Happy Monday, everyone! I’m linking up with Tara at Running ‘N’ Reading again for this week’s weekend update.
This weekend was filled with a series of small, well-deserved adventures after a week buried in research and retail (my part-time job). Sunday was my only true day-off, since I worked at the store on Friday and Saturday evening, but I was able to leave a little early on Friday and went to Eastern Market with Alex for pizza at 7th Hill — his carbo-loading place of preference. My favorite pie was the kind loaded with zucchini, artichokes and mushrooms. Mmmm. We returned home to pack for Saturday’s race and get to sleep because we had a 4:15am wake-up call…
Alex is such a champ. He always has been. This was his first time training for and running a half marathon, but he was never nervous about tackling a single long run and has always trusted his ability to finish the race! He also trusted me to help him with the strengthening portion of his training and never complained when I asked to accompany him on his shorter runs (it ensured I got out there and ran). He listened and laughed at the running terms I spouted at him — looking at you, negative splits — and ultimately, let me geek out over his training as I anxiously awaited mine.
He never sweat the small stuff, and the only time I ever got the sense he was nervous was the morning of the race as we drove from DC to VA, and then as we rushed through packet pick-up, the port-a-potty run and the slathering of sunscreen. I knew he could run a sub-two hour race, and we decided 1:55 might be a good race goal. He lined up with the 2:00 pacer with plans to surpass them near the end. There wasn’t any easy way to cheer him on aside from the beginning and the end, so after my friend Melissa and I saw him off, we decided to return with plenty of time to see him come in. I thought his fastest time might be 1:50, but I am so glad we got there even earlier because the clock read 1:40 when I got the text message from Alex — “Last mile.”
His official time was 1:48:19! He came bounding in toward the finish line at top speed, and I just kept thinking, “He crushed it! He crushed it!” It was a happy day. Alex had a perfect race. The weather was humid, but cloudy and as cool as it could be on May 30th. He even stopped for wine at the halfway-point aid station with no trouble! As he told me this, a runner in front of us who overheard said, “You’re brave!” I laughed because I had thought the same thing. We spent the rest of our time on the winery at the post-race festival sampling wine from nearby local wineries and feasting on the cartons of strawberries on each table. They were really the best strawberries I’ve ever had. We drove home, I took a two hour nap and then left for a closing shift at the store.
Side note: I also had the nerdiest running moment of my life when I recognized Mike Wardian in the race’s elite field. He broke his own 50K treadmill World Record last month!
I was wide awake at 7:30am on Sunday — a day I usually sleep in until at least 9am — but my work schedule (and most likely Saturday’s 4:15 wake-up call) has re-worked my internal clock. I took advantage of it by rolling out of bed for a run and a little leg work. I ran four times this week — short distances (1.5, 3.0, 1.0, 2.25 miles) — and was consistent with my planks, shin exercises, squats and lunges. Every time it’s hard, I think about how all of this strength work is going to help me enter my half marathon training cycle in a better position to succeed! I’m keeping all my fingers and toes crossed for another week of 3-4 runs and increased mileage. I have four weeks until the training cycle begins, and I am revving up from the week I took off to appease my shin pain.