A couple weekends ago I ran my 6th half marathon. When I had run my first, it was in preparation for my first full marathon. I had made several mistakes and really had no clue what I was doing in a race. I've grown a lot since then and have come to love the race experience as well as pushing myself during the 13.1 miles it takes to reach the finish line.
When I finished my second half, I finished at 1:58. It felt amazing to finish under 2 hours and I really didn't think I'd ever PR after that and I was ok with that...
...well, partly. A part of me allowed myself to still push for it.
When this race was approaching, I felt it. My training had gone well and I knew there was a chance I could actually do it. I could beat my time.
I ran hard for parts of it and through some of it I struggled.
At one point I even thought to myself, why do I do this to myself???
When I could see the finish, I looked up and saw the time and knew this was going to happen.
I ran hard.
I pictured my friend Joe who at my second half stood on the side yelling to run because I could make it under 2.
I finished at 1:57
By one minute.
I was so jazzed all day.
Rewind to earlier that morning...
I was drinking my water and eating my bar, walking around and starting to wake my body.
While my brain was awakening from a fog, I glanced on the counter where the night before I had left my bib.
It was gone.
Did Nora take it?
She couldn't have. She loves races and she had gone to the expo to pick it up with me...
I started searching.
After time had passed and no luck. I decided to finish getting ready and look again.
I was about to start panicking.
I woke Mama up and asked her to help. With only 15 minutes before my friend was going to pick me up, we still couldn't find it. She suggested waking Cale which I really didn't want to do. It was so early and I knew he wasn't going to go back to sleep.
He groggily replied, "yeah?"
"Um...you know my race number? We can't find it. Do you maybe know where it's at?"
He couldn't figure out the words to tell me but he let me know he could show me.
I followed him downstairs.
We have this red dresser in our entry way. He walked right over to it and opened the top drawer.
"I was cleaning."
Oh my goodness. Haha. That was quite the start to the morning!
I was SO thankful he remembered where he put it. That is not always the case!
Speaking of races...and crazy moments.
I have one to share with you.
The February after we moved here, Cale and I volunteered at a Krispy Kreme Race. It was so fun! We passed out donuts to all the runners.
The challenge is that you run 2.5 miles, eat a dozen donuts and then finish 2.5 miles.
A lot of people have umm...well, they empty their tummies during this race. ha.
This last February I decided to run this race. I signed up not as a challenger but as a casual racer. This meant that I would run the 2.5 and have the choice to eat as many or as little donuts as I wanted. My plan was to run the 2.5 and then grab the box of donuts and finish the race and bring the donuts to Cale...and eat a few too! Haha!
Well, I also thought it would be fun to have Nora join me there. The couple weeks before she had been pretending to be in a race in our home and would run by blowing kisses. It was the cutest. I had asked my friend Courtney to join me with her daughter. My intention was that Nora would stay with Courtney while I ran and be at the finish line waiting for me.
When I first asked her, I didn't actually think she would be willing. I knew it was going to be early...and she'd have both girls but she was up for it (great friend!) and I was excited!
Race morning came. I was pumped. Normally I pay attention to the weather and plan what I'm going to wear. This time I didn't think too much about it. I put on a long sleeve and bundled Nora up a little more since she would be sitting in the stroller waiting for me to run.
Nora even woke up easily and was excited right away. We drove to our friends home and hopped in their van. As we started driving I realized that maybe Courtney and I weren't on the same page-we weren't.
Courtney had brought her single stroller and had assumed I was running with Nora.
A single would be fine. The girls could take turns riding.
Well, once we parked and started getting out of the van, we very quickly realized that it was pretty cold...maybe colder than we thought it was going to be.
Nora sat in the stroller and then Juliet said she wanted to ride.
I talked Nora into getting out and letting Juliet sit in it and then Nora could sit on the feet part.
Ok, the girls are cold. And they're both tired.
Juliet did NOT want Nora sitting on the foot part.
Nora did NOT want to walk.
