Now, how to train (and shed those extra pounds). Well, there are the seemommyrun groups...there is a FREE charity training group (and you don't have to fund a charity)...there's Hal Higdon online...So I tried to do all of that. And then the ear infections hit. And the fevers. Sick kids put a damper on the best laid plans.
I ended up getting about 3 days a week in. I took days off of work for those long runs, but still only made it up to 16 miles before getting a nasty case of strep myself...which lasted for 3 weeks, right up to the week before the marathon. Great!
2 days before race day, I mapped out a course to cheat. I really did! I went out for a run, made it about 10 minutes with my beaten up lungs, and mapped out a course to cut out a few miles.
Then race day came. I hoped for a good running day. I woke up at 4:45 and arrived at the Pentagon IN THE DARK. It was dark! And cold!!!! So we waited. I used the Brooks VIP restroom (which really wasn't all that, but it WAS warm). I moved with my sister in law to the 4:15 pace group, thinking at least I wouldn't be at the back of the pack. I'd have a head start! My sister in law WHO IS 29 and childless finished in 4:16. I won't state my time.
Now the good stuff:
- I didn't cheat! You can't cheat on race day! You lose all bragging rights and it can't truly count as a completion. I couldn't live with myself.
- The weather was the best weather ever.
- I kept a fairly decent pace throughout the first 16 miles, which is as far as I had trained.
- I finished. The bus didn't meet me at the bridge!
- It's not even a week later and I am fully recovered.
This race is reminiscent of my first marathon, especially time-wise. I am calling it a re-building year. I needed the goal of a marathon to get my body back in shape post-baby, and now I am preparing for the next one: Philly in 2009.
I enjoyed myself, and I proved to my son that I could get out there and do it. Honestly, I think that is what got me through. This was Harry's 4th marathon he's been to in 4 years. He gets to experience that there is such a thing, and all different types of people can complete it. I bought him a book about Miles, the MCM mascot which explains the marathon, and he couldn't have been prouder about his experiences when he took it to school the next day to share it with the class.
A father and daughter team were running near me for a few miles. their shirts read "Father" and "Daughter." I thought that was so great. My own father has spina biffida. He walks with a limp, but he won't be running any marathons, so it's not something we can do together, but Harry and I are BOTH looking forward to our first marathon together. I can't wait!