I loved this whole experience. I started training for this race after I had Mason. I wanted to run a half, but I knew I had a long way to go. I dealt with 2 IT band injuries. One I treated with 2 weeks off of running, and the other I went to a physical therapist and did limited running with a lot of cross training. There were tons of runs pushing the kids in the stroller, trying to squeeze some miles in on my in-laws treadmill when the weather was bad. There were many days I was awake before 5 and late nights stretching and foam rolling.
I thought about all of this while running down Hobble Creek Canyon. My running app wouldn't work, so I paced myself on how I felt. I knew I was going out fast, but I was feeling so good I decided to take advantage of the downhill. I took a gel at mile 3, and a couple shot blocks at miles 6 and 9. I ran through each aid station, but would grab one cup of water to dump on my head and grab a 2nd cup to drink. (I'm terrible at drinking while I'm moving.) I carried 6oz of water on my belt and drank it when I fueled.
I made sure to focus on the scenery around me. I would often look up at the beautiful mountains and take in how pretty it was up there. I also would remind myself often that I wanted to finish knowing I couldn't have gone any faster. For being a slow runner, I'm actually a very competitive person. The entire race I would pick a runner I thought I could catch and focus on passing them. I was also very inspired to see all the other runners out there fighting.
I felt like I held pace until the last 3-4 miles. I started to slow down to a more normal pace for me. When there was 1 mile left I felt the wheels fall off. I seriously was probably running a 11:30 pace at this point. It was all I could do to just keep putting one leg in front of the other. I saw tons of people stopping and walking but all that did was make me feel more determined to not give in.
I practice sprinting at the end of each of my runs to build mental endurance and I know that helped me the last 400 meters of this race. I finished in 2hr 4min and knew I had left it all out on the course. Best. Feeling. Ever.
I almost cried when I saw Kevin and the kids after the race. I was high on endorphins, and was so full of love for my little support system.
Run 13 promised a bounce house and they delivered. There was a bounce house and this awesome slide.
This picture is my favorite of the entire day. I had so much fun taking Mason down this slide. Look at the look of pure joy on his face!
Of course I took an ice bath after the race and spent the day stuffing my face.