Saturday, 28 May 2011

Race Recap

Wow, today has been a long one! But I don't want to forget any of the incredible details of the last twenty four or so hours, so blog, then bed.

Yesterday afternoon, I ran 2.0 miles, then packed up, strapped the babes in to their car seats, and drove three hours to my sister-in-laws. That drive almost cancelled the race for me, as the rain poured down in sheets against the windshield (you know you're tired when it takes thirty seconds to come up with 'windshield') and visibility was low, I seriously contemplated turning our little party around and heading home. Did I really want to run 21.1km in this weather? Was I really going to leave my three month old baby for three hours twice in one week? Seriously? I pushed on, and about twenty kilometers outside our destination, the clouds dried up, my brow unfurrowed, and my hands relaxed on the steering wheel. Mental obstacle number one, conquered.

Then came bedtime. After undressing I realized that the watch I wear while running, and the only watch I brought with me, didn't have an alarm. Suddenly mental obstacle number two was staring me in the face. Should I go ask my sister-in-law for an alarm clock? It would mean getting dressed and I loathed that idea and waking my sister-in-law up. So, I told myself "wake up at 6am,"  turned off the light, and went to bed. Three thirty rolled around, and Elias needed a little 'middle of the night snack'. and I woke up twice more just for fun, then I opened my eyes to "5:59 AM" blazing in my eyes in the bright indigo light. Perfect. Obstacle two, done. 

As I got myself ready, pumping another bottle for Eli (he eats A LOT and I didn't want him to feel even one hunger pang while I was running), eating a banana, protein shake, and peanut butter sandwich, I fed Darius breakfast, and got dressed. In my under armour gear (cold weather top and bottoms, and socks) and sporting a lululemon top over that to hopefully keep the wet away from my skin, I headed out to the car. And my keys are missing. Obstacle number three, twenty five minutes to the starting gun. After a search of the house turned up nothing I headed out to drive my brother-in-law's truck, and found my key was in the ignition of my car. And off I went. Obstacle three obliterated.

With my number pinned to my shirt, I stood, legs bouncing, at the start line with the other runners. Being a smaller race, we were in a clump, chatting until the gun blast sounded, and then the crowd quickly began to disperse. The route was out and back, climbing slowly up going out, and therefore slowly down coming back. My first 6.0 miles took 1:03:00, which surprised me, and made me very happy.  At the turn around point I was 1:10:00 into the race. I took a mental run through of my physical state and decided that I could pick up the pace. The return route was accompanied by a head wind and rain, a chilly combo, and so I was hoping to simply pull even with my first half time. I crossed the finish line in 2:16:50, a full three minutes faster on the return, a big surprise considering I took a few more walking breaks the second half. This was my slowest half marathon race - and ironically the one I proudest to have completed. The mental obstacles alone were rough, the headwind and rain were disheartening, both my running partners I signed up with backed out, for legitimate reasons, three days, and three hours before we were to leave, and I just had a baby three months ago! Seriously, today was a good, tiring but good, day. And this race was SOOOO well organized, I plan on making it an annual event.
Just a couple hours after crossing the finish line, the boys and I were back in the car, driving home. I've logged a lot of miles this weekend, both on foot and by car, and now its time to rest.

What race are you most proud of completing? What obstacles did you have to overcome to get there?

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