Yesterday was the big race. It's the first big race of the season and each year more and more runners come out for it. I believe over 800 toed the line for this one.
Here's the twist to my race report. (hint: note my white sweater in the picture below.) I didn't run. That was tough. It was very tough. I had to play my 'smart card' yesterday and suck it up. I had a stress fracture this past fall. I was off the roads for months. I'm back now, but my training to date has not prepared me for an intense 10 mile run. Any 10 mile run, yes, I could do it right now. But not that 10 mile race. That 10 mile race is Intense. There was no way I would head out those roads and not give it 110%. So in order to be safe and not risk causing a setback, I had to take on role as Spectator and double Mom.
Here's how my day went. The alarm went off in South Paris at 6:30. I was down to two boys because one of my kids had a sleepover. So Mark and I scurried around our house feeding the kids (takes foreeeeever....they eat half the fridge each meal) and heading out for the big race. I felt like I was running. I had butterflies. I just can't let it go...
We finally arrived in Cape Elizabeth (where I grew up) and ran into the High school. The cafeteria was packed. I immediately found Alina and her 3 kiddos (there to cheer Mary at the start), Steve (read his blog for a great recap @ MaineSport ) and shortly thereafter, Bob. (Read another Great race report @ BootstrapBobTurner ). I had a blast chatting with everyone as they donned their race clothes. I was envious but having fun living vicariously through them. Mary and Andy showed up with their kids. I was going to watch their 3 little ones while they raced. So at that point, 8 of our kids were swirling around reuniting with each other! It was impressive. Somehow I managed to get a nice picture of the three girlfriends before we all split up for the day.
( Alina, Ange and Mary) Alina left the race and headed to her daughter's 10 & U swim meet, I raced around cheering on my friends with 5 kiddos in tow, and Mary went on to crush her old PR. Pretty good day I'd say!!
Bob Turner and Dave Brackett getting ready to warm up.
Here's the gang!!! The gang of kids that is! (minus my son Cameron--at a sleepover party.) The 8 kids here belong to me (the two boys on the right), Alina and Mary. Their kids are mixed together but adorably paired off: the two youngest girls on the left (Dara & Lara), the boys in the midde (Noah & Ethan) and in the back the big girls (Maria & Jordan.)
My goal was to be cheerleader extraordinaire and also, photographer. You can start to see from the shots below that I failed at the photography thing. I was too excited. And cold.
Alina and I headed out to the start with our 8 little kids. They rolled around, jumped on stairs, straggled away, complained of the wind, or took off their mittens & pretended they were too cool to be cold. We got quick hugs from Mary and Stacy. I waved from afar to Mark. ( He is quite tall and wore a dayglo yellow coat so I could see him amidst the 800 runners looking our way.) We shook our heads at the 3 or so guys wearing shorts and tank tops. Later, I learned one guy ran the race Barefoot!!!! Seriously? Ouch. Brrr. Ouch!
It was less than 20 degrees and the wind was fierce. Now, I am a Mainer. I have always been a Mainer and I claim to even like winter. But the weather here just stinks lately. There is very little snow and it's been freezing. The wind will not stop howling. So even though the temperature wasn't too impressive yesterday, there was a lot of wind. At least where we were standing! We could barely handle watching the start....our eyes were watering and we had to hold our hand over our faces to stay sheltered. Alina commented that I was probably happy I wasn't racing in that.
Nope. Not the case. You are miraculously warm while running...if dressed properly.
I knew I would have been warmer if I was running. And as it turns out, they all said it wasn't too bad.
The race director yelled, "GO!" to all 800 people. Off they went. True to form, Mark smiled and waved as he ran off. I sighed and tried to wipe the poor me feeling off my face.
Alina and I hugged goodbye and I rallied the kids.
I got to the car and tried to encourage them all to wait for me so I could help arrange them into my car. I had figured out how to fit 5 car seats into our car but it required the kids to climb over seats, little Lara to be in a 5 pt harness seat and other little manipulations. The kids were adorable. they did great and all climbed in and buckled up. I wiped little Lara's glasses off for her and offered them all ritz crackers. We headed down the road towards the runners. I know this town inside out since I grew up there and spent years and years running those roads. I knew just where to go to watch them run by. I would see them around mile 6. I told them all to throw their gloves, hats, extra anything to me if they were hot at that point. That was my plan. And I would also take lots of pictures as they ran by right in the middle of the race. The trick was to get back in time to see them finish. With my speedy friends, 10 miles is not a lot of time!
I had to drive slow because many runners were still making their way off the first road. I saw a lady hobbling along. she was walking back up the road. When I got close I realized I knew her! She was a teacher who worked at the school I worked at 8 years ago! She had stepped in a pothole and twisted her ankle. She offered my ride. She got in the car, let out her initial frustration, and then turned around to see 10 little eyes staring at her. "Whoa!" She didn't knwo what she got herself into. I ended up doing a big loop around town to drive her back to the school so she didn't have to do the cheering shuffle with me.
