I realize that I’ve been talking a lot about pregnancy and motherhood lately. That is what has been my main focus since I’ve been absent from the racing world, so I was really excited about today’s #FridayFive topic of discussion with Mar, Courtney and Cynthia. We are reminiscing about our favorite race memories. I dunno about you, but I have some of my most fond memories spread out through my racing days. It was actually really difficult to limit myself to only five.
1. My First Half Marathon
I signed up and began training for this half marathon immediately after hearing about my bff completing her first half marathon. I needed some motivation towards losing the baby weight after my first born and running became the perfect avenue to do just that. I hadn’t anticipated catching the bug, like so many of us do after our first race, but I really enjoyed the runner’s high and feelings of accomplishment as I crossed the finish line at my first thirteen point one. The fact that it was a RunDisney race didn’t mean much to me as a newbie, but looking back, I am thankful that I chose a race with so much on course support and resources. I chaffed really bad in my cotton – yes, I was a newbie – t-shirt. Thankfully, there was a support tent along the course when I was able to grab a glob of vaseline to apply to my underarms to ease the friction. Lesson Learned.
The only other thing that I regretted about this race was that I had convinced my husband he didn’t need to be there at the finish line. Afterwards, I really wished that he had been there to see me at the end. It was because of his generosity and his support that I was able to make this happen just a year after becoming a mom. Had he been there, I probably would’ve cried more than I already did.
2. My Current PR
I hadn’t really been keeping up with a training schedule for this race, but I was racing every couple of weeks at this point and I had logged hundreds of miles since my first half marathon only four months prior. I was so proud of myself for this one. I knocked twenty minutes off my time and was so close to a sub 2:00 finish without even monitoring my splits or pace. I think this race was the moment I decided that I wanted to get serious, purchase a Garmin and really start pushing myself towards a faster finish time. I have a really fond memory of this race too aside from my time too. My mom, husband and daughter were there cheering for me along the course. I was so proud to have completed this race, in this time, with them to see me do it. Big pat on my back for this one.
3. My Favorite Relay
If you’ve never done an overnight relay like Ragnar, I strongly urge you to test out your race mentality and your limit for body odors and sign up for one. This was one of the most adventurous races I’ve ever done. I think the winning moment for me was when I ran over the Seven Mile Bridge at sunrise to complete my 20 miles and the last of my legs. It was awe inspiring and challenging and I had a van full of my teammates cheering for me at the end of the bridge.
4. My Distance PR
This was definitely a challenge race for me. Every year, the Gasparilla Distance Classic is held in Tampa, FL. and every year they offer challenges like the Mich Ultra Challenge to test runners stamina and dedication. Being that I was on such a runner’s high from the other races I was completing this particular year and the fact that I literally wanted to RUN ALL THE RACES, I signed up for the challenge to run 31 miles in 2 days time. It most definitely was my most difficult race and I learned the importance of a good ice cold bath at the completion of the weekend. You can read my recap here. I said I wouldn’t do it ever again, but part of me wants to attempt it again and try to beat my time. This was the first race that I began to experience any kind of pain from under training. I would love to go at it again another year with the proper training and preparation.
5. The Family Affair
As a BAMR (Bad Ass Mother Runner), I love to support races where I can bring my daughter and allow her to participant in something that I am so passionate about. Locally, Best Damn Race and Gasparilla Race Weekend support that cause. We have made it our annual tradition to run the Stroller Roll ever since our daughter was born. Ironically, that was my very first race……ever. It brings such a smile to my face to look back on our pictures and remember just how I started this journey. And I smile even more now knowing that the next time we run this race, I will have TWO of my babies in tow.
What is one of your favorite race memories?