Saturday was the third time I ran the DC Rock and Roll marathon (2015) or half marathon (2014). I was somewhat ambivalent about the race. My training has been a bit up and down and I couldn't figure out what a good goal would be. I was somewhat shooting for 1:50, but mostly - I wanted to finish with enough energy to get through my day - which included seeing Helen's Odyssey of the Mind performance, coaching my Odyssey of the Mind team, celebrating my Odyssey of the Mind team, attending Connor's Cub Scout banquet, and attending Godspell to see a friend of Connor's perform. I was hoping to make it to a friend's house Saturday night after Godspell to catch up with running friends in a sitting position, but by the end of Godspell, my body was done.
It was a lot.
I got off the course at 1:53:39. I ran the half very steady, with a teeny negative split. I added about 0.2 miles to the course, mostly trying to get around groups of people who were running 3 - 4 abreast. Pretty typical, overall. I ran mile 8, my half marathon nemesis, mile like I meant it. I also ran a pretty fast last mile. But at the end, I stood there feeling really good and thinking - wow, that was just like a training run instead of a race. I guess now I know I need to set a big goal and go hard if I want to PR.
I knew several people starting in my corral, but didn't end up seeing them before the race. I started off with a friend's husband, but he was a bit in front of me when I needed to stop and tie my shoe (stupid mistake on my part). There was no way for him to know I stopped. I also had awakened that morning with a migraine, and with a fair amount of certainty I would puke during the run. I almost did - but somehow managed to keep everything that was supposed to be inside of me on the inside. Running under those conditions was definitely new to me. I do not recommend them.
On the upside, I really did feel like I could tack on many more miles at this pace, which means I'm getting closer to my required marathon goal pace. I need to run a marathon at 8:35, and I averaged 8:41 at this race. I'm looking forward to training, especially since some of that training will happen on vacation in Prague and Vienna.
After the race, I hopped on the metro with a few friends who waited for me at the finish line, grabbed my car at Ed's parking lot, dashed home, showered, and made it to Helen's Odyssey performance on time - with a few minutes to spare. Thankfully, Ed was at the tournament site and was directing me to the room via telephone. More thankfully, a chair was free right in the front of the room, which I happily grabbed.
I felt like I had crushed "momming" on Saturday. I was able to do something important to me (run) and something important to my children and me (Odyssey of the Mind).
Often, runners are allowed to have a few characters printed on their bib. I had forgotten what I had printed, and seeing it at pick-up made me feel like my last year's self (when I signed up to run) was giving my this year's self a little hug.