Almost a week late, but here's my race report from last Saturday's half.
Leading up to the half I had all sort of s**t preventing my training: my bad attitude in March, a sick dog, a job search process taking most of March and April, the weather, my MIL retired necessitating us traveling almost 1900 miles by car in one 5 day period, a sprained ankle, a day in bed, and then my dh out of town for almost a week.
Longest race ever prior to that: 10 km last fall. Longest run of my training season was just over 5 miles. oy.
Race plan: (Run three miles, walk a mile) x 3 and then hold on for good measure.
Race day: got up, met the neighbors at 4:50 for our ride to the bus.
Reality: wake up late, no coffee (eek!), have a bowl of oatmeal and two bananas for breakfast. Cycle day 2 (which rather joyously means very heavy flow day, sorry TMI), decide in favor of collecting extra tampon instead of drinking some coffee. Turns out this was a really good choice.
Ride to the race start as the race is a linear race -- the highway runs right alongside Lake Superior, we went out about 5 miles from the edge of town and then you run downtown. Luckily I'm with my neighbor and she tells me the best way to beat the bathroom line. We do so and I'm instantly thanking all womanly gods that I've managed to bring along extra supplies.
Stand around for about 20 minutes. It's warm by Duluth standards, but not unbearably so and there are threatening rain clouds. I don't want a downpour but a light mist would be ok with me. Hear the gun go off, only after I've said hello to about 40 people I know and waved to many more. People around me start moving and 5 minutes after the official start I actually start running.
I'm off to a good pace, but damn that first mile is hard. I begin to internally swear: what if I can't do it? I've spent all this money and this spring has been so hard. Mentally decide to stick with the race plan. At 3 miles I walk for about half a mile. Feel good enough to run again and am mentally preparing myself. I don't want to walk right through my neighborhood so I need to run until about 7.5 miles, when I'm well past my family. At mile 6 I run into my student who was working for me last semester. She's so nice, I say hello and pass her (she's walking). Turns out she catches me and then we run together, not saying much the rest of the way. I don't know her super well, she's 15 years younger than me and she hasn't gotten over the I'm her prof and not her friend thing. But I'm SO thankful she's there.
We run the rest of the race together, walking only during the water stops (I can't drink and run without choking). At mile 12 I'm super emotional and crying. Only I can't tell Jackie why -- plus her family is there right on the race course. But I can tell you all: I had signed up for this race (Grandma's Half Marathon) and had *just* found out I was in 8 years ago when I found out I was pregnant with my first baby. Then I figured I would run a half marathon, nail the phd, and then get a job and have a baby. Instead I did it in almost the reverse order: baby #2, crappy job (s), phd, half marathon. But the one constant was you all.
And now I'm running and almost done with my half. Yay! How much have we collectively been through in 6 years. I'm crying thinking about PattiAnn's Griffin and about how important he was in all of our lives. Such a little miracle.
I come around the corner with half a mile to go and there are my babies and my dh. Neither one is wearing a jacket and they both are saying to me, "Go mom! ... did you pack me a snack? did you pack me a jacket?" It was worth a laugh also a reminder of what an important role I play in this household. Jackie and I try really hard to push it at the end of the race, with finish, we high five and then we loose each other in the crowd.
I find my family, begin walking home because of course my dh has ridden his bike down to the finish and I need to find my own way home
. My kids want to come with me and not him, but have their bikes so I make them ride home. I tell them I'm walking all the way home (~5 miles) and that I should be there by bedtime. Reality: I walk about a mile of it, then the bus comes along I hop on and I'm home before then. I've done it: a half marathon. Not sure what's next. Now that I've got all the stuff on my list done. Maybe I'll run a half and train for it next time. Good news: since I walked to the bus I'm not stiff and the only soreness I have is minor. I walked 4 miles with a friend monday night and I'm good.