Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A Little Luck And A Little Training

The number Seven has always been my lucky number. It was the number I wore when I played  softball as a young girl. I wore that number on the back of my shirt and as the years rolled on I felt connected to that number. The number seven would become my lucky number for years to follow.

I am not into numerology by any means. In some ways I am superstitious I suppose; I never pick up a penny if it is on tails, I believe bad things happen in threes, and when I am passing a graveyard if I may just do the sign of the cross. This year it is not the number seven but the number five that has been the "lucky" number.

2015 has had wonderful things happen. It was 5 years on Valentines Day that Jay and I celebrated "us" at the same restaurant we have made a tradition going to each year. It was on this day this past V Day that Jay proposed to me. It has been 5 years that we have lived in our home together. We may not own this place but we have created so much love within this house. 5 years of growing, babies, and laughter; that is what makes a home. This weekend was also my 5Th Half Marathon. This was meaningful as well as spiritual for me.

Photo from RaceVermont

The Charlotte Covered Bridge Half Marathon was a first for me. I had run part of this route on a 10K that I did last year but the Half Marathon coarse was new gravel for me. It was beautiful, peaceful and inviting. This year the Half Marathon added a 5K and 10K division to the race. With that it was still a small race with around 300 people. The weather was perfect; overcast to partly sunny skies and around 60 by start time.

I felt good Saturday morning. I made sure to get everything together the night before. I only had one beer (hey, I needed one drink since it was Friday) as I got my running gear gathered up. I got to bed by 9:30PM to try and get some sleep in. With two toddlers in the house (and one in my bed) this is almost impossible. I was awakened by the 4 1/2 year old at one and four am. Lucky for him me I had gotten some descent sleep in between. 5AM was my time I wanted to be up. I always shower and eat breakfast before my races and planned to leave the house to pick up my sister in law who was running her first 10K.

This was my first Half Marathon that I didn't feel nervous. This summers runs and two previous Half Marathons this year had brought me some confidence and solace that this run would be awesome. The morning sunrise was another sign that it was going to be a great morning. I had to pull over to take a picture and savor the beautiful sunrise that God had granted me this day. It wasn't just the beauty of nature yet a sure sign that the day would be one filled with good things.

The race began a few minutes after 8AM. The start goes up a slight incline to bring you away from Shelburne Beach to Orchard Road where the coarse begins. I could feel the tears gathering in my eyes and lump forming in my throat as I heard the voices of children cheering on their mother. This was my first Half Marathon where my own children would not be waiting for me at the finish line. It is always a motivator for me as well as a sweet reward to see their faces after my races. I continued on trying to push past my emotion and fall into a pace that felt good for the first half of this race.

The first six miles I picked a couple of different runners to pace with. By the half way point of the coarse I was worried that I had maybe been going too fast. It was here that I worried about burning out. I had been running an average of a 7:30 minute mile. I was feeling really good and still felt good at the half way point but knew that I was not near done yet.

I ended up chatting with this guy Chris who I had been pacing with and started to pass as we were going up a hill. His words of "You go girl" made him my new runner friend. I held back so we could chat for a minute. I let him know I was sticking behind him and that he had actually helped me during my run. This was his 4Th Half Marathon and he didn't have a goal as he was using it for his training run for the Marine Corps Marathon which would be his first Marathon. I instantly liked this guy and even though we stopped talking I found a comfort in his presence as we continued on. Around mile ten I pushed past him and was running alone again.

By mile 11 I could feel my legs starting to get soar. I still felt good but it was getting harder. There was only a couple miles left and I was not about to slow down. I had another runner come up on me who encouraged me as I encouraged her. We both agreed the faster we went the sooner we would be done. She went on ahead but keeping my eye her helped me push myself. Then there were the two runners that were some of the first to get to the half way point and leave us all in their dust. At mile 12 I was able to smile, say good job, and push past them.

I was ready to be done. Running at that pace for an entire Half was exhausting. About a 100 yards before the finish line I heard loud footsteps pounding the pavement to reach the end. It was a woman who I had not yet seen accompanied by Chris, the guy who I met back at the half way point. They both flew by me and finished before me. She, the unknown female runner, pushed me out of the top 5 overall for women but I was too happy for Chris who had a great run and came in just seconds before me.

I finished my 5Th Half Marathon with a new PR: 1:36:43. I placed 14th out of 178 runners, 6th overall out of women, and 2nd in my age group. My average minute mile was 7:23. My children and husband may not have met me at the finish line but when I came home from work that night (yes, I went to work after!) I came home to an awesome Lobster dinner that my husband cooked on the grill. My son Chase said: "Mama, this is the best present!" He was right about that!

Maybe it was luck. Maybe it was all my training. I like to think it was a little of both and that is why my 5Th Half Marathon turned out to be the best one thus far! The only thing I would do different is apply more Run Guard! Chafing in certain spots is not what I call a reward!

Happy Running!!


  1. HOLY CRAP!!! WOW! You amaze and inspire me, congrats on such an amazing race!!! <3

    1. Thank you friend! But just so you know, YOU inspire ME!!! Seriously! <3

  2. AWESOME job and it was awesome to experience the race w/ you!

    1. Thank you!!! Glad you had such a great race too!!!

  3. WAY TO GO! I want to be just like you! i am starting a 21 day clean eating challenge Monday and working out 6 days a week. Scheduled every second! Largely because of you - you continue to motivate me!

    1. I am flattered that I inspire you. I can't wait to hear about your progress! Keep me posted! YOU CAN DO IT! Happy 40th Kristen!!!