“Run by my side; live in my heartbeat; give strength to my steps.”
Ten hours of driving, five hours of sleep, two hours forty-five minutes and eighteen seconds of running, two hours forty five minutes and eighteen seconds of sweating buckets….that pretty much sums up the past forty-eight hours.
Graham and I headed down to Virginia Beach on Saturday for me to compete in the Rock n Roll 1/2 marathon. Traveling with a 7 month old can be challenging. Lucky for me, I have the best 7 month old EVER. We did have to stop an hour into the trip for a quick diaper change, but other than that – Graham was a champ! He didn’t even get frustrated when we were in bumper to bumper traffic on 64 (he gets that from me and NOT his dad).
Our first stop in VA Beach was the Health & Fitness Expo! The expo and the finish line are my favorite parts of a race weekend. Starting with my very first race, I’ve made a ritual of purchasing an article of clothing at the expo for race day. I’ve gotten anything you can think of – shorts, shirts, socks, a headband, and even shoes (left my running bag in Richmond and headed to Nashville for a race….oops). This race I didn’t buy anything for myself (this may have been my problem!), instead I got a super cute onesie for Grahambo – is says “Walk, Crawl, Run VA Beach” and it has a guitar. Cute.
After the expo we carbo loaded with Colleen and George. Graham was a little dramatic at dinner and tried to choke on a cracker. Nearly gave me a heart-attack. By the time we got back to George’s parents, where we were staying, it was play time for the little guy! He LOVED Griff, Colleen and George’s pup. And Griff loved Graham!! Griff also loved my socks and Graham loved Griff’s toys. I guess they wanted to share. After being in his car seat all day, Graham was ready to move!! By 9:30 I was finally able to slow him down enough to pass out – which meant I could finally pass out! Neither of us slept well – between his coughing and me needing the restroom (over hydration), I hardly slept at all.
So let’s talk about the running. It sucked. If you’re from Virginia you know that the summer humidity can be brutal. At times it’s hard to breath. Today was one of those days! It was 6am and I was already sweating. Virginia Beach advertises all of their courses as “fast and flat”. Well, I just want to remind people that flat is only as good as the weather! This was my 4th and worst race down there. Next to my Nashville race, I’ve never seen so many runners collapsed on the side of the road. Needless to say, the medics were busy.
Aside from being miserable, I had a great time. Maybe it was all of the endorphins, but there’s really something special about being surrounded by 10,000+ runners/walkers. These people, of all shapes and sizes, are out there challenging and pushing themselves, without having a gun held to their head. The Kenyans are amazing, Team Hoyt is inspiring, and the numerous groups out raising awareness and more than one million dollars for charity are invigorating. Impressive. There was a man running with NEW LUNGS (he started right next to me – pretty cool), a woman with foot drop (paralysis of an ankle) completing her 15th 1/2 marathon of the year, a man that juggled the entire 13.1 miles, and my friend, Colleen, running 14 weeks pregnant. Pretty awesome.
After beating the heat and humidity, I wanted to die a little. But within minutes, my clothes DRIPPING with sweat, I was feeling extremely proud of myself. And it was great seeing Graham (passed out) at the finish line. Since Graham’s existence – including in utero – I have completed the Ragnar Relay DC (6 months pregnant), Rock n Roll DC 1/2 marathon (10 weeks after giving birth), a couple 5k’s here and there, and now Rock n Roll VA Beach 1/2 marathon (almost 8 months to the day after giving birth). In a couple of weeks I will complete this year of running as I head out to Cumberland, MD, for another 200 mile relay with my amazing Ragnar team. I wonder what I can do next year….
Weekend in a nutshell:
-lots of driving
-lots of carbs and water
-lots of running
-lots of sweating
-(not) lots of sleeping
-lots of missing you