On Saturday night Mark and I went to dinner at Paolo’s (spaghetti dinner, you know) and went to bed at around 11:30pm. I was definitely nervous, nervous about waking up on time, nervous about how cold it would be in the morning, nervous if I had trained enough, or in the right way. Nervous!
Sunday morning at 5am came earlier than I anticipated. But, after a night of much interrupted sleep I was feeling a sense of now or never. I made my pre-race breakfast, oatmeal and almond butter, and a banana and drank, and drank, and drank (lots of water).
If you’re wondering what to wear if you’re running 10 miles and it is 33 degrees outside, you may follow my lead: long leggings (cotton/spandex), a wicking sports bra, a base layer long sleeve t-shirt, a Marmot zip up jacket, and a headband. It is cold at 5am, but around mile 3 it really does start to warm up as evidenced by the trail of jackets, gloves, a shirts on the street.
As I have said, this was my first race. Sometime in the early morning hours as I wandered around the base of the Washington Monument, my nerves dissipated and were replaced with excitement (as well as an urgency to pee – see above about the water). I felt my muscles warm up and relax, and that sense of fear about not being able to do this thing, this race, turned into excitement as a smile spread across my face.
I didn’t run the best race, I got a cramp, I had to walk for a portion. But, I finished. I came running into the finish line as my husband and sister watched and cheered me on and finished in just under 2 hours.
As I ran faster towards the finish line, I wasn’t thinking anything. I was just running (I know, very Forrest Gump). When I crossed I felt everything. I felt salt on my forehead, the cold chill on sweat soaked clothes, and absolute joy. I wasn’t tired. I was proud.
I hope you’ll take some time to make a goal, whatever it is, and train towards it. That feeling at the end, it’s amazing.
>So proud of you, Carly! Next stop: half marathon! San Francisco is July 31st, FYI…
Thanks for the inspiration! It’s awesome to put all that hard work and training into something and have it totally pay off. I’m a long distance runner myself, and nothing beats that feeling of knowing you’ve done your best and pushed through to reach your goals!