Finding My Why (Again)

*Trigger Warning

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.

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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.

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Jason gives every finisher a hug at his races and I’m surprised I didn’t cry again.

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).

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