I did it!
On Sunday, I ran my first half marathon since having baby Lydia in July! It was HARD!! Here’s my day, in review:
I actually have to start the night before. Any of you who know me know that baby Lydia as been less than cooperative lately when it comes to anyone getting any good sleep around here. It’s a good thing she’s really cute. Anyway, my sweet, sweet husband agreed to take Lydia for the night and let me sleep in the spare bedroom so I could get some good rest before the race. Big, big kisses to Bryan for this.
Sunday morning, I was actually awake before the alarm. Race days are exciting and I never make it all the way to the alarm. With the race starting at 6:30, my plan was to leave the house at 5:30. It’s an early day. So, wake up, check the weather: Rain. Wind. 54 degrees. Bah! Plan to just leave my jacket on through the race. I decided that if it warmed up I’d just tie it around my waist. I ate a couple of pieces of toast and a little coffee and water, kissed my sweet, sweet husband goodbye, and left the house.
I got to my friend Mindy’s house to pick her up right at 5:30, just as the first rain drops were starting to fall. Ugh! I was so glad to not be going out to do this by myself.
We got downtown around 6:00 and by then, it was really raining and, oh, did I mention the lightning? Yeah. There was lightning and thunder and lots of rain. We lucked into a pretty good parking spot about a block from the OKC Memorial. As we sat in the car, I know that it was going through both of our heads,
“Are we really going to do this in the rain?
What are we thinking?
It’s freakin’ cold out there.
I don’t want to get struck by lightning.”
I asked Mindy, “Would you spend 70 bucks (the race entry fee) to be at home in bed with your husband?” That was only kind of a joke. In those moments right before getting out of the car, I think either one of us could have said, “Let’s get outta here,” and the other would have said, “Right on!”
But, we didn’t do that. We’ve been training for months, and neither one of us wanted to give up on all of our efforts. So, we got out of the car and walked up to the start gates. As we found a corner of a tree to stand under out of the rain, we learned that the race had been postponed until 7:00 due to the weather.
Back to the warm car. We were already wet, but we wanted to be out of the cold rain for as long as we could.
Back out to the starting gate at about 6:45. This is where things really started to get exciting. It was still raining and cold. But, the energy that surrounds people who are just about to start a race is amazing. Everyone there is your friend. Everyone there wants you to do well. I really do love being around other runners. Mindy and I started talking to this lady nearby us who said that her friends had ditched her that morning because of the weather. How crappy is that!? At that point, I honestly couldn’t have imagined going through all the work of training and not doing this race.
7:00 – Race began! It was raining. It was cold. It didn’t matter! Running felt GOOD! Mindy and I found a pace that felt good. The cool temperature really is helpful to me when I’m running. The rain was really just a distraction. It was funny though, that my sleeves would fill up with rain, and when I’d stretch my arms down in front of me, a bunch of water would flow out of my jacket sleeves.
I started to get stiff and sore and a little slower just after mile 10. The last three miles are usually the hardest for me. My training takes me to ten miles, so I just have to go on faith that I can make it those last three.
And, make it, I did! I finished my fourth half marathon in 2 hours, 19 minutes, 17 seconds. Not bad for a mama who’s 10 months postpartum and about 20 pounds heavier than I’d like to be. I’ve done this race faster in the past, and I really believe that having the extra weight on me right now is what has made the biggest difference in my times.
After Mindy and I found each other, we got our race finisher medals, got our cheeseburgers (yes, post-race cheeseburgers are the best you’ll ever eat!), and made our way back to the car. We were soaked! We were sore and moving slowly. But, I really just felt so proud of us for sticking it out though the wind and rain and to finish.
I love it when I can see something all the way through to the end. I love it when I can see a goal accomplished. It was a really proud day for me.