Mar 3, 2011

Mardi Gras Half Marathon

The Mardi Gras's a race that has been pretty important to our family for a few years. Back in 2005, I ran the half for the first time. The next year I came back, sacrificed a few toenails, but made it all 26.2. Damon signs up for it every year, but always manages to find some excuse to just collect the swag and skip the race. This year, we both signed up for the full course. Ludicrous, right? Of course right. What were we thinking? We have two children under three and full-time jobs. Sometimes we are just dense.

A few days before the race, I decided that I wouldn't let a little thing like not being prepared stop me from participating and having a great time. After all, the race fell on February 13, which was my Grandma's birthday. My grandma was my absolute favorite person in the world, and I say with love, she was also a tad bit stubborn. I vowed to make this race my "Ode to Stubbornness" in honor of my Grandma.

I completed the race. My time was not a PR, but I was not concerned with time, so who cares? It was actually a liberating experience to run and not be a slave to the watch. Along the way I enjoyed the scenery, took as many bathroom breaks as I wanted, chatted up some losers from The Biggest Loser, and had a great time. One of my only problems was all those annoying people with their beeping Garmins messing up my zen. When looking back, there were several things I could have done to be better prepared for the race:

1. Train. I kind of skipped this part, with the exception of a few long runs about a month before the race. I am sure Hal Higdon would be mortified, and for this, I am truly sorry.

2. NOT eat a foot-long Subway tuna fish sandwich at 9 p.m. the night before the race.

3. Sleep more than 4 hours the night before the race. Instead I opted to spend a couple of hours crawling around in the cold attic looking for a dress that was actually not even up there. Oh, and I spent some time looking for Body Glide also. It rocks.

4. Break in my running shoes BEFORE the race.

All in all, I had a great time in spite of all my mistakes. It only hurt for a few days, so I don't think there was any real harm done.  If you have a burning desire to see me hobble over the finish line, visit the "Videos" tab up top.  If you MUST know my time, google it.

By far, the absolute BEST moment of the race was reuniting with my cheering section afterwards.  Damon braved the crowds with Stella strapped to his back and Cille in her stroller.  They were at the finish line when I crossed, and though none of us saw each other, it really meant a lot to me that they were there to support my insanity.  Oh, and they brought me chocolate frosted donuts and chocolate milk from the Hole!  Soooo much better than the crap the race organizers were trying to pawn off on people.

Also in the race that day were two special friends who did everything right and deserve a great big round of applause, or high five, or ice cream sundae, or something for their awesome accomplishments! Here is Emily, who completed her first full marathon, looking fresh as a daisy around mile 25...
See what I mean about training?  It pays off!  Another big congrats to Tricia Raney, who completed her first half-marathon that day!  Way to go, girls!


trixerelixer said...

you are the sweetest! i have loved reading everyone's personal thoughts on the race! to see how each of us tackled to full & 1/2 and to see what it meant to each of us! thanks for all the encouragement! i'm looking forward to many MANY more 1/2 Marathons!

Katie D. said...

Congrats on the 1/2...I hope next year I can run it with ya'll! Oh and body glide is great!

Emily Raney said...

Yay! I'm so happy you decided to be stubborn and just run the race. I've always said I've never regretted a time when I got out and ran, but I can't count the days I've regretted not going out for the run.

You did great!! Congrats!