Sunday, December 9, was the Woman’s Hospital Half Marathon, 10k, and k. My mom got in the Saturday afternoon before and we headed downtown for the expo and packet pickup. It was unseasonably warm, which worked out well since the expo and all was outside. The race coordinators had revealed earlier in the week that there would be a banner with the names of all the participants on it. We made sure to look for our names and take a few pictures while we were at the expo.
We got tote bags with our race numbers, some fliers, and our shirts. The shirts were our only complaint of the whole race. They said “women’s cut” and to order a size up, but I for some reason still got a medium. The shirts were more like juniors cut, and my medium was extra extra small. They said we could trade out shirts at the end of the expo, so we stuck around. I ended up with an XXL shirt (I normally wear a medium in tees!) that was still a bit too short. Other than that, packet pickup was quick and effortless and very well organized!
For dinner that night, we decided on Carrabba’s for some pasta and then turned in early.
Our My alarm went off nice and early, but still later than our usual weekday run time. When I went to wake up Kayla, the silly girl had turned off all of her alarms, knowing I would wake her up. We left for the race at about 545, and had no trouble finding parking downtown. Bag check was effortless and there were no lines at the potties when we arrived.
I decided to go with the sparkle skirt again, like in my first race, so I would look cute no matter how slow I was going!
I wrote earlier in the week about hurting my lower left leg on a trail run over Thanksgiving break. I iced, rested, elevated, and medicated for two weeks, and it was the Friday before the race before I woke up without pain in my leg. Up to that point, I didn’t think I was going to be able to race at all; thinking that I would just be cheering. Since Friday and Saturday were relatively pain-free, I decided to go ahead with it.
The race started about on time, with the 5k first. There were over 1000 runners between all the races – much more than I had expected. After deciding on a meeting place with mom, Kayla and I (optimistically) lined up at the 11:00 pace marker. We danced in the starting corral waiting on the countdown, because why not have a little fun with things!!? At about 7:15, we were off. I thought I had forgotten my Garmin (it was in my bag the whole time), so we had no idea of pace or time, because there were no clocks at the mile markers. This was fine with me, and we just ran!
The half and 10k started together, until the 10k split off at the 3-mile mark. I tell ya, that was a mind game. Right at the Mile 3 mark was when I started to hurt. I felt nauseous, and was starting to hurt, so we took a walk break. We started running again soon after, but everything from there on was a struggle. It became evident that two weeks of little exercise and coming off an injury was not a good recipe for racing. We did still make sure to smile at all the cameras and holler at every mile marker, just like our training runs. The rest of the race kind of blurs together, though the course was beautiful. I walk/ran the rest of it, and it was just as mental as it was physical. I was so frustrated because we had such a great training cycle. The longest stretch I was able to run, other than the first 3 miles, was from miles 7 to 9. I knew that I was going to be able to finish, I just also knew that it wasn’t going to be the sub-2:30 that we had hoped for.
Kayla was AMAZING. I finally convinced her to just go on at mile 11, and she finished in 2:40, to finish 6th in her age group. If it weren’t for her staying with me, I know she could have nailed a 2:20. I finished in 2:45:59, 8 minutes slower than last time. Since I “ran” all of my last one, I must have been moving a little faster on the running stretches this time to finish only 8 minutes behind, for as much walking as I did. I was just glad to finish, and that I was healthy enough to even get out there.
After finishing, I was a mix of wanting to cry over frustration with myself, and being so so so so proud of mom and Kayla for rocking their races. Mom finished in 3:11, power walking the whole way!
I’ve got Rock’n’Roll NOLA 2013 in about 10 weeks, and will certainly be looking to come back strong. I think I’ve also created monsters out of mom and Kayla – they both want to run the Rock’n’Roll, and Kayla even wants to train for a marathon next year. Though this wasn’t a great race for me, I am so glad I got to race with Kayla and mom and see them finish strong. I’m grateful that I even had the opportunity to run, and was able to finish, something I never would have dreamed of before starting college. Here’s to lessons learned and fun times had!