All right! I'm finally getting around to posting about the Harbor Half last weekend! Let me start out by saying it was an awesome race! But first - let's back up to the week prior to the race when things weren't going so well.
Sunday night I woke up in the middle of the night incredibly woozy and nauseous. I had the typical thoughts - what did I eat? Oh crap I'm pregnant...you know the ones. I ended up getting really sick and throwing up off and on for about 6 hours. It was TERRIBLE. Now don't get too excited - I'm not pregnant. Turns out there was a nasty 24 hour stomach bug going around. My running buddy got it the same time as I did, and our husbands got it soon after that. ABSOLUTELY NO FUN. I was completely worthless for about 2 days!
It turns out - getting sick might be just the ticket to a successful pre-race week! I laid around A LOT, took 2 easy runs once I was feeling better and ate A LOT of simple carbs. I practically lived on rice noodles and toast all week. When Friday night came around, I was feeling back to normal and really excited to race!
Things are so different once you have kids, and for us last weekend, I was on my own because of an away game for my husband and his team. Thankfully - I have a tribe of amazing women in my life here in town that helped the morning go off without a hitch, and I didn't have to worry about Little M at all! Even so, getting ready for the race entailed much more than laying out my race outfit (which took me FOREVER by the way) and setting the coffee maker up...I spent most of my brain power and evening making sure Little M had everything SHE needed for the morning!
I got a great night sleep (thank you small, sleepy child!) and woke up ready to go! It was COLD out! I know - it was Texas cold. Like 60 degrees. I've only lived here a few months but what they say is true...it's a different kind of cold! Regardless, it was the coldest weather I had experienced since training so I was glad I had planned to bring long sleeves. When we got to the start line my teeth were chattering and my muscles were stiff and I was regretting wearing shorts, but in the end I'm really glad I had on what I did. Once the sun rose and we got moving I was dressed perfectly!
I was surprised at the small size of the race - I just assumed it would be bigger. I'm not complaining though, I love the simplicity of smaller races! The course was really unique! We ran up and over the Bay Bridge in Corpus Christi. It's a huge bridge with lots of traffic, so the fact that we got to run over it was a really cool experience that most people never get to do! As we were climbing the bridge we got to see the sun rise over the harbor which was pretty awesome.
I started off at a pretty controlled pace because I really hadn't tested my endurance at a faster pace! I knew I could run sub-ten minute miles but I really didn't know if I could do all 13 that way! As the race moved on I realized that I was feeling really good and tried to pick up the pace and maintain it throughout. It was an out and back course which had its plusses and minuses. Right around mile 6 it was like "WOW! I'm still headed the wrong way! I'm not even halfway there!". But what I loved was being able to watch all of the speedy racers come back the opposite way! I was even able to high 5 some of the runners who were towards the end of the race once I was on the way back. Let me tell you, encouraging another runner gives me so much more of a boost than someone cheering for me! I decided to go super low maintenance on this run with no water bottle or music, so I really found the best entertainment in checking out other runners' shirts and shoes!
Around mile 10 there was a very long hard hill back up over the bridge. I really like hills, but after about 5 minutes of climbing I was wondering if it would ever end!! Chatting it up with a runner who had been near me for most of the race helped distract me through the rest of the climb!
By the time we crossed the bridge on the way back, I knew I was on track for my God Sized Goal! What?! I got excited and thought I could maybe beat 2:05 but quickly realized that probably wouldn't happen. The stretch to the finish line was long but I felt really good! I picked it up and ran strong towards the finish line until I saw my sweet baby girl cheering on the sideline with an adorable sign! My running buddy (who opted not to race that day) was at the finish line with all 3 of our kids! Side note- this woman needs a true shout-out. She wrangled 3 kids under a year and half into her car, drove 45 minutes and then loaded them into a triple stroller and to the finish line. She even had her camera ready for finish line shots. Seriously - she's super woman! I had to wave and swing closer for a quick hug from my baby. I seriously never knew how much motivation a 1 year old could give you! I just wanted to do it for her!
I crossed the finish line at 2:07:11 - blew away my big time goal! Perhaps I need to start setting loftier goals?! I felt better than I ever have at the finish...my legs were strong and I didn't feel the need to puke or pass out! Always a plus! I couldn't wait to hug my baby and my running buddy - my true support team!
We hung out at the finish line for a bit to watch another friend finish, and then we headed home - picking up shrimp tacos on the way! Yum! I spent the rest of the day relaxing and watching football. I even got Miss Oakley out for a walk in the evening, which felt good on my legs. I took it easy this week - my calves and hamstrings sure were feeling the impact of climbing those hills! Lots of yoga, foam rolling and essential oil massage for me! I've even gotten a few easy runs in.
All in all - the Harbor Half was an amazing experience. A fun course, great view and a chance to really push myself! What seemed to fill my heart even more than the joy of finishing a successful race, was the amazing supportive women I have in my life here in TX. This race day made me realize how truly blessed I am. It's not always easy to do something like train for and run a race during football season with a little one when your husband is a coach. I'm so thankful for great friends to train with, to help watch Little M and to support me every step of the way!
how about you?
Have you done a race recently?
Do you prefer an out and back, point to point or loop course?