Some last minute 4th of July planning had my family running a 4 mile race. My dad has done the race many times before. He emailed us about a tough course, no medals or T-shirts and a "minimal fee." Well, what the heck does that mean? We have to double race prices because DH and I usually both want to run. We've reached our race budget for the year. But it was a holiday and my dad and sister were going to run, so I figured it would be worth the cost.
50 cents!! Best deal ever. Two ladies sat at a table with a coffee can that you threw your money in. Minimal fee indeed!
The race was in a little, hilly 100+ year old neighborhood in St. Paul. 2 mile loop.
My goals were:
1. run. Don't walk.
2. Negative split.
There were 200 runners and the guy in charge said it was the biggest crowd they'd ever had. DH had the kids in the jogger. My mom was going to stand on a corner near the start so he could hand off the kids after the first loop. Within the first 2 blocks he zipped past me. I was entertained by all the old house on the course and easily found a groove. I love when you can find a breathing rhythm. I stuck with it even on the hills. I didn't have a watch, music or running app on and there weren't any mile markers. True naked running. I loved it. There was a long gradual hill to climb at the end of the loop. I was happy to see 16:34 on the clock. I was shocked to see my mom with no kids. "He still has them?!!" I yelled and my mom laughed. I cannot imagine pushing the jogger on those hills. whoa.
The 2nd loop was easier because I knew what was coming. When to push, what I had to save some energy for. I was focused and kept thinking "negative split, negative split." And I did it! Ran across at 32:22
1st loop pace 8:17
2nd loop pace 7:54
I feel super good about that. Good marathon training run! And a highlight was meeting Carrie Tollefson after the race. She's an Olympian and I've watched her show a few times.
She ran with her husband and my DH ended up running with them. They were very nice and we talked for awhile while our kids played on the playground after the race. I was a little star struck and she was just so normal.
Then we went out to eat. My dad loves the play by play of a race even more than I do. DH said he kept the kids with him because DD was coaching him along. "Dad, go faster. Dad, why are those runners passing you? Dad, you need to win." Ha! Running motivation comes in many forms.
We're working on our family of 4 picture skills.
And now we're at the start of week 4 of marathon training. 12 mile long run. My mom volunteered to watch the kids so DH and I could both run with my dad's group. They run the 6 mile River Road loop. DH always works Saturdays so this was a big deal for us. We figured we'd do it twice. Sounds easy enough, right?
And the first loop was. Especially since my sister showed up and we were wearing matching lulu skirts. You'll get a lot of fun comments from other runners when you look like this:
I wish we could've run the loop alone first and then met the group. But getting the kids up at 5:30 and expecting my mom to deal with crabby kids isn't really fair. So as demoralizing as it was to watch the group walk to their cars and talk about meeting at the coffee shop, I knew we had to power on. Believe me, I came up with lots of reasons why 6 miles would be enough. It's hot. It's humid. I raced on Thursday. Iced coffee is delicious. I can run 12 next week instead of dipping down to 9. 6 miles is plenty.
NOOOOO! You are training for a marathon. This is only week 4. You do not get to mess with the plan already. You're half way done. Run 6 flippin miles. Go.
And that really is what I say to DH, definitely more for me than for him. But it helps to say it out loud. And he was fabulous. We walked a lot more than I would normally like. But the humidity was killer. I was basically taking baths in the drinking fountains.
And then we saw Carrie, the Olympian! And she remembered us and it was cute and uplifting and awesome for about 5.4 seconds. And then I wanted to cry again. It was one of those runs where you tell yourself: Just get to that tree. OK, run to the lamp post. You can walk at the garbage can. And on and on.
It worked. We did it. It wasn't pretty, but I sure feel good about it now. And like HONEYBADGER told me; it will make my Fall running better. And if marathon day is hot & humid, I know I can handle it.