I realize that it is almost Father’s Day and I am finally writing a recap for one of my favorite races, the Mother’s Day Half Marathon. Better late than never. This is a little local race that continues to grow in size and popularity. The race benefits The Cancer Connection. I had run the race twice before. Last year was a tough run for me for a variety of reasons only made worse by unseasonably hot temps. This year I lined up feeling a lot better physically and mentally. One week prior I ran a strong 6.5 miles of the Plattsburgh Half Marathon Relay. I’ve been running more consistently and building up a base before marathon training begins in July. I’m nowhere near the shape I was in the first time I ran this race, but I am determined to get back there.
I arrived with barely enough time to use the port-a-potties. As I exited the sani can the race was beginning. I walked quickly to the start area and merged into the crowd of runners. There is such a laid back vibe to this race, I wasn’t feeling nervous. The weather was grey and threatening heavy rain, but the rains were holding off so far. It was cool out and ideal for running.
I felt good, but knew enough to take it easy on the first few miles. My A goal was to run under 2:10. This goal was directly related to my performance the week before in Plattsburgh. However, each course varies and while the Mother’s Day Half is not overly technical, it is a bit more challenging that Plattsburgh. So my B goal was to finish under 2:15. I immediately saw the 2:15 pacer and fell easily ahead of her.
The rain came, but softly. It was just warm enough by then that the rain actually felt nice. I ran smoothly and felt as though I was running a solid pace to achieve my A goal, but I don’t use any kind of tracker for races so I had no idea. I felt great. I didn’t look behind, but I was convinced I had lost the 2:15 pacer. Shortly after the first 6.5 miles I caught a glimpse of a bright yellow shirt gaining on me from behind. I knew before I saw the sign that it was the 2:15 pacer. With a quick spin of my head I confirmed my suspicions. I snarled internally and then started running a little faster until I could no longer see that yellow shirt out of the corner of my eye.
I lost the pacer and tried to keep up a slightly faster pace than I had run in the first half. I certainly felt as though I was running a stronger pace than 2:15, but suddenly the pacer was behind me again. I sped up and lost her. Back and forth, it continued like this for the last half of the race. At about mile 12 I got really pissed off when I saw the pacer appear at my heels again. Oh hell no! I hit the last mile at a sprint. I kept it up, didn’t look back and finished as strong as I possibly could at 2:13:13.
I could see Orlando and Carlos cheering for me just before I crossed the finish line. In a split second I remembered why I run these races. It’s not really about my time. Last year’s race was grueling and challenging, but I finished it. This year’s race was a really strong effort on my part. I ran my heart out and finished proud. Both years represent my commitment to living an active, healthful life. No matter what my finish time is, I finish proudly and grateful for the ability to move my body. When I see my husband and son at the finish I remember that I do this because I want to be around for as long as I can to enjoy my family. I also hope that my son sees me as a positive example of how to live a healthy life.
The rest of Mother’s Day was spent enjoying Carlos’ soccer game with my mom and lunch together.