You can go back and read my post from a couple weeks ago, the one in which I worry and fret that I won’t make it across the finish line in one piece at the You Go Girl! half marathon, and completely disregard it.
The three of us running buddies, in matching Badass Mother Runner shirts, totally blew this race out of the water. It was awesome.
I think I was right (man, it feels good to say that!)–the combination of race-day adrenaline and a primarily downhill course helped Amy and I cross the finish line in 2 hours 12 minutes. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s a full 13 minutes faster than we ran last year. And Carrie? Our resident firecracker, Ms. I Mean Business, So Get Out of My Way? She crossed the finish line in 2 hours 2 minutes!
It was a beautiful day for a race: clear skies, cool temps when we crossed the start line at 8:45. Having done the race before helped me mentally keep score of where we were at, and how far we had to go. For instance, I used the first out-and-back as my warm up, telling myself I’d be set to go by the second leg of the race, as we wound our way up to Wright Park in Tacoma. The third section of the race was the biggest mental challenge, although it was also the prettiest part of the course. We had gorgeous views of the waterfront and the sun on our backs as we ran down Ruston Way, but at the turnaround point (mile 9.5), the sun was full in our (already warm) faces and we still had the biggest physical challenge left to tackle…the last three miles.
Amy and I, normally both chatty during training runs, were unusually quiet during most of the race. The last section of the course, back on Ruston Way and up over a hill (such a little hill!) to round the final curve to the finish line, left us whispering to each other ‘just a little more’ and ‘we’re almost there’. The best part of the run, by far, was the last half a mile, when we saw Amy’s family first, and then…just as I was about to come around that last turn to the finish, I could hear a familiar voice chanting ‘Go Mama! Go Mama! Go Mama!’ And then, there she was! Right before the finish line, I saw Zoey with my aunt Cindy, grins on their faces, holding a great sign proclaiming GO MOMMY! with awesome illustrations of me running and Zoey cheering.
And then? I looked up and saw our time. I remember yelling ‘holy sh*t, Amy, look at our time!’ just as she was yelling at me ‘come on, strong finish!’ We sprinted across the finish line together and we felt great. We found Carrie and posed for group photos. We shared post-race water and snacks with our kids. We stood around soaking up our Badass Mother Runner-ness for just a little bit.
So there you have it. We met our goals. We trained hard for this race and we felt great afterwards. My daughter got to see me cross a finish line and I have to believe that somewhere in her young, developing brain, this is leaving a lasting impression on her. I went home that day and, instead of wanting to collapse, I took Zoey to a play date at her friend’s house. I swept my floors and finished laundry and shuttled Zoey off to bed at a reasonable hour. (Full disclosure: I did not cook dinner. Cindy suggested we come to dinner at her house and I eagerly took her up on this before the offer was fully out of her mouth.) This, the rest of my Sunday, in my mind, was the greatest victory. I ran 13.1 miles like it was any other weekend run.
And now we set our sights on the next half, coming up the first weekend in October…