I had been looking forward to this past Sunday for months. Counting down the months and weeks focused on one singular goal - to cross the finish line of my first full marathon. I woke up much earlier than I wanted to more times than I care to count to count. I suffered through the coldest temperatures I've seen since we left Boston six years ago just to run. I missed hours with my family. All for this one goal. On any given day I could tell you the exact number of days until April 13th.
Ever since my doctor and physical therapist told me a few weeks ago that my hip injury was too severe to even think about running the marathon, I've been dreading April 13th. When I first got hurt I thought I had come to terms with what it meant for my running this spring. It turns out that was a big fat lie because in the weeks and days leading up to Rock n Roll Raleigh every time I got and email or saw a Facebook post it was like a punch in the gut.
I know this all seems a bit melodramatic. That's because it is. I kept repeating to myself and my friends that there are people in this world with real problems. Problems more important than missing a race. But I was disappointed and I just wanted it to be over.
However, because this was the biggest road race Raleigh has seen, I still wanted to be a part of it and I wanted to make the best of my situation. I decided to volunteer at my running group's water station at mile 4. This way I could help out while cheering on my friends. (Besides, volunteering is just good race karma.)
I also decided to keep some of the plans I had made with my friends. Brent was away for work for the weekend and my kids went to stay with my parents, so I had a little stay-cation with my friends in Raleigh. They were running the half and I wanted to be there to experience the weekend like we had planned all along.
So in pure lazy blogger form, instead of sharing every single step, I shall share my weekend in pictures.
Thursday night was an amazing dinner with Jolene followed by the Another Mother Runner party. I've been a long time fan of AMR and I just love Sarah and Dimity and the community of mother runners they've created.
Saturday was the expo. I was bummed about picking up a bib I was never going to use (except for the beer ticket. I used that) so my girls Monica and Francesca knew EXACTLY how to cheer me up. Behold, gelato and cupcakes on the same plate. They just get me.
Sunday I was up bright and early to hand out gatorade like a BOSS. This was actually an incredibly awesome way to watch the race. And when anyone from our running group came through - complete madness. So much fun!
The water stop was at mile four and only a couple of blocks from the finish area. I was able to get there after our water stop closed to cheer on the finishers and wait for Monica and Fran. I think that cowbell gave me blisters.
My coping mechanism for my big fat DNS: double fisting at 11am on a Sunday morning. I think I handled it pretty darn well.
So I am dusting off and moving on. Next up Marine Corps. And just so you know, October 26th is in 192 days.