Mother’s Day 2011 weekend is one for the record books and what a ride it was! It all started on Friday afternoon when I got home from work and turned the laptop on. There it was. Emily (emilyrose1244) and I both received emails informing us our Woman’s Day online article was live! We weren’t even sure if we were chosen since we worked on this project for several weeks now. If you haven’t seen it here is the link:
After catching my breath from that it would not be long before our daughter Julie and her family would arrive for the weekend. We celebrated grandson Evan’s 3rd birthday along with Mother’s Day. We literally had wall to wall people (and pets) in our house all weekend. What fun we had!
There was another small event happening Mother’s Day on Sunday and that would be the Quad Cities Distance Classic. That would involve me running HM #4, daughter in law Emily (emilyrose1244) running her first HM, our son and Emily’s hubby Matt running his second 5k race and hubby Jim running his first 5k race. Could we have fit any more into the weekend LOL?
Emily and I were becoming nervous wrecks Saturday and were ready for the race to just simply get here. We attended packet pickup on Saturday afternoon and brought home all of the goodies including a great tech shