This is my Mamavation Monday post for Monday, May 30, 2011.
Some of you may remember that on January 1st, 2011 I woke up with a very bad case of resolutionitis – I resolved that THIS would be THE year that I returned to running. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Not just the casual “I feel like going for a jog”, kind of running – but the all out, put one foot out in front of the other as often as I can kind of running. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The kind of running I did back in 2003. I needed some extra motivation to get my post-baby self active to help prevent the post-partum depression that plagued me with my last two maternity leaves, so I dug out my credit card and registered for 4 races: an 8k, 10k, and TWO half marathons. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Yesterday I ran the first of the two half marathons….
The Toronto Womens Half Marathon
On Sunday I woke up at 5:15 am to nurse Amber – 30 min before I had set my alarm. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â I was very happy to feed her because I was REALLY worried about leaving her with my husband. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â While he’s an extremely capable and loving father, Amber doesn’t take a bottle, and is only minimally interested in drinking from a cup. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â She is thankfully very interested in baby food. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â This worry that she’d be sad, and he’d have a hard time caring for her remained in my head throughout the whole race, but I was somewhat comforted knowing I had given her a really good feed before I left the house. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â After feeding Amber I laid in bed slowly waking up. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â At 5:45 I got up and began to get dressed – thankfully I had laid out all of my gear before I went to bed because I was not the least bit coherent at that time.
At 6:15 I left the house and drove myself straight to Tim Horton’s so I could purchase my traditional pre-race meal: An extra large coffee, a cream cheese bagel and a Boston Cream donut. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ok – not exactly the breakfast of champions, but it works for me :)
At 7:15 I arrived at Sunnybrook Park – early enough to get a decent parking spot, take care of nature and to get some nervous tweeting taken care of. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â It was lonely arriving and racing by myself, but less so knowing that all of you were cheering for me virtually. Thank you so much!!
I then lined up in my corral and began talking to a nice fellow runner whose awesome Vibrams and amazing outfit (a green kilt and matching shirt) caught my attention – I later learned that she’s Vanessa of the blog: Vanessa Runs and she runs barefoot! Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â I would LOVE to try barefoot running. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Chatting with her really helped to ease my nervousness.
Then the inevitable happened… The gun went off! Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Time to race!
The start wasn’t as bunched up and as competitive as I’ve experienced in past races – perhaps this was because this was my first women only race? Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â It didn’t take me long to get settled into a comfortable pace: 6:28/km. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â I ran along at that race until about the 4k mark – then I sped up to a 6:15/km pace.
I then came upon the first water stop:
Oh My Goodness!!! It was so hard not to stop running and just hang out with those guys :) Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â But I knew that the race passed this stop THREE TIMES!!!! Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â So I continued on. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â I carried along steadily at the 6:15/km pace for the rest of the race, only stopping to walk and drink some e-Load at the aid stations. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â I felt good and strong. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â I could also hear the “trill” of the support tweets from you on my phone – I didn’t stop to read any of them because I was determined to keep a steady pace, but know that I counted all of the “trills” as I went along (15).
And then it finally happened… I saw the FINISH LINE!!! Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â I was so excited! Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â I ran as hard as my tired legs could carry me. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â I crossed it and received the COOLEST finisher’s medal I’ve ever gotten:
I DID IT!!! Even though my training wasn’t as focussed as I had originally wanted it to be, and the longest run I did before it was 10k, I FINISHED!!! Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â You see somewhere over the past 5 months I decided that being HAPPY was more important to me than training religiously. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â So I’ve been exercising consistently – Mommy/baby Bootcamp, BodyPump Classes, lifting weights, doing the Nike Training Club iPhone app, and of course, doing a little running, so I’m extremely happy with my race results considering the effort I put into my running training…. Only 6 mos post-partum, I finished a half marathon upright and smiling in 2 hrs and 8 mins (2:08:05) – With consistent training YOU CAN DO IT TOO!!