So apparently I kind of dreamed of getting back into shape after the birth of baby sister Julia. I dreamed I would be running with the double stroller. Depending on when she would arrive (hopefully late July, and not mid August as she did) I was dreaming about running a 10K race with Helle in November. November came and the race in North Redlands came closer too, and I definitely did not feel ready for the 10K after only have been doing the Baby Boot Camp work outs for 6-7 weeks at that point. Well, I had promised Helle I would be there so I ran the 5K with the girls in the jogger. It was freezing cold and a light drizzle, the girls were packed under lots of blankets and rain jackets, the jogger was so heavy. I didn't get to any PR at that race that's for sure. So I set my eyes to do the 10K at Run Through Redlands in April 2012, that would be doable, right?! Well, another little part of me had dreamed about doing my first half marathon with the double jogger that April too, but that seemed so far fetched. Especially since Baby Boot Camp was ending and what kind of work out would I be doing then? I had planned to start running by myself, so I did that a couple of times in the beginning of Februar, but luckily a local fitness couple took up the challenge of continuing work out groups for moms with kids in jogging strollers. Soon in mid February me and my girls were back at doing what we were used to spending mornings in the parks, getting fresh air, kids playing together, and moms working out:D
But since I had realised just from those couple of times running by myself, that I was actually capable of running a 10K, I started wondering how far I could actually go? So I planned longer runs Wednesday or Saturday mornings and after a month and a half realised I could run for two hours (with a little hill walking here and there) and do about 10 miles (16Km). I might be able to do this thing called a Half Marathon, I thought. But then we had planned for a weeks vacation four weeks before the race, so I got nervous about not being able to keep my mileage up that week. Lo and behold I actually went to the tread mill at one of the hotels we stayed at and ran for an hour, not that that was much for a whole week but better than nothing.
After the vacation with my parents and seeing them which is always great there was only 3 weeks l'eft to the race. A week later I got a cold and couldn't run for four days, should I or should I not sign up for the half... I kept going back and forth, back and forth. My trainers and work out buddies kept telling me to sign up, so 9 days before the race I thought, what the heck and did just that. The race was this past Sunday. I was so nervous. Of course the weather had just changed for the better, and very much hotter, but it went fine! Unfortunately Philip wouldn't be home that weekend of the race to help me get ready and be my back up in the case of a flat tire or something happened with the stroller or the girls. He would be there in spirit;)
All the girls from my work out group who had signed up for the race (half or 10K) met up before the start. Two pregnant mommies were going to do the half marathon, so impressive!! Mommies in great shape, that's what it is.
Of course I had to use the bath room one last time a few minutes before the race was about to start. Daniella was there to help me get ready and she told me to hurry. When I came out and pushed the stroller towards the starting line I couldn't see anybody. 'Did the half leave already?' I frantically yelled at random people waiting for the 5K to start.. Well, I might as well just go. So there I was trying to see if I could catch up with anybody on the half marathon route. So annoying a start I thought. And then on that beginning stretch a car with a couple of young men drove on a parallel street, where one of them pulled down the window and yelled 'F#ck you!' at me. Great start, just great, I roled my eyes. Another man ran up past me and asked 'When did the half start?' None of us had heard the starting buzz.
Well, that start get my pace going. I am starting real strong and I know I will not be able to keep that up for long. At the first little hill of Cajon St. I see a group of people walking and cheering on this guy running on two prosthesis, he's doing the 10K, they left ten minutes before the half. There is live music, and this man is able to run with no legs and dance at the same time, wauw!
The next thing I see is Katy's, my trainer's, dad and some other of her family. They cheer for me too. I hear him comment on how much Josephine looks like Ella, Katy's daughter. I would love to tell him thanks for the cheer and that we know Ella, but I am already out of breath and further down the street. I had set my eyes on not letting myself walk the next hill either, that's Lakeside. I slowly jog up, but I keep at it. I am very happy that I follow through. At the top Katy's husband and kids are cheering. We (me and Josephine) shout 'hi' to Ella and wave. Then I have to walk Nottingham, four ninjas pass me by with loud music. On the long stretch of Highland I finally start to see 'my people' and with that I mean the rest of the half marathoners. I pass quite a few and get to the next hill, where I again put my mind to run that first stretch, and I did! That said there were a couple of old ladies in their fifties at least and they were powerwalking up that hill faster than I could jog, impressive! One lady I didn't get to pass until the last mile which means she was powerwalking a half marathon in about three hours. (Well, from then on I ended up walking more than running those next five, six or seven hills, well, well..).
At about 5 miles in the race a lady with a blue shirt keep being in front of me. She is wearing a pulse watch or something that says the loudest BEEP-BEEP every 30 seconds or so. So everytime I tried to pass her BEEP-BEEP she would end up passing me a little later BEEP-BEEP, and for the next four miles or so BEEP-BEEP I kept hearing that darn thing BEEP-BEEP, sigh. But besides that at 5.5 miles my good friend Alecia and her son Alex are cheering us on. Alecia is taking pictures, so I try to wave, keep jogging, pushing the stroller, and smile, and adorable Alex is jumping up and down. They are so sweet! I get enough energy from them to keep on going until the next hill, which is one of the steepest and I have to slow down again. Some more walking, but finally I get to the top of Mariposa, and I know the next 3 miles hardly have any crazy hills (and still I find myself walking a bit anyways at those hills I usually would jog, but then again I'm at mile 9 so it's okay to start feeling a bit tired). Then we're back at Serpentine not long from when I saw Katy's family, and they are there again and now with Alecia and Alex again, cheering for me and the girls. It's great and they make me able to run the next little hill on Smiley Height. Soon it's 1.5 miles downhill to where we live and our wonderful neighbors are standing by the curb cheering at us. The downhill feels great, now to do the last dreaded 1.5 miles stretch. Luckily at Magnolia I see Susan, she has come to run the last mile with me. We see a lot of half marathoners walking, but she keeps me going. A bit later Robin joins us too, even in flip-flops she's jogging with us. Not that I am that fast at that last mile, but the important part is not to walk I feel. By talking to me that helps me focus on other things than tired feet and legs, and when we turn the last corner the adrenaline gets me to run to the finish line. I did it! The half marathon is done, wauw, I feel great! Daniella and Adriana see me cross the finish line and cheer for me and the girls there. And I see some of the other girls, that finished the half way before me, they are proud of me too.
I had dreamed about running that half marathon, but didn't think I would be able to do it with my girls. I had started to tell people that a goal of mine was to run a half marathon before I turn 40, and now it's done! Phew, what new dream should I come up with now??
I think it's going to be a fun story to tell our girls when they grow up, that they did a half marathon with their mom. A great way to teach them about excersize;)
Btw: Another dream of mine has been to write a novel, and I actually did just that last November at www.nanowrimo.org! (Now if I could just edit it that is another matter)