Attempting to not look like I have the beginning stages of hypothermia.
I could not think of a better way to spend mothers day than running a race my your mom! I am so grateful my mom for signing me up for races when I was 7 years old. Maybe she would rather pay my race entry than for a babysitter? I am tall now, but back then i was tiny, even for my age. I always tried my best to keep up wither her while trying not to get trampled by the other runners.
I was nervous for this race, wanting to do well myself, but also wanting to impress my mom. As we parked in a school parking lot, there was a public school bus wrangling up all of the participants to drive us to the starting line. This morning was windy and cold, so warming up was even more crucial than usual. I can usually get a good feel for who I will be pacing with at the start of the race, so I was excited to be surrounded by some very inspiring women in their 30's. At the start, they had pace runners. These women ran at the pace that was posted. If you wanted to run this half marathon in two hours, you would huddle with the woman holding the 2:00 sign at the start gate so you know how to pace yourself. Being conservative, I started out with the 1:50 group. By the first mile about half the women slowed down. Feeling slightly full of myself telling myself "why aren't you pushing yourself harder?" So I pushed my pace faster. I managed to get close enough up front that I saw the woman in first. I knew at this point I had found my pace.
A lot of things go through my head when I run over 10 miles. Sometimes I wonder why I am doing this to my body? How important are my knees anyway? Other times I gather inspiration and ideas for a new food recipe or try to solve complex situations. Wondering if I don't text whats-his-name back, maybe he will think i'm mysterious. I remember on this run I didn't want to look down the road, because I was looking at how far I had to run. I picked a women and ran right behind her staring directly at her calf. Her right, pale and freckled calf became the focal point of half my race. No, not her left calf, just her right one. I also tried to solve this mystery of why I wasn't inclined to look at her left calf. I never did solve that reason. This allowed me to forget about what mile I was on. I didn't focus on how much more I needed to run, but let me be in each moment, deciding knees are overrated, focusing on each stride.
Around mile 10 it started to rain. I do not mean sprinkle or a shower. I am talking about a torrential downpour of cold pellets slapping my face. My arms started to get so cold I could feel my muscles tightening up. At this point I let my body take control of my arms, and focused on getting through these last miles. Not being able to feel my arms, I can imagine I looked like an awkward puppet crossing the finish line. I finished 13th overall with a time of 1:42.
I cheered my mom on as she crossed the finish line. clapping and jumping up and down as she crossed the finish line, not too many words were spoken because we were so cold. Without needing to say anything we both had the same idea to get as warm as possible. I ran to back check and put on the warmest clothes I had trying to not let any more heat escape my body. Putting on clothes with numb limbs is not an easy task, trust me. As I reflect on this mothers day race, it felt great seeing how far I have come from trying to not get trampled at the age of 7 to being in the front of the pack on this race day.