Monday, November 14, 2016

Taking My Victory Lap

Way back in June of this year I started a journey.  At first I was trying to keep up with blogging about it here so that you guys could go on that journey with me but a minor surgery sidelined me and I put the blogging part on hold to focus on the journey alone.  I wanted to do a marathon. 

I really can't say 100% WHAT made me want to do one.  But I knew I wanted to do something that the kids could look back on and think, "Mom is pretty badass."  I wanted to actually show them that anything is possible and if you stick with a plan you CAN accomplish what you set out to do.  Plus I wanted lifetime bragging rights!  I mean, it's a MARATHON.  Only 1% of the population can say they have done one.  And I wanted to be one of those people. 

So for 5 and a half months I put in the work.  Long runs on my Sunday mornings, shorter runs 3 times during the week, cross training on Saturdays, missed chances to attend weekend events, running in the heat of the summer, black toenails, missing a couple dance classes in order to get in a run, one terrible yeast infection (don't ask) and a constant fight with fatigue....sounds great right!  Actually it was.  I had the privilege of running with Pink Nation, a sub-team with Sports Backers in Richmond.  They were nothing short of amazing.  The coaches, the other runners, the volunteers that came out to make sure we had water...AMAZING.  I got to see parts of Richmond up close that I have never seen before.  You know that fit right in with my need to explore every nook and cranny of Virginia.  I loved it!  The long runs were not the easiest thing in the world but the time flew for me.  I literally would have run 18 miles and felt like I had only done 5.  I was so distracted the entire time taking in the city, the comradery among the other runners, the flow of advise from the coaches that I felt like the time slipped away too quickly.  Don't get me wrong, it was still work but I was just trying to soak it all in. 

12 mile run on my own in Prince George.  Foggy and alone. 

The first time I ever hit 17 miles!

Found this guy on one of my mid week runs in Henricus Park

Little 10 mile run on the Virginia Capital Trail

More from the Capital trail run.

My first time crossing the Lee Bridge in Richmond on foot and hitting 20 miles!

Along the journey I did have a 4-5 week delay in training as I had some minor surgery that required some down time.  I used the time wisely to just take it easy and work in some travel time and visits to wineries.  After the all clear from the doctor I was back at it and feeling better than ever. 

So after all of that work I was anxious to see it come to fruition.  November 12th loomed before us and as the day got closer I have to admit I got a little stir crazy.  I literally lost my phone (it was in my back pocket), lost my keys (it became a daily thing), and found trying to concentrate nearly impossible!   More than anything I need to do this race to get my sanity back.  Plus Mr. Busy was tired of picking up all of the slack around the house.  Hey!  Laundry was NOT a priority. 

I laid out my clothes and bid the night before, I set two alarms and got to the race venue 2 hours early!  There was no way in hell I was missing this thing.  Once I was dressed and actually at the race I felt 50% of my anxiety disappear.  Sounds like craziness I know to it's true. 

The team met inside the lobby of the Omni and spent a little time there before heading over for a picture on the stairs of the Virginia Capital Building.  Of course we had a few last words from our leader before we parted for the starting coral.  Once in line for the race the only thing to do was keep warm and try take in as much of the atmosphere as possible. 

And then....we were off.  Honestly a big part of the race was a blur.  I just focused on not going to fast at the beginning like we were advised.  That part was easy as one of the coaches jumped in to pace us.  After that my mind just started talking to itself.  I had trained up to 20 miles so I was just waiting to get to that point to see what would happen.  It would be new territory for me.  My family was at the 14 mile marker and then again around 23.  I had heard that after the 20 there was a strong possibility of "hitting the wall" so I asked them to at least be between the 20-25.  I must of got lucky with coaches jumping in just at the right time and with family being there to help me smile because I didn't feel the wall.  I did feel crazy emotional around mile 25. I had a picture of the kids in my pocket.  I took it out and relied on them to carry me through.  It must have worked because the next thing I knew I was crossing the finish line and crying on the shoulder of the woman that gave me the final push I needed to sign up for this journey.  It was an INCREDIBLE feeling.  Pride and gratitude and two of the words that come to mind.  It was my victory lap.

So enough yapping about are some of the pictures from the race.  Yeah I took pictures along the way.  It's what I do people.  If I run the race again next year (I still have to convince Mark it was worth it) I can shave time off just skipping the pictures alone.  Like I would do that!
The ladies with the pink hats are coaches.  They can rock the hell out of a Flamingo hat!

The Virginia State Capitol at Sunrise

Our fearless leaders

Getting our picture on the stairs of the Virginia State Capital Building

In our starting coral waiting to start

Singing the National Anthem...and that guy carried the flag the entire race

The Carpenter Center as seen from the coral

And we were off!

A shot of the James River from the first of two bridge crossings.  This is from the Hugenot Bridge.

And a shot from the 2nd bridge crossing...Lee Bridge.

I made it!!!!!!!!!

I tried to blow up my fitbit!

Mr. Busy's race sign.  I didn't get any pics of him holding it during the race.  By then I couldn't properly use my hands :-)

Following the race I celebrated at my sister's house and then went home for a hot bath and long nap.  I woke up famished and sent Mr. Busy out for Taco Bell AND McDonalds.  I told you I was famished. 

Currently stairs are not my friends and more than likely I will not be running this week.  I do plan to keep up my miles so that I can easily work in a half-marathon here and there during the winter and spring.  I don't want to loose all that I've gained in the last 5 months. 

We also plan to resume our traveling :-)  Next weekend is Bath County and then in December we have a trip scheduled to Claytor Lake.  Happy adventure people!