My Newton running shoes arrived two days before I was to leave for Florida to run my second race, Gate to Gate, 4.4 miles, Memorial Day.
Newton recommends you take 2 weeks to get use to the new fit of the shoes, that they actually change your running form and may cause your muscles to be sore until you've trained in them for a bit. I decided to take them with me anyway, just in case. :)
When we reached Fl, we settled in with family. The next morning, still one day before the race, I talked with my dad about whether or not to wear the shoes. He suggested I do a trial run in them to see how it all felt. Great idea! I ran a quick mile and felt great. The decision was made, Newton was running with me race day.
My brother, Josh, was also running with me. An 18 year old, buffed out football player. I was very humbled; I figured he'd cruise the 4.4 miles in his sleep. Speaking of sleep, I spent that Sunday night dreaming about the race, waking up making comments like, "slow and steady wins the race." That next morning we arrived early and I stood in line for the porta-potties about to pee all over myself; I still haven't gotten the whole hydration thing down yet. However, I did decide to just energize on a slimfast and prayed this would help my stomach issue as I was running. It did. :)
Since this was Memorial Day, as well as a local run at an air force base, there was a wonderful focus on remembering those who had served our country, giving their lives for what they believe.
The race starts with a slow push forward. We picked up carnations to later drop at a remembrance grave, again, shifting the focus merely from a race to a much broader picture of life and liberty.
We hit the first mile around 11 minutes, a minute faster than what I'd plan and with the slow start, picking up flowers, and dropping them, we'd probably actually ran this in 10 minutes. It was right after this point that I experienced a dreaded side stitch from improper breathing. I mentioned it to Josh to which he responded by simply slapping me on the shoulder. Laughing, I blew it off as male camaraderie and trudge on. When the pain got pretty intense I called for a walk break and asked for his advice. Josh instructed me to breathe threw my nose and do a few stretches. Ok, got it. Tried it. The side stitch decided to stay anyway. :)
Once my walk breaks started they were there for good. Around 1.5 miles, Josh was ready to push it forward, testing his own abilities, and I truly couldn't blame him, he is an athlete after all. He said he was gonna start sprinting and then take some breaks to wait on me to reach him. Good idea, instead of slowing him down, we'd both run the race as we could, and finish together. :)
Now, the first 2 miles were pretty painful to me. I actually regretted not eating a decent breakfast, and overall was ready to just call it quits. It wasn't until I hit mile 3 and saw my time, 37 minutes, one minute shy of my 1st race time, and I got pumped. I started commenting to other runners, "3 miles, we're almost done!" As we approached mile 4 and the next water station, I glanced over to my left and challenged the guy next to me, "I'll race ya to the water..." He smiled with a laugh and said he'd be a gentlemen and let me go on ahead. :)
Oh, let's back up a bit. Through out this time, Josh would sprint up and, like he said, wait on me to catch up. We'd run together for a bit and then he'd be off again. The last time I saw him, I passed him with a, "old lady, running in her prime, coming through" and he, again, slapped my shoulder in approval. :)
And, now, back to the water station. As I threw my cup down, I looked up to see "heart break hill" and knew I was so close. When I approached the hill the time read 52 minutes. I'd been trying to decide what to do, run it or walk it. I started off with a walk but then decided I at least needed to put some forth of effort into this thing and gave it a good 30 second run.
At this point, I started looking around for Josh. I knew we'd be finishing soon and I wanted to do it along side him. As I turned the curve I could see the finish line and I pretty much came to a complete stop. I glanced around, runners passing me up, and told myself he must have passed me by when I was zoning and I didn't realize it. I decided to sprint for it. I started off hard and quick. It was what felt like seconds later that I heard my dad yelling my name. I looked to my left to see him waving me on and I blew him a kiss, instantly wondering if that was a cool runner thing to do. :) I crossed the line, hard, @ 55 minutes. I then back stantly looked around to search for family. About a minute later Josh crossed the line as well. He claims his sprints wore him out and I completely understand. :)
After our run, we headed over to the Kid's run where Jeremy ran a 9:14 mi/mile. He was pumped and I was proud to see him want to pick up the sport so quickly. There's another race in about two weeks and I'm trying to decide which one to do, 5k, 10k, or family run with Jeremy. I'd honestly love to do the mile with him, if he'd want to. :)
Below is also a montage of the weekend. It was an amazing trip, with amazing memories, and I can't wait to create even more. :)