While it appears I may actually have a few minutes to sit here and blog (although, as you parents know, that could easily change at any moment), I'd like to share a little bit about our latest adventure as a family: a half marathon!
Back in May when I started running, I could do maybe a mile without stopping to walk. I signed up for a half marathon in June as sort of a motivation to keep at it. The training schedule that I adapted (per Hal Higdon for you runners) had me running up to 5 days a week, most of which I could do during the mornings before Paul left for work. On the weekends, Paul would push the kids in a double stroller that was gifted to us (thanks, Victoria!) and we all did my long runs together on the Mt. Vernon running path along the GW Parkway.
We had a VERY hot summer, which made running really difficult at times. I remember our seven-mile long run one weekend in July. That morning it was 90 degrees by seven A. M. It was absoutely dreadful. But I think that training in the heat paid off, because once the cool September mornings arrived, we noticed that a whole minute dropped off our time.
As we got closer to race day, Paul decided to join me and sign up! I was so excited that the whole family would be together for this fun event! I was also happy to have the encouragement, as I'd felt like I had my own cheering section on every long run over the summer. There were times that I'd be running in front of Paul and the kids, and they would shout, "Go, Mommy, go!" I loved hearing their silly little voices cheering me on, and I knew it would help the day of the race.
The morning of the race was a bit of a stressful time. We had to get up at 5:00 and then get the poor sleeping kids up, dressed, and out the door, so that we could be at the start no later than 6:00. We had packed a bag of snacks for them the night before so that they would (hopefully) be entertained and fed while we waited to start and then during the race. Charlie and Judah behaved better than we had expected! We had a few touchy moments with Judah, but eventually he fell asleep and slept for about half the race. Then they both seemed to really enjoy themselves and all the happy energy surrounding them!
The race started at George Washington's home, Mt. Vernon, and ran down the George Washington Parkway and then over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. It was the first race ever to cross the new bridge, which was built in 2008. What a view from the bridge! Then it wound around and eventually ended in the National Harbor, Maryland.
I ended up tripping and taking a little tumble around mile 7, but I felt like a total warrior running the rest of the race with bloody knees. I'm pretty sure adrenaline carried me for a while, because I didn't hurt much then, but I sure do now.
Paul is a rock star. Of course you already know I'm a fan, but seriously. This guy pushed these kids in a double stroller (all of which is half his body weight) up and down hills for 13.1 miles! Every time we passed someone or a spectator spotted him, we would hear, "HOW is that guy DOING that???" or "Look at that Daddy! Way to go!" It was so fun to see people's reactions to Paul's incredible ability. I don't know how he did it. And he could have finished waaaay before me, but he'd held back so that we could finish together.
The last 3 miles or so were killer. By then the sun was out in full force, and there were lots of hills. And let's face it, it was more than I'd ever run in my life (the longest run we did in training was 11 miles). But we did it! I nearly cried when I was handed my medal! Our finish time was 2 hours, 20 minutes, which was my goal.
What a fun experience to have as a family. And a special thanks to my friend Chrissy, who encouraged me to do it, and Melissa, who ran the race with us. I'm already thinking about a full marathon for next year!