Monday, November 16, 2009
Yesterday morning I had the amazing opportunity to participate in my first-ever competitive race by running in the Big Sur Half Marathon. Now when I say it was an opportunity, it really was. I am not sure how many of you remember but I trained for a 10K last summer and ended up getting a really bad case of the flu right before the race (probably was the swine flu) and all of my training went out the window because I couldn't participate. Or so I thought. After that race came and went, my running buddy and I decided, since we were already close to halfway ready having trained for the 10K, that we'd sign up for the Big Sur Half Marathon in November. I knew that I had to hold the race loosely but still train hard. And so we did. We spent our weeks doing relatively decent shorter runs and then on Saturdays we did our long run and added on a mile each week.
First of all, I must say that there is NO way that I could've done this Half Marathon without my husband and my mom. Every Saturday for the past three months Steve has gotten up very early and taken the screaming, crying baby Joshua, who was very upset his mom was leaving, and watched him until his brothers woke up an hour later. Usually at that point, if Josh was still pining for me, he'd at least be distracted by Isaac and Caleb! And every week he did it with a smile. He also came home early one day a week so that I could do a maintenance run on a weekday. And my mom, who comes out once a week for a few hours, watched the boys for me during my other maintenance run. With the boys and such I could only pull of three runs a week, with other exercise on the off days but those runs were enough to get me through and get me ready.
Cary, my running buddy, and I started off the run just like usual, side-by-side, and I stayed with her until Mile 9. It was the most beautiful morning on the coast in Monterey and it was relatively cool making it a perfect time to run. Cary is a much better runner than me (she's run in marathons before) and so, at Mile 9 I told her to go on as I knew I had to keep a tad bit of a slower pace than her if I wanted to finish strong. She ended up finishing just minutes before me. I'm so proud of her! She's a mom of two boys and her husband's a football coach...and she trained right through football season! Talk about dedication!!
Before the race, I never knew if something would come up like an injury or illness, or if it would all work out but, it did and I actually got to experience being in a big race! It was so fun! I got to participate, I never stopped and I was pretty happy with my time. I had really hoped to beat 2 hours even if it was only by a few seconds but...I ended up with a time of 2 hours and 22 seconds. Maybe next time. It was a lot of fun, very challenging and exhilarating. Hopefully I can do it again sometime in the future!!
One of the best parts was coming through the Finish Line and seeing all of my boys waiting for me. Evidently they saw me cross the Finish Line but I didn't see them. I was too focused and there were so many people!! But I saw them soon after and it was so special to me to have them there. I tried to take a picture with all of them but the sun was in their eyes and they weren't too enthusiastic...as you can see.
As a mom, it was really amazing for me to have this opportunity because my life just isn't my own anymore and that's okay. But every once in awhile, if I get to accomplish something like this that's just something I enjoy well...it's really just icing on the cake. It's a blessing. And I'm so thankful!