Ok, so no big suspenseful build up. I did manage a Boston qualifier, so if I want to do it in 2012, provided I get in, I can go. I had a great race, and it went off as good as it could have and I feel like I gave it everything I could, and my legs are really feeling it.
First off, the sappy part. I am touched beyond words by the kindness of my friends. Steve, Stephanie (and family), Meredith, and the entire Garel family came out to cheer me on and support me. They all could be doing a lot more productive things with their Saturday morning, and I can’t believe they wanted to come cheer me run a bunch of loops. They are all wonderful people and I do not tell them all enough how much they enrich my life.
Mark went above and beyond as a friend running all the training runs with me, listening to me talk the whole time (I like to chat to pass the miles!), and then running most the race with me today. He is a role model to me with all that he manages and what a good parent he is. I cannot thank him enough for his help in getting me to my goal. Thank you Mark!!
My blogger friends’ well wishes were so much appreciated. I love that I have met so many very cool people just by playing a bit on the internet. I only hope to meet y’all someday in person.
Finally, my family did everything they could to help me reach my goal. Mike watches Jasper every time I go run and does whatever he can to allow me to maintain this part of my life. Jasper gives up mama time to let me out to put in the miles, and Pancake ran all my recovery runs with me. The 3 of them make me happy, a better person, and always remind me of what is really important in life.
Ok, onto the show! This really was a fun little race. The course was a couple out and back sections, so I really thought of it as 6 loops. The first out and back was about 5 miles and the second was about 3.5, and then repeat the series 3 times. In training, I knew I barely could keep my Boston pace. I knew if I ran steady the whole way and didn’t have any big slow downs I could do it, but I had no real wiggle room. I am not talented at much as a runner, but one thing I can do well is pace myself. I reeled us in the first loop from time to time (Mark ran with me), but I knew there would be a point we would be passing people. The first loop always seems fun and easy in loop courses. This race had fantastic volunteers, and I liked that it was low key. I kinda hate bands, cheerleading squads, and constant stimulation on race courses. Sometimes I just want a nice pretty run, and this fit the bill. It was probably not the ideal course to run a fast time, as it was mixed concrete, gravel and trail surfaces.
The second loop was still good. You always saw lots of folks since it was an out and back, and that made it fun to see who was still looking good and who obviously went out to fast. We were still on a good pace for loop 2, and gained a minute of time on each loop. We started loop 3 and I thought I felt really good. Mark said he was going to take it easy, and I knew he would understand if I went on. Pretty quickly, I was starting to hurt, but it was mile 18 of a marathon I was pushing the pace on, and that is supposed to hurt. I used a few things to keep me from slowing. I told myself I have done a lot harder, more painful things (like labor!). I thought about Jasper a lot. He always has a smile to offer, even if sick or fussy, and I couldn’t let him down with a bad attitude, and finally seeing him at the finish was something I thought about a lot last year when I was pregnant. Having him brings a depth and purpose to my life and my running I never had before. By mile 23, I had a little lump in my throat thinking about seeing him. I didn’t slow down though! At mile 25 I knew I had it, I was going to qualify for Boston and I was about to see my family and friends.
The end came and there they were. I didn’t see Jasper right away, because he had just woken up and was in his stroller, but when I did, I really felt emotional.
Whew! Done! I hurt a lot now. How come I did a 23 mile pace training run with no soreness?
Thanks again to everyone. I know it was just a small little local race, but to me it felt huge!