Monday, May 14, 2012

Best Mother's Day ever!

Mother's Day breakfast in bed? Nope. Mother's Day at the starting line!

Unsettled belly as woke up on race day with one hour before I had to leave the house. My mind racing with questions: Should I just walk the whole race? Should I try to run the first two miles? Should I walk the first 4 miles and run the last two so that I'm running through the finish line? Why didn't I train more? Will I be the last person to cross the finish line? What will people think of me if I don't run? What will I think of myself? But thankfully, my check list of what to do before leaving the house was long and I rolled out of bed quicker than I could find answers.

I have to thank Peggy a million times for inspiring me to follow through. (Peggy and I have know each other for 17 years -- I used to nanny her two boys, who are now young men at 18 and 21). I'm not sure that I would have rolled out of bed if she weren't here to get me to the starting line. Simple things like what time the race starts and the best place to pin my bib and how to attach the timing chip to my shoes and what to wear and how to make bias tape -- oh wait, that's for another blog post  ... she was amazingly helpful in settling my first race jitters and (did I say it already?) getting me to the starting line.

Peggy and I pre-race
Avi giving me some pre-race love.
The horn sounded and I (with 1706 other runners) was off. I began running. Jogging actually. As my foot crossed the starting line, I realized I hadn't come up with a plan on how I was going to run/walk the 9.9 kilometers. I guess I'll come up with a plan as I go, I thought.  Maybe run the first two and then walk after that. But then I arrived at the first mile marker. But it wasn't a mile marker at all... but a kilometer marker and it said 2K. Since I don't know the mile/kilometer conversion off the top of my head, I started to do math in my head. Well if the entire race is 6.1 miles then 3 miles is about 1/2 way and 1/2 of 9 is 4.5 so if I get to the 5K marker then I know I've gone half way. But when will I hit 2 miles because I know that I can run 2 miles... Peggy and I did that on Thursday. But then I got sidetracked when I heard a mom telling her two daughters (ages 10ish and 12ish) birth stories. I gathered from listening that the mother was a doula. Soon, I realized I was running faster to keep up with them so that I could hear the outcome of the mother who pushed for four hours. (yes, pushed). By then, I was coming up on the 4K marker. I felt inspired by these stories and inspired that a mama was teaching her young daughters of how different every birth is and how letting babies come on their own (when there aren't complications) is best for the baby and the mama and how strong women are when they are birthing. I remembered when I had given birth to Avi and how strong I felt then. This pushed me to continue running. If I run one more kilometer then I will have run 1/2 of the race and that will be something to be proud of. 

As I was passing the 5K marker I heard a young girl (age 8ish) say to her Mom, "I'm going to catch up with grandma". This tickled me so much that I had to keep running. Not long after that, a incredibly fit mama, pushing a jog stroller with a itty bitty babe, passed me. My internal critic started, "your son is 22 months old and you're not even pushing a jog stroller and this new mom is passing you." But I was quickly able to quiet my critic and remind myself that everyone's path is different. We all start in different places and zig zag along life's crazy path. I too was running this race.... still running. When I came upon the 6K marker, I saw the same new mom pulled over and nursing her kidlet. I veered off the trail and told her I thought she was amazing (and silently told myself the same) and kept on running. Only 3k more and then I'm done. I think I can do it. I think I can run the whole race. The last 3.9K were the hardest. My legs were tired, my knees were hurting and my right foot kept falling asleep even after adjusting my laces 3 or 4 times. But I kept going. Looking in front of me I saw hundreds of women running and walking.... behind me, more women: young, old, thin, fat, daughters, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, friends... all encouraging each other...out loud and silently through their smiles.

I passed the 9K marker and realized that the other .9 is actually farther than I thought. I couldn't yet see the balloon arch marking the finish line... but there were people husbands and partners and children and friends starting to line the course and rooting us to the finish. Then I could see the balloon arch and soon I saw three faces that made me smile as big as I could: Peggy (who had finished in 1:12), my lovely wife, Jenn, and our beautiful son, Avi. Jenn lifted Avi over the fence and there he stood waiting for me. I picked him up and ran 20 yards to the finish. I couldn't have felt more proud. Of myself. Myself as a runner, as a mother, as a woman. I ran the entire 9.9K - a slow turtle paced jog - but I did it.

Avi and me post race (yes, that's chocolate ice cream in my hand).

... On the way out of the parking lot, I asked Avi if he had fun at the race.  "Yes", he said.  "What was your favorite part?", Jenn asked him.  "Ema running" he said. Greatest Mother's Day present ever!!

....and a huge thanks to my wife Jenn. Who supported me, brought Avi to the race so that they could cheer me on, took all the photos of the day and whose support means the world to me. Thank you! 


First Race: Title Nine Mother's Day 9.9K 
Chip Time: 1:24:41
13:53 minute mile average
(Includes 2 pit stops for potty and 3-4 for adjusting laces)

Inspired to do more. Train. Get strong again. Sign up for more races.

How was your Mother's Day?


  1. You should be so proud of yourself!!! Congratulations! Sounds like you had an AWESOME Mother's Day!

  2. Jules, Congratulations!! You must be so proud of yourself! I love all female races, everyone is so supportive and encouraging. Love your account of the day. oxox

  3. Congratulations, Jules! You actually had me tearing up a bit there. You must be so proud of yourself!

  4. Congratulations Jules!!! You did it. Great post race report, the first of many from the sounds of it :) Enjoy your success.

  5. Oh yay!!! Congratulations!!! You absolutely deserve to be proud of yourself! :-)

  6. Thanks to all of you.... for your support from afar (and near) in this. it means the world to me!!! hugs to all

  7. Jules - this made me cry a little. I'm so proud of you, my friend - for continuing to work with your inner critic, for following your curiosity, for being brave in the face of the unknown, for walking the path and being beautiful you. You are inspiring. Thank you for sharing your world.


I really do LOVE reading your comments. Thanks for visiting.