The night before the race, I had dinner at a local pizza place with my friend Kim, then Brayden and I went to my parent's house to spend the night. You see, Jason was working and I wanted to be able to wake up and get ready for the race without worrying about also getting Brayden up and out the door. This way, he was able to stay asleep as long as he wanted to.
My clothes were also laid out and ready to go so I wouldn't forget anything.
I woke up about 6 a.m. and tried to remember all my "pre race rituals". It had been so long, I kind of forgot what to do!
My mom snapped a photo of me right before I walked out the door.
The sunrise was beautiful that morning and I'd hoped that meant good things were to come...
It was clear a cool and the humidity was low (which was awesome) although I did get a little hot close to the end of the race.
Heather and I met up, then walked to the start line together.
As the race began, I sort of weaved in and out of people until I found someone to keep pace with. This kept on for the next four miles - I would keep pace with someone until they slowed down, then I would find another person to pace with. My A goal was to finish in 54 minutes which would mean a little less than 9 minute miles all the way. I felt most comfortable at a pace around a 9:05 and that's what I maintained through 4 miles. In the back of my mind, goal A was gone which was ok...but I knew that goal B HAD to be obtained. This course also holds my 10K PR which is around 51 minutes and some change. I definitely knew a PR was out of the question this go round.
This race was a tough one for me. I kept coughing and the congestion almost did me in. The bases of both lungs began to burn somewhere around mile four and a half. "You can stop when you're finished" was something I kept repeating in my head over and over again. "Almost there..." "You've run this hard for this long, you might as well finish it out..." I kept picturing my dad, mom, and Brayden waiting for me at the finish line and that helped me continue. My pace also slowed down to a 9:45 here. I decided that slowing down was better than stopping all together.
On top of not being able to breathe, there was only one water stop on this course....somewhere around mile 2.6. Yes, ONE. I know that most of this race is run on a busy road in town but still...one additional water stop would have been nice!
Around mile 5, a girl that stayed with me most of the race began trying to talk to me. I felt so bad for her because I usually like to talk to people during races, but just saying a few words almost threw me into an asthma attack. I also didn't want my heart to jump into its crazy PSVT rhythm and ruin all possibilities of reaching my 2nd goal, so I simply stopped talking. I hope she could see my struggle and knew I wasn't trying to be rude.
In the last portion of the race, we had to cross a busy street from one side to another. There were cops directing the flow of traffic and yes, some lanes were open to traffic. Well, one of the drivers thought that the officer was waving her on and not me....which means she proceeded to go forward and came uncomfortably close to me. She got a good yelling at by the cop...thankfully I wasn't hit!
As I mentioned before, the last portion of this race ends on the 50 yard line of a local university's stadium. (I also graduated nursing school from there!)
Somehow, somewhere, I had enough in me to pick up a little steam as I ran down the finishing chute. I spotted my parents and Brayden and I waved as I passed. Although I didn't reach goal A of 54 minutes, I did reach goal B of "anything less than an hour"...my time was 57:06!
For being sick, not being able to breathe, and everything else that was against me during this race, I'll take it!
After crossing the finish line, I seriously almost lost my cookies. I had to walk around for a few minutes and control my breathing so I wouldn't throw up. My mom got a picture of me laying down on the field...I'm sure that was a pleasant picture! :)
I was SO excited to see Brayden and my parents out there! It was fun having them along to cheer me on!
First post-baby race complete!
Thank God for running, racing,and good friends! :)
While we recuperated, my dad took Brayden all over the field. He made a first down AND a touchdown!
It was fun to hang out on the field for a while and be in a place we never get to see from that perspective!
After leaving the field, we walked over to the alumni pavilion for the awards ceremony. Neither of us placed in our AG, but it was nice to have a bottle of powerade and listen to the awards!
After saying goodbye to each other, I packed Brayden up and we made our way to Starbucks for a little post-run treat! :)
I had the Chestnut Praline Latte and it was so good! Yay for Christmas beverages!!
In all, I think I chose a pretty good race for my first one after having Brayden 7 months ago! It was fun to finish on the football field with my family cheering me on! :) Our names/finishers times were even published in the local Sunday newspaper! How fun is that?!
Have you ever run a race that finished in a fun/rare location?