and spent a frenzied week shuttling back between appointments and my couch and I lost the pregnancy early in May. My OB cleared me immediately to run and thought it would be good to get right back into training. Yeah…that wasn’t the best idea, between ugly crying and feeling like I was going to drop my damn uterus on the ground, I realized that running immediately was NOT going to happen. So I threw myself into a million projects around the house and did everything I could to not break down in public as much as a could (I failed a few times…ok I failed a lot).
I had contacted the race director for my 100 miler to see if I could still run it and when he found out the situation (damn ugly crying), he asked if I wanted back in the Dam Yeti 50K and I gratefully accepted (seriously, the Yeti Trail Runners and Jason Green are just amazing). I REALLY needed a distraction even though I couldn’t seem to run more than 5 miles at a clip.
Dam Yeti was amazing, I ran it with some fantastic people and was surrounded by so much positivity, but at about mile 20 the ugly crying kicked back in when I realized I wasn’t supposed to be there. I was supposed to be fat and pregnant dammit, and now I was just fat and slow. When a well meaning race volunteer couldn’t find my name on the clipboard at an aid station, I lost my stuffing and started to wail that “I wasn’t supposed to be there”.
The shitty thing about miscarriages is that you almost start to feel like it’s your fault for telling anyone to begin with and then you feel awkward for making other people feel awkward and then you just end up wanting to curl in a ball and cry again. I felt like a hot mess. I blamed myself for hiking while pregnant, I blamed myself for being old (both not the causes per my OB), I blamed myself for disappointing my kids in not getting a new sibling. I definitely didn’t want to do 100 miler, I wanted a squashy baby. I PR’d the 50K but it felt kind of like a hollow victory.
I can do hard shit though and that’s been my mantra as of late. I’ve had a lot of angry, crying in the woods, flipping off cars that cut me off, and singing along to inappropriate lyrics. I hired a coach, I started doing 50 pushups a day, I started blogging again, and my running clothes started to fit again. Getting this belt buckle wasn’t my first choice, but hell if I’m not going to give it a damn good try. (Pregnancy oddly makes me more sweary and that hasn’t worn off yet).
[…] few months back, I blogged about my struggles of running after suffering a pregnancy loss. I was using Yeti 100 as a way to cope and was getting back into the grove of training again. Then, […]
I’m so happy to have found your post. Although, I did not have a 100 miler goal race (one day I will). I signed up for my first 50k at the beginning of last summer even though I knew my husband and I wanted to start trying have baby number 2. I started training and a third the way in I found out I was pregnant that was this past August. I continued running and told the race director and dropped down to the 25k and kept running. Although something didn’t feel right about this pregnancy, and at 8 weeks, one week before my OB appointment, I lost the baby. My doctor told me to do the same thing, to jump back into training. So that’s what I did, 3 days after miscarrying I went for an 18 mile run with my friends. It was emotional and tough, but it also felt amazing. I also had to call the race director back up and ask to be moved back to the 50k, so incredibly awkward.
I only had 5 weeks to get ready, but last weekend when I took off from the starting line, I knew it was exactly where I needed to be.
The bodies women have been given are amazing! We are so strong and capable of amazing things, I am constantly astounded by the accomplishments of my fellow mama runners. Since my race two weeks ago, I have another 50k and a 50 miler (Dam Yeti 50, which how I found your post) on the calendar, and although I am hoping to be fat and pregnant and sitting on my couch, I am not going to put my life on pause while waiting for it to happen.
This is a long message, but what I want you to know is that I am proud of you and you are not alone. Way to kick a**, mama!!!
I don’t really blog anymore, so if you’d like to reach out my IG is @katierobersonburke
Thank you so much for your kind words. Congrats on the 50K, that is an amazing feat to accomplish after going something so emotional. I felt the same way with my pregnancy the last time if I had to be totally honest with myself. Hopefully, you’ll be fat and pregnant on the couch, but if not, the Yeti 50 is an amazing experience with some wonderful people. ((hugs))