One of my absolute favorite races of the year. The Mom’s run was my very first race 3 years ago. I started running as a way to lose the baby weight from having Fiona. I didn’t want to allow myself the option to quit or give up, so I signed up for a local 5K to keep myself motivated. Little did I know I was going to fall in love with the sport and spend gazillions of dollars on race entry fees from there on out.
A look at newbie runner Michelle:
This was my first taste of a race and I was hooked. I never thought though that I would be able to push my body to where it is at today. I never once would have said I would run a half marathon or even consider signing up for a full marathon. Now look at me, I’ve gone crazy with running fever.
I’m getting off track.
So Saturday morning I did my usual routine of getting up early, stretching, foam rolling, half a bagel, some caffeine & water, and off to the course. Tony brought the girls along for this race since it is a mother’s day race and there is so much fun stuff for the kids to do. We arrived with enough time for me to go get a mile and a half warm up in. This year was a new course route so I ran around the route area to get a feel for where the turns were going to be. Since Tony works at Blackbaud, I’m very familiar with the area. Back at the start line Tony was watching Fiona jump on the bounce houses. I headed to the start line with Reyna and ran into Christine as well. I love having familiar faces at races.
Off we went. I wasn’t sure how this race was going to play out. I had already seen Kerry & Melissa, so I knew spots 1 and 2 were already gone. These girls are wicked fast and very dedicated to the sport. I am green with envy at their times and hope one day to be as good as they are. I had just raced on Thursday night so I figured I’d just test the waters and see what racing twice in one week was going to do. I’ve been doing speed work 2 times a week with a race in there as well, so I figured it couldn’t be too bad.
Mile 1: 6:46 A little bit faster than Thursday night. I knew based on Thursday’s optimal race conditions that I wasn’t going to be able to hold this pace throughout the whole race but I decided to just go with it and see what I could do. Mile 1 was just a straight away on the main road. I could see the lead pack which included Melissa keeping right up with Kerry.
Mile 2: 7:01 I’d fallen a bit slower. There were some turns in here. This year we raced back towards Blackbaud and turning towards the fairchild building that I used to work at when I worked for Blackbaud. We looped through the first parking lot to complete mile 2. As we rounded to head towards the next parking lot I took a quick look behind me to see that the 4th place female was closing in on me.
Mile 3: 7:10. I faded AGAIN. WHY… why can’t I keep my pace going. Why do I always lose it in the last mile. At 2.3 miles into the course (as we were finishing the second parking lot) the 4th place female passed me. I was pissed, not at her, but at myself for fading so hard. I’ve been working on speed work and my sprints have been consistently under 7 minute miles so why am I having such a hard time executing this in a race. Anyways, I got in my own head. I didn’t even try to surge to get back to her. I let her take 3rd and I cursed a lot the rest of the course.
The course finished as a loop around the Blackbaud parking lot. I loved seeing the mile 3 marker because it was sponsored by the Mom’s Group I belong to in Summerville. This year I put on a kids run for our mom’s group. Each child had a registration fee, they got a packet that included a bib, a pencil, stickers, and candy. The younger kids did a .4 mile loop at Hampton park while the big kids did 2 laps (.8 mile). Each child got a medal and then we had a post race dinner of pizza and other goodies. The money we collected for the registration fees all went to sponsoring that mile marker for the mom’s run. It felt so good to be able to donate to Postpartum Support Charleston. Seeing the mile marker gave me the push I needed to finish the last sprint at a 7:02 pace.
As I came up on the finish line I saw Tony and the girls. Fiona was cheering for me so I blew her a kiss and kicked it out.
Finish time: 21:50
The post race is where all the fun is at. This year the race had even more activities for the kids. I was blown away by all the fun activities they had set up. There were 2 jump castles, there was a lego area, painting, a photo booth, the fire trucks, food, face painting, and other random booths. Fiona got her hand painted with a flower, we got balloons, we did the photobooth, and she painted me a beautiful picture.
The food was the only pitfall this year. Before, chick-fil-a was there with chicken biscuits but this year the sausage biscuits that were provided by a new food sponsor were a bit dry. Other than that I thought this race was phenomenal as usual. The new course didn’t bother me at all. I mean, it’s not ideal to race through three parking lots but when I’m listening to my music and in the groove, I’m not really paying much attention to the course. I’m more interested in the swag, the post race activities, and the food.
I ended up being the 4th overall female (1st in my Age group). The awards were nice this year and I loved the new color of the T-shirt. This is a race I will come back to every year. It supports a great cause and is so much fun for the kids.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from postpartum depression, please seek help! It is extremely common, I promise you are not alone. You can find more information at: http://www.ppdsupport.org/