I was trying to get everyone excited and let Nora know that she would get a turn but we were going to be kind and let her friend ride first.
We began walking.
I'm not actually sure when the real tears started but while walking to where the race ceremony was being held, both girls are loudly proclaiming, they aren't happy.
I ended up picking Nora up, holding her close because she is really really cold.
We keep walking. They start to complain a little louder...
I stopped with Nora at one point and prayed with her asking God to help her feel warm and to have fun.
Details are a little blurry but there we were with a ton of people around and both girls are screaming. Like, really screaming.
They are just too cold and they want to go inside somewhere.
Juliet still won't let Nora sit on the foot part.
Courtney talked Juliet into letting Nora sit on her lap-but Nora refused.
They are cold. Really cold.
They are tired.
People are everywhere and I'm cold but I also know that I'm about to run and I'll warm up. I, again in an attempt to cheer everyone up try to take a picture...
Please note the faces.
It may seem like Nora is fine but this was in between screams. I'm pretty sure I caught her at just the right moment.
Courtney had mentioned that after I started she would take the girls to the student center. I think just a few minutes later...if that, I told her she could go ahead and take the girls and that if I didn't see them at the finish line I would text her.
This race isn't only college students but the majority of the runners are.
I'm pretty sure we were a solid birth control plan.
These girls were still screaming.
"I don't waaaaaant to be here!"
As she walked off with the two girls, yep, still screaming, I thought to myself how this sweet friend who I really love is probably done with me. Like the next time I ask her to do something, it's going to be a big NO.
The ceremony had started and everyone around was ready to race. It was definitely cold. I was ready to start running and warm up. I definitely did not dress for the morning. It's just about time to start walking to the start line and then I hear the screaming.
Courtney had tried to take the girls but Nora was so cold and miserable she stopped walking and wouldn't budge. She started screaming that she wanted her mommy.
Courtney came back with the idea that even though it wasn't a jogging stroller, she would take Juliet out and they would go find somewhere to warm up and I could run with Nora.
I sit Nora in the stroller and wrap her up with her blankie. This is going to be great.
I start following the crowd as we move towards the start.
Here we go!
Three ladies walked by and one of them had a really weird expression as she's pointing to my daughter who is still screaming but I just knew she was going to be calming down soon.
I walked around to see Nora coming out of the stroller like a beast. Her hands gripped the sides and her face was...scary. She screamed in an even louder shriekier tone, "I CAN'T STAY HERE AND BE COLD!!!"
I called Courtney unsure of what I should do. Nora was not going to race with me and she wouldn't go with Courtney.
Everyone was lining up.
Nora is screaming.
I called again.
She sounded a little out of breath.
"Uh...plan B. Lets take the girls somewhere and get breakfast."
Because she's the sweetest she asked, "are you sure?"
She told me that her and Juliet didn't get very far. I could just go back on the road we walked on to get to the ceremony.
I wasn't quite sure which road but I chose the one that looked the most familiar. I started to run with Nora who had calmed a little after I told her we were leaving.
Up ahead I could see Courtney with her arms full and walking alongside her was a screaming Juliet.
She was crying out, "Hold me Mommy!" but since Courtneys hands were full she couldn't hold her.
Yep. She's done with me.
As soon as I reached them, Courtney set her stuff on the stroller and picked Juliet up. Both girls are crying that they want to be done. Courtney asks Juliet if daddy should make us pancakes. Juliet then starts crying that she wants pancakes and Nora begins to cry that she doesn't want to go to Juliet's house, she only wants to go home.
We finally made it back to the van and get the girls in their carseats. This was also quite the scene.
It was silent as we drove.
Courtney and I chatted. At least for the moment she didn't want to throw me out of her van...haha.
About half way back Nora broke the silence,
"Mommy, I want to go to Juliet's house to play."
So we did. We ate pancakes in a warm home and we played.
Not quite as I had planned.
No donuts for Cale.
I was told the next day at church that it was 17 degrees that morning.
Courtney is still my friend.