4.29.2016

Race Recap: Half Marathon #10

In my six years of running races, I have never been so under trained for a race. That said, I also feel like given the circumstances, the time I had available to run, and my energy levels between work and taking care of my baby, I have no regrets at all and feel like I did the best that I could with what I had.

The farthest long run I did prior to the half on Sunday was 9 miles. Nothing to scoff at, for sure, but still not as much as I had wanted. People always want to know why I pay money to run when I can run for free, but the truth is that having a race on my calendar is motivation. I do enjoy running, but I’m not the kind of person who heads out for 6 or 8 miles on a weekday just for the heck of it.

I knew getting back to running after having a baby would be difficult, but I really enjoy running with the jogging stroller, and I’ve been doing good getting out for 3-4 miles at a time. What I did not anticipate (but should have expected) was just how hard it would be to carve out time for hour plus long runs, especially while breastfeeding. I finally figured out that my best option was to do my long runs on Friday nights after putting R to bed. That way I could sleep in (ish) on Saturday and not have to worry about taking up a precious chunk of time I could be spending hanging out with my girl.

When I initially wrote about signing up for this half marathon, I said my time goal was 2 hours or under (as a reference, before getting pregnant I was training for under 1:50). After one 9-mile run and the rest 6 or under, I pushed that back as a best-case goal. I really would just be happy to finish. But of course I’m too competitive with myself to not set some kind of time goal in the back of my mind. My A goal was of course 2 hours or under. My B goal was to beat my very first half time of 2:08. My C goal was under 2:15.
My dad was running the half marathon too, his second. I wanted to run with him for the first part of the race and then just see how I felt. We ended up running together until Mile 4. At Mile 6 I had to stop and use a Port-o-Potty, because apparently I just can’t hold it at all anymore. Labor problems.

After I left my dad at Mile 4, I was feeling good until Mile 8. That’s when my lack of training came back to bite me. I saw the sign for 8 and thought it said 9, and then when it said 8 I was like, oh snap. Miles 7-10 were a struggle because those three miles were straight into the wind. I got in a stride around Mile 11 and found a girl in a hot pink tank top who looked about my age. I stayed right next to her for a half mile or so before pulling away, and I kept finding girls to pass as I moved toward the finish.

I love the end of this race. The race is a memorial for the 168 people who died in the Oklahoma City bombing, and every year they hang giant banners on the light posts, each with the name of a victim. It definitely makes you feel thankful to be out there and have the opportunity to run.

On a fun side note, during the entire last mile I may or may not have slowly pooped my pants.

MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE.

I don’t want to talk about it.
Jordan and my mom met me at the finish with R, who may have definitely pooped her pants. While we had striped her down and were changing her in the seat of a golf car, Jordan looks at me and says, “Looks like I’m the only Bumgarner who didn’t poop his pants today."

I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT.

Somehow we found my dad in the crowd, and we all made our way back to the cars. I may or may not have sat on one of R’s diapers for the ride home.

May or may not have.

My final finishing time was 2:07, which I am super proud of!* My dad finished in 2:19! (That's him at the finish below!)
It’s Friday, which means my knees and quads feel almost back to normal again, thank goodness. I can tell I wasn't trained enough because I hurt worse and for longer than usual. BUT I have a fancy medal and finisher’s t-shirt (!!!) that I’ve been wearing all week (the shirt, not the medal). The Oklahoma City race is one of my favorites, and I’m so thankful to have gotten the opportunity to run it again this year! 

Half #10 is complete, and I’m in double digits now, people.

This recap wouldn't be complete without a shoutout to our ever loyal cheering squad plus one cute baby this year. 

*Fun fact for runner nerds: In 2012 I ran this race (my 3rd half) and finished in 2:07:20, so this race was a course record by 15 seconds!

4.27.2016

National Infertility Awareness Week


Today I want to talk about National Infertility Awareness Week, which is happening this week, April 24-30. 

If you are new to this blog, you may not know that Jordan and I visited with an infertility doctor and went through a round of ovulation medicine before getting pregnant with R. Not one single day goes by that I don’t thank God for the gift of our precious baby and the fact that we were able to get pregnant so quickly once on the medication.

There are so many couples who desperately want to have a baby and have been struggling with infertility for months and even years. I will not claim to know the pain that comes from that kind of waiting, but I experienced just a taste of it myself, and my heart has remained sensitive toward the women who continue to pray for their miracle babies.

I wonder why God allowed me to have a healthy pregnancy when there are women around the world who would be wonderful mothers and haven’t been able to conceive yet. I pray for them by name when I hear of them. I pray for healing. I pray for peace and comfort. I pray for joy in the waiting.

One thing you may not know about infertility treatments is that currently only 15 out of 50 US states provide insurance coverage. We paid out of pocket to consult with the infertility doctor, get blood tests and ultrasounds, and buy the ovulation medicine. These things are not cheap, and that’s not even close to what the people who go through rounds of treatment for months and years have to pay out of pocket.

My insurance denied anything marked “I” because infertility treatments are considered an “elective” procedure, akin to a nose job or something. It’s hurtful and insulting, not to mention incredibly stressful. I actually had to fight my insurance on two different bills each over $400 for blood work that was taken after I got pregnant. The office mistakenly marked it with the wrong code, and my insurance denied it because it was marked infertility.

Babies are everywhere you go, on practically everything you see. Every time you see a pregnancy announcement, you feel equal parts happiness for your friend but also jealousy and even bitterness that you are still waiting.

I hate that anyone has to feel like that.

National Infertility Awareness Week is timed to occur just before Mother’s Day. It’s a reminder that before the day when we celebrate moms and all they do, we should to remember those who aren’t moms yet but so desperately want to be.

I want them to know that they aren’t forgotten and they aren’t alone, and they are beautiful, wonderful women.

Being a mother doesn’t make you better; it doesn’t make you more important. What it should make you is thankful for the precious children you were given to raise. 

And it should make you more sensitive toward those who are still waiting for theirs.

*You can go here to find out more about NIAW. Use the hashtag #StartAsking on social media to learn more too!

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