(This is both my Mamavation Monday post and my Half Marathon Recap.)
Last week was a great week for me – taper week, ending with the half marathon race on Sunday (yesterday) that I’ve been training for since early August. My taper included only two runs: one on Tuesday – a 6k with Amber in the jogging stroller, and another on Thursday – a 5k pushing Amber, then I rested until my race on Sunday.
(Before you read on, I think it’s important for you to know that I began with a couch to 5k program this past January when Amber was 2 mos old. I had taken a 7 yr racing hiatus and decided that this was the year that I would kick PPD’s ass and start doing what I love most… racing! I strongly feel that if you put your mind to it, you can do it too!)
On Sunday morning I woke up early-for-me at 6 am and got all of my racing gear on, then drove to meet my friend Chuck so we could drive to Toronto for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfont Half Marathon. We were able to get there nice and early with lots of time to fuel up and relax before the race. (Actually, that’s one of my biggest race day tips – get there early so you can get a parking spot near the start/finish line, and have lots of time to relax and use the “facilities”). The port-a-potty line ups were HUGE! After having three vaginal births, my bladder control isn’t what it used to be – There were 22,000 people running the half and full marathons, so you can imagine what the lineups were like! I managed to “go” just in time for the race, then lined up in my corral.
This is where most runners would tell you about every mile or km of their race experience, but as I’ve written before, my brain doesn’t function that way. I run with feelings, not with careful attention to every minute detail. As I began the race I felt optimistic – my legs felt great, but my arms felt tingly – I have really bad lateral epicondylitis (inflammation of my forearm muscles, and the insertion point of them on my elbows), and my arms were pissing me off while I ran, so I cranked up the music on my Pphone to “drown out” the sensations coming from my arms with music to lift my spirits:
Take me down to the Paradise City where the grass is green and the girls are pretty….
I then zoned out into my happy place, putting one foot in front of the other for quite a while until the runners around me erupted into cheers and jolted me back to the present – I was 9k into the race and the lead runners were passing us in the opposite direction. I started hooting and hollering like a fool, raising my adrenaline levels, and helping me to pick up my pace quite a bit. I then reached the 10k where there was a clock and mats to track our race chips – I looked at the clock:
54 min! I ran 10k in 54 min!
I was ecstatic when I saw that because that is one of my FASTEST 10ks, and I knew then that unless my wheels fell entirely off I was going to beat my Toronto Women’s Half Marathon time by quite a bit. I sent a quick text to my hubby to let him know, and to a few friends who were eagerly following the race on their phones. I then zoned back out….
I reached the 15k at 1:23 – my pace was slipping, my hammy’s were screaming at me and my thighs were telling me that I forgot to use BodyGlide… Lovely… The next 4 km were agonizing – I wanted to walk, but knew I was on par for a new post-babies personal best, and perhaps the second best half marathon I’ve ever run if i could just block out the pain and keep running. By then it was cold an windy, the people around me were slowing down and the crowd had gotten over their initial excitement and were just quietly watching the runners instead of cheering. I *Should* have called someone, and just had them talk me through the rest of the race, but I didn’t.
I *think* I reached the 19K at 1:48 my breasts were sore and engorged because I hadn’t fed Amber since 1 am… Then what happened next was a blur – all of a sudden I saw a sign that said 500m to go… What? Where’s the 20k? Did I miss the sign? Is the 500m to go sign right? Can I “Sprint” the rest of the way up Bay Street?
I turned on the jets and told myself to:
DIG DIG DIG!!!
The crowd then erupted into WILD cheers – the lead MARATHON runner was coming up the chute beside me and he was running a pace that qualified him the the Canadian Olympic Team. (Yes – he runs TWICE as fast as me). I pretended the crowd was cheering for me and pushed through the last 100 meters.
I did it!!! I finished in 2 hours and 30 seconds!
I set a new post-baby personal best, and also ran the second fastest half marathon of my life – beating out the 2:01 half marathon I ran when I was still in my twenties – way before I had any babies :smile:.
I then celebrated with a much deserved beer:
MAMAVATION TV: Join us Monday night at 7pm PST/10pm EST on Mingle Media TV
BLOGGING CARNIVAL: This week’s blogging carnival is sponsored by Grunt Style. Two blogging carnival participants will receive a shirt from Grunt Style. Answer the following question in your blog post and link back to the Grunt Style website. Link up your post here.
Question: What parts of your body are you especially proud of right now? What makes you love them?
For me it’s my breasts and my legs – my breasts are still exclusively feeding Amber who is now 11 mos old and has no interest in food, and my legs for carrying me through not only this half marathon, but also through all of the 494 km of training that I’ve done this year.