It all worked out and I got to my spot Just in time. I pulled all 5 kids out of hte car and hussled them over to the curb. The wind was whipping and it was cold. We could see them all coming....within minutes of our arrival..."GO ANDY!!!!!!!!!!!! "
As expected, Mary's husband was flying. I'm so excited he's doing a lot of these races with us now. He is seriously impressive to watch! The kids were no on top of a hill taking turns running down as fast as they could without falling head first. They didn't seem to give one little hoot about their parents running by! Hmmm..... Still. I think they'll look back some day and think about what rockstars Mom and Dad were. Right? :) Maybe.
Note the great picture of Andy running by......
Ooops. Sorry. I told you I failed at that part. It all was happening too fast and I became a crazy lady yelling at every person going by!!
I was so desperate to jump out onto the road and run along with them!! Also, at road races like this, it's basically a few volunteers watching intersections (2 cars came by...we're in a small Maine town...not a lot of traffic), and in this case 5 spectators. (I'm not counting the kids.) It was me, my parents, and one other lady. Ok, that's 4 spectators. I was the only one yelling!! I knew every other person that went by it seemed. But they can hear every single word echo across the road. I felt a little nutso out there. But I continued to holler away. I loved every minute of it.
here comes Mary....she's to the left of the guy in orange. (pictures are really lame..I had to be DONE taking pictures by the time she got to me so I could SCREAM!) That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.
Here she is...that's a good one! GO MARY!!!
There's Mike...on the right. He was having a Great race as well!!! He tossed me his gloves...they went STraight up in the air and back on the road. Right in the road. In the path of the 700 runners behind him. We laughed pretty hard..I had to dodge runners for the next few runners trying to get those gloves. Good throw Mike! :) I'll forgive ya...
Ok...I'm feeling bad now because I didn't get any pictures of my husband running by. Ooops. Or my brother. Sorry Jeff... and Mark...I'm sorry. Again, I was too busy screaming!!! I was running back and forth hollering with excitement as I watched Mike and Bob fight it out. They were shoulder to shoulder and pushing hard. Right behind them was Steve and Jeff! And then Stacy and Erin! My friends were ALL flying by. They were all racing hard and suffering and taking full advantage of all the freindly competition we find out there on the roads.
It was inspiring and motivating.
It was exciting and very impressive.
I saw most of them run by and realized I was on the clock myself. In order to get back to see Andy finish, I had to Hurry!!! He was running 6 min/miles, he had less than 4 miles to go, I had been watching friends run by for 10 minutes after him...."COME ON KIDS!" We scrambled to the car and snapped them in. I drove back to the school but couldn't find a place to park. We had to park at a store next door. From there we had a bit of a walk to get back to the finish. Runners were coming fast and furious. As we were heading down the road, sure enough, There's Andy! GO GO GO !!! He was flying. Absolutely flying. My Dad was helping me and was carrying Lara. Mary's youngest daughter. I was running along with the other 4 kids.
We missed Andy's finish but we at least saw him run into the school. We would see the rest finish.
And that is when I really got loud. But the funny thing is, I doubt any of them heard a word I said!! I had also planned on taking shots of all of them as they ran down the final hill to the finish. Their faces were priceless...I wish had my camera ready.
Mark came first---and I saw the clock. He was breaking 1:10. unreal. I must take a minute to marvel at my husband. I have chosen to not let it bother me. He has an insane ability to run really fast on very very little training. He ran 10 miles ONE time before this race. He runs 2, mabye 3 times/week. There is no real plan involved. Those other 4 or 5 days is he biking? swimming? No. Nothing. He's working. Or making breakfast for the kids while I swim or bike. He gets out there to race a few times a year and just flies. He beat almost all my kick a$&* Tri friends (all except 3). It's remarkable. I wish he would train for real...he'd be unreal.
Talk about less is more. He could be a spokesperson for this method. He ran a 1:09:22. He beat my PR by 44 seconds. I'll have to take care of that next year.
Right behind him...Steps behind him was my friend Steve...and steps behind him was my friend Bob. (read their blogs...I put links to them above). Right behind them was my brother Jeff, in 1:10:07! So close! The guys took Minutes off their PRs!!! It's fantastic! Right behind Jeff was Carrie, and Stacy, and then Mary! ( Ironmatron ) , Erin and Mike, and Martha! You can see we had a very impressive race out there! These are a bunch of my triathlon peeps and I was just so proud and excited for all of them. They ALL crushed their times and kicked off the season in high form.
Way to go guys. If I forgot someone, I am sorry. I watched you all and was inspired.
It was a strange day to sit back on the sidelines. I know I did the right thing for my season ....I need to be sure this foot is ready for May.
Watching that race reassured me of one thing. I want to race. I love to race and I am as eager as ever to get out there and do my thing.
CONGRATS GUYS!!!! GREAT RACE!