Race Report: Summer Sole 10k

Running has been an adventure this year. That's for sure! And, really, a lot of fun.

We're celebrating Baby S' FIRST Birthday this Saturday! It's insane... where did the past year go?! Getting to know this little man and now seeing his toddler antics come out is really a lot of fun. He only stops moving when he's sleeping and enjoys ninja kicking/punching people and random things around the house. Any chance that having three older brothers influenced his behavior?

As far as running goes, my body usually takes that first year postpartum to get back to where I left off in the last season - before the pregnancy. If that makes sense.

The goal over this past year and running season has been to gradually build mileage, to continue strength training and to not get injured (like after baby #3!). Praise Jesus, I have been more physically "sound" this running season than ever before! Definitely more sleep deprived, definitely more stressed (aren't we all? thanks, covid), definitely more on my plate than ever before yet the year has gone surprisingly well. 

After coming back to running after having our second boy in 2015, I had written on the blog that my goal was to get comfortable with the 7:00-7:30/mile pace. Over the years, that goal became much more attainable! Then training for the marathons in 2019, my tempo pace goal was usually 7:05 or so. Low 7's. It didn't necessarily translate to the marathon that year (ended up 7:18 avg) but my body did adapt and become more efficient at low 7's. 

Isn't it amazing to see what our bodies are capable of? 

After our fourth boy, I have been whittling away at that "comfortable" pace zone and didn't hurry back into the long long distances, technically. No marathons at 7 months postpartum this time! I have enjoyed shorter races, track workouts and building the confidence to run in the 6/min miles for long stretches. It's not so bad... I would dare to say it's getting to be fun.

Don't they say that running is 90% mental and the other 10% is in your head? ;)

Anyways. Running Goal for the rest of this year: Race smart, run the pace confidently and stay physically sound (and mentally, emotionally sound is nice, too).

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Time for a quick 10k race report! 

I wasn't feeling great when I hit the hay on Friday night before the race. Woke up with a sick, unsettled stomach that morning - nerves, maybe? I wasn't sure but figured I would go for it. I hitched a ride with a friend and her mom; company always makes things more fun! 

Long story short, my stomach never did settle. It just hurt. No matter what I ate or drank; no matter how many times I was in the porta-potty line. Gross, I know.

The paces pretty much say it all! Ouch. Started out at the pace I wanted and couldn't maintain it at all. One thing I did maintain was not throwing up. I am proud of that! I was hoping to practice the 6:30 pace I wanted to run for Fargo's Half Marathon, though that plan changed quickly.

Hung on, barely, and finished! 
 

 First female and a PR! But not the race that I was going for. I was happy with the day though because it was 100% the best I could run, given how I was feeling! I really hoped that this wasn't a preview of how pacing would go for the Fargo Half - maybe I wasn't fit enough to keep a 6:30-something going? If I couldn't keep at it for a 10k, a half wasn't really going to work out. 
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Plot twist:
After hitching a ride home, I ended up running a fever and having some major mastitis set in. I forgot how painful that is! I spent the rest of Saturday and all of Sunday laying down, trying to rest. Tylenol kept the fever down and lots of hydration, rest and nursing baby helped the mastitis to chill out. 

The mastitis did resolve in a couple days and was thankfully WAY less painful by Monday. But whew. That is so not fun! (I was so close to going to the ER over the weekend!) As for what my body was fighting on Friday night leading up to that, I don't even know. But I am thankful I was able to push through the race. I know it's the prayers that helped to heal me without getting antibiotics and even lunch brought to us from our church family that helped me to recover - it takes a village and I'm so thankful for ours! 

So, race report in a nutshell, sometimes you do your best to train and race day just doesn't work out. That's part of life and part of running - it's not a failure, just a bump in the road of long-term improvements. 

I try to learn something from each race and with this one I'm not quite sure what it is. Maybe: 

"Beware of a teething nursling. You CAN get mastitis at 11 months postpartum"
or 
"Take off sweaty sports bra ASAP after races or workouts while lactating"

Good enough - those are the lessons learned this time! Mastitis aside, this was still a great experience overall. 

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