As I previously mentioned, my ribs tried their hardest to keep me from running last weekend, but I showed them who’s boss. Or something.
I did something completely CRAZY the night before my race… I drank a beer. Or two. I typically refrain from drinking the night before a long run, but since the past TWO long runs didn’t go as planned, I figured it wasn’t going to hurt anything. If anything, it relaxed me and I was able to go to bed relatively early and sleep as well as you can when you wake up 2-3 times a night. It turns out I wasn’t the only one drinking.
Even though the race was at 7, I set my alarm for 5 *yawn* so I had plenty of time to get ready and pump. Pumping is worth it, but man it is THE WORST.
The early wake-up call payed off (despite waking up my entire family. oops.) and I actually arrived at Paula’s house ON TIME. *Angels singing* It was a race-morning miracle! We then drove over to Baldwin Park, found the race start/finish, and parked without getting lost. Another miracle because I ALWAYS get lost in Baldwin Park.
We picked up our bibs, dropped our race t-shirts off at the car, used the porta-potty and lined up.
Let’s take a minute to talk about my race-day outfit. I was testing out my new Oiselle shorts and top (which, I loved and was TRYING to test out the day I fell). The shorts have a back pocket (where I put my phone) and a side pocket (where I put my key and gel). I loved NOT having to worry about wearing a fuel belt or my pants falling down! I also wore some Pro Compression socks. My varicose veins have been bothering me lately and when I saw my Dr about them, he said to wear my socks, especially when I was running long distances. So I did. And they did help. Damn Drs always have to be right.
Back to the race… so, I was a little nervous – mostly about how uncomfortable it was going to be. My ribs felt fine sitting, standing, and walking – but twisting my hips caused my sports bra to dig into them, which is what caused (and is still causing) the pain. After the National Anthem and pretty weak countdown (imagine a dude sounding as bored as humanly possible counting down from 10) we were off!
I took exactly one pictures of the course during the race…
I’d like to think I beat all of those people.
As far as the layout of the course, I can’t complain. It was pretty, flat, calm, and familiar. We ran around Lake Baldwin and Lake Susannah and on Cady Way Trail — and it reminded me of the long runs that I LOVED during marathon training. I think because it was all of these things it didn’t bother me AT ALL that I had no idea what mile I was on — or how much time had passed the majority of the time I was out on the course.
The best part of the race was probably leapfrogging with Paula. It was somewhat motivating to run back and forth and do a temperature check of your running buddy. Even if you’re not running together.
Truthfully, I’m not sure what kept me going on the course. Maybe it was zoning out to the music, or maybe it was the spirit of the race – but the first 4-5 miles were ridiculously painful. It wasn’t until those endorphins kicked in that I was able to just ignore the pain and push myself to keep going. I walked at several water stops to drink water, but if I had walked any more I would have given up. The only time I walked longer than 20 seconds was 45 minutes in – to let Dan know I was going to run the entire race and that she should come up to meet us at the finish!
This was a very bare-bones kinda race, and I knew that going on in. That said, my ONLY complaint about the course was not marked well. I didn’t know how far I had run until mile 8 or 9! Thankfully, I went by feel and around mile 7 I took my ClifShot gel. I’m glad I took it when I did because I felt pretty dead after Mile 9 (after climbing our only “hill” — a massive overpass over an 8-lane highway). By Mile 10 the gel kicked in and I was good to go until the end!
Just before the finish (which involved running into the parking lot of an elementary school) I saw Dan and the kids. I was HOPING to finish the race with Braeden (we’ve been talking about him joining me for a while!), but he was hiding from Livie and missed me. Bummer. However, I was NOT bummed to finish. I saw the clock hit 2:13:xx and I was surprised! I thought for sure I was going to come in around 2:30. I immediately grabbed my medal and water and joined my crazies.
When I got there, B was on the verge of tears because he didn’t get to run with me (<–so sweet), so I told him he could do the next best thing to running with me… finishing the race with Paula. So when she came running in — he joined her — with Livie trailing slightly behind.
I know you can’t tell tell — but ALL three of them are in this picture.
It is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen during a race finish? Probably. Especially because Livie was running in her pink cowboy boots and she was JUST SO PROUD. Especially when we high-fived after she hit the mat. Thankfully, the race organizers didn’t really care – and it wasn’t crowded enough to be a safety issue.
After the race we posed for some pictures…
fueled up with some awesome food (they had me at Nutella)…
Paula entertained her groupies …
And Evan decided he is a big fan of half marathons.
Falling like I did the weekend before a race isn’t the dumbest thing I ever did, but it’s pretty dumb. However, it did have some positives that I didn’t really think about until after. For one, I wasn’t stressing about how it was “first postpartum half marathon!” I mean, I KNEW it was my first half after having Evan, but I was more concerned about not killing myself out on the course and possibly having my first DNF. I went into it have ZERO expectations for even finishing (so much for that optimism, right?), so I was probably in the best mindset possible! The weirdest thing? I wasn’t even THAT sore. I guess I was doing something right.
And now? I am SOOOO ready to race again. My next race is in 3 weeks — the OUC Half. I’m not planning on any huge PRs, but I’d like to think I can knock a good 10 minutes of my pace of this race. I’m hoping to have a new Garmin by then. Or a borrowed Garmin until the 22o comes out! (umm anyone have a Garmin I can borrow?)
What has kept YOU going on race day? Ever finished a race with a kid?