So, hmmm, what to say about the 1/2 marathon...
I did it...I 'm proud of myself...my quads hurt like crazy today...I want to run another!
Truly, it was an incredible experience. I know some of you are wondering how in the world running 13.1 miles can be "incredible"...all I can say is you have to try it!
The race was at 7 a.m yesterday morning. On Saturday I went to the gym and did 1.5 miles on the treadmill and 1/2 a mile on the elliptical, just to keep everything loose. My sister hosted an little pasta dinner the night before for a bunch of us who were running and mentally we were all excited and nervous and really looking forward to putting all of our weeks and weeks of training to the test.
Saturday night, the night before the race, was a little nutty with the girls and in retrospect I can laugh because it so aptly portrays life with children-- the VAST differences between how we hope our days will go and how they actually go.
Here is what I had planned in my head to happen, in an ideal world of course: I would lay all of my running clothes out, be well hydrated, have the house picked up, sit and relax and read a book, maybe even take a short bath and be in bed by like 9:30, all ready for a good 8 hours of sleep before I woke at 5:30 the next morning to get ready for the race.
Here is what actually happened: I took Ella to my sister's for dinner, then we met up with Scott at my father in-laws 60th birthday party. By the time I got the girls together and ready to head for home from the party it was shortly after 9:00 and Ella was SCREAMING. She continued to scream the ENTIRE.WAY.HOME. Ava thought she should join in on the 'i'm tired and feel like screaming action' so she threw a few screams in herself. By the time I arrived home at 9:20 I was ready to pull every hair out of my head and was feeling frustrated which I took out in a phone call to my husband (who was still at the party, with my blessing at first, but by now my regret) in which I related how frustrated I was that I was putting the girls to bed by myself when all I wanted to do was get ready for the race the next morning...I know it was maybe a little selfish of me...but parenting brings out the best, doesn't it...
Ella screamed and writhed while I changed her diaper and put her pj's on...all the way until I stuck a pacifier in her mouth and laid her in her bed. Then I washed Ava up, brushed her teeth, found her pj's, read her a book, and finally turned her light out at 9:45.
I found my race number in my bag on a very messy kitchen table, laid it out with my sneakers and water for the next morning...tripped over 1/2 a dozen toys to get upstairs...took a short bath and crawled into a bed, the entire foot of which was COVERED in clothing that needed to have been put away and turned the lights out at 10:30...Ava cried...Ella cried...Ava cried...fortunately I didn't have to get out of bed...I think maybe I fell asleep sometime after 11.
So...while my pre-race evening was not ideal, race day was. I have absolutely no complaints.
It was a beautiful morning- clear blue skies and warm but given that we started at 7 there was a lot of nice shade from the buildings in downtown Buffalo and from the trees along the rest of the route.
There were close to 2,500 1/2 marathoners, 900 full marathoners, and quite a few relay teams. There was a lot of enthusiastic energy and I feel like the adrenaline and the people carried me quite easily through the first six miles. By mile 7 I was really wishing I had peed before the race had started but due to the long lines opted to hope I would be o.k. without going. I won't recount the details...um hmmm...the side of a building...but I did finally pee and felt so much better for it!
Miles 9-12 were the hardest. I was tired...my legs were tired...there were a few hills...but my determination and weeks of training pushed me through...I kept telling myself that I could walk if I really, really wanted to, but that I would get to the finish line faster if I kept running...so I kept putting one foot in front of the other because I wanted it to be over sooner rather than later.
Mile 11 was the longest mile EVER!
And by mile 12 you have no choice but to give the remainder of what you have.
My final time was 2 hours and 3 minutes! Yay!
And I'm SO determined to run another and break 2 hours next time!
It was an incredible feeling to finish something I had worked so hard for. I had an ear to ear grin for hours afterwards...those endorphins had definitely kicked in.
Scott and the girls met me at the finish line, which was SUCH a gift...Doing this for yourself is one thing, but having your little girl say "Good job mommy" when you finish just melts your heart. I love doing things in my life that I hope are a positive influence on her...things that will give her the power to someday say, "I've seen my mom do X, so I know I can do X, Y or Z." Ya know? It was a really cool feeling.
Here is a picture of me and the girls...I'm the second one in from the left...and while we're onto the picture for a minute...can I just ask why in the world my boobs are the biggest of the group when 3 of the other girls are STILL nursing and I stopped 9 months ago!!! Ugh...those things drive me crazy...but that's another story!
And here is a running picture...I forget which mile....
So, in closing, if my sharing any of this has inspired an inkling in any of you to consider a 1/2 marathon, or even a 5k or 10k if you've never been a big runner...Do IT! Find a couple of friends to sign up with you for a specific race and get it on the calendar. I'll tell you, having that date on the calendar and knowing other people were doing the training with me (especially other moms who were juggling the same challenges) meant EVERYTHING to helping me be committed.
If you're in the Buffalo area I'm planning on running a 5K on June 18th in Williamsville, a 10K on the 4th of July in Lancaster, and am going to do another 1/2 marathon in October in Canada (near the Falls)...unless I can find one I'm interested in sooner than that...
Let me know if you want to join me!