Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Run like a MOTHER!


Ten seconds is all it took to bring me to tears following my very first half marathon. This wasn't a commitment made in haste by any means. This race has been nearly 4 years in the making.

When Jackson was almost a year, we moved back to NC from Alabama and I decided running was going to be the way I lost my baby weight. Well, it worked! After that, I'm pretty sure is when I was hooked but Jen and I started running mornings around 9am and did it pretty consistently for the next 3 years. Through some pretty torturous weather (mostly extreme heat) we ran pushing kids in jogging strollers stopping for potty breaks and snack times. When we were both here and available, we did some 5K's and a couple of 10K's together and our time was always pretty good for our level. Last October, we committed to doing a 10 miler and started training more seriously. We had since ditched the strollers and made our kids RUN! (HA, kidding!) We would wake and run anywhere from 5-7 miles around 530-6am. We decided it was the right time for us and it worked. We increased our time and speed over that course and in November we ran the Raven Rock 10 mile trail run. WOW! We were quite prepared for the distance of that race but the terrain was a different story. It was quite possibly the hardest race I'll ever run. Our time didn't at all reflect our pace but more our completion. I'll never forget yelling at Jen 3 people in front of me at that race that I'd MUCH rather be running 13.1 on the road than this 10 in the woods! That was the beginning of our marathon dreams.

In February we decided rather quickly that with my upcoming move, NOW was the time for us to complete that goal. We found out the Raleigh Rocks Half was going to be April 10 and we hit the ground running. We started training with our long runs falling on Sundays while still maintaining our early morning 5's and 6's. We racked up 100 miles in both Feburary and March and we knew we were ready for this race.

Race week, I went out on a limb and booked us 2 hotwire hotels in hopes that we'd be close to the race. What LUCK that it was the hotel across the street from the RBC center where the race started. The Best luck was that it was $39 a night! And if you think it was a dump, think again! It was a great Ramada Inn with breakfast included.

Race day started out about 50 and ended at about 55. It was cloudy and slightly overcast with morning dew heavy. There were around 2000 running in the race making it the biggest one we had ever participated in. We took our spot in the mid-back right corner and the gun goes off.
Mile 1-dead duck was spotted making quite a spectacle.
Mile 2- my WATCH died. Are you kidding! I've been running with this thing as my pacer for years now and it dies today! Luckily Jen had one and committed to calling our pace at every mile to keep us motivated.
Mile 3- Jen-"We are at a 9:10 pace"
Mile 5- Me-"What should we title this blog? Any song you can think of that would be fitting?" We contemplated Bon Jovi, Living on a Prayer (Ohhh, you're HALF way there) and Justin Bieber's Never say Never.
Mile 6- Me "I'm hungry! Jen, aren't you hungry? Lucky us, I have these last few jelly beans in my sports bra!" Two thumbs up for Jelly Belly Sports Beans!
Mile 7- Jen-"We are at a 8:50 pace let's keep that up!"
Mile 10-Me-"Where are we?" Jen- "We lost a little on that last hill, we are at 1:32. If we are going to break 2 hours, we're going to have to pull a few 8:30 pace miles.
Mile 10.5-Me-"OK, Jen, you get me up these next 2 hills and stay 2 people in front of me and I'll follow you." This must have been the go ahead she needed because she took off and I followed. We ran the next 3 miles at nearly 8:30 pace.

I knew it was going to be close. Really close. We ran for our hearts out. We ran for the time of our life. When we saw the finish line we ran like a machine. I ran with focus only hearing the voice in my head that I COULD do this.

We crossed the finish line with an officially recorded time of 1:59:50. TEN seconds to spare for accomplishing a goal we didn't really ever think was possible this first time. UNDER a 2 hour half marathon for our first race was a pretty great accomplishment. We have set the bar pretty high for subsequent races. Will there be more? ABSOLUTELY!

Jen and I always talk about how we think it's important that our kids see us making our health and fitness a priority. Sometimes they don't even see us doing it, they just know we come home sweaty before they even get up but they see that we are committed to something. They take pride in our medals earned in the race but we take pride in knowing we are teaching them something more valuable.

We don't just run...we run like a MOTHER!


  1. Awesome! That is a great accomplishment! One of my life goals. I got up to running just over 2 miles (was trying to get to 5k) and found out I was prego with Addie. Then got back to it again and found out I was prego with Claire! haha
    Now...with work...I just wish I could get ANY time. I want to go to the gym at 5am, but lately, sleep has been winning because I am so so tired. Hopefully soon! You motivate me!

  2. Congratulations, Jamie! What an accomplishment for your first half! I'm so proud of you! I love what you said about showing the kids a good fitness example. I grew up in a family that probably considered watching TV together a team sport, and I sorely hope that Wil and I change that for our children.

  3. Jamie, I have so many great memories after all these years of our morning runs. I loved the ones with the kids--especially the dump truck area breaks. I really have enjoyed our me time early mornings this past year without the kids though too. It wasn't until we ditched the strollers that we were really able to kick into high gear. You have been a valuable asset to my running motivation. I am glad we have been there for each other. Now what am I going to do after next week, you really are irreplaceable, you know!! You are by far one of the best running partners I have ever had, and an even better friend.