Woo hoo! I didn’t break any more limbs or appendages and so didn’t have to drop out of this one! In the fiasco that was packet pick up I have to admit I was a little concerned, but luckily that tragedy was avoided. Packet pickup was the night before, and thanks to traffic cost me 3 hours, a walk in the dark (hence the initial concern), lots of patience and almost an entire bag of snowman poop. But hey, these are the sacrifices we make as runners. 🙂
Preparation for this race was a little different and in a way it looked like I was getting ready for an overnighter thanks to a bag filled with extra clothes, a breast pump and a cooler. Racing is definitely doable while breastfeeding, but it certainly is a different experience. I was fortunate to have a friend willing to drive so I could pump on the way. Moooooo.
We drove down to Kiawah Island, parked and hopped on the shuttle that was going to take us to the race.
Upon arrival we were shuttled out of the bus (pun intended), went to the restroom, ran into a couple friends and then headed for the start line.
It took a couple of minutes to reach the start line after the gun went off, and I spent the first couple of miles zig zagging around other runners in attempt to find a comfortable spot. On the plus side, it forced me to start off more slowly. Historically, I’m not very good at this. The scenery was very pretty – lots of water, huge houses and gorgeous Oak Trees with lots of spectators cheering us on. One of my favorite things about spectators are the signs they make. Among my favorites at this race said “If a marathon were easy, they would call it your mom”. And “run now, poop later”.
Once the runners dispersed some I found what fell like a comfortable pace. I have heard of runners dedicating race miles to certain individuals and I had planned to spend a few miles doing the same. The problem is I was having difficulty staying focused on my speed (not wanting to go too fast) while concentrating on dedications. So instead, I spent a few miles thinking about everyone I had planned to dedicate a mile to:
To Charlie and Henry – twins born prematurely around 24 weeks and who have been fighting every bump in the road like champs.
To Tucker and Spencer – twins born prematurely at 26.5 weeks and have been fighting just as hard.
To Christine – she lost her baby boy Jacob nearly a year ago and is pregnant with her rainbow baby, but on hospital bed rest after she began to leak amniotic fluid. She has been through so much over the last year and we are praying baby stays put for many more weeks.
To Cyndi – pregnant with twin girls after losing her twin boys at 23 weeks. She now works for the March of Dimes and I find her to be so strong and inspirational.
To Bryan – without his support I wouldn’t be able to do this. He is behind me every step of the way and I am sure I don’t tell him how much I appreciate it often enough, and to Miles and Abby for whom I hope to be a good role model.
Around Mile 9 I started to get tired, but thanks to Lynnsey was able to keep pace and finish strong. We crossed the finish line together in 1:51:13, an average 8:25 per mile – a PR for her and a much better time than I had expected.
The cool part is I got to run this race on the day the twins turned 7 months old. So even though I had to miss my original comeback race, that made this one a little bit more special.
Now to keep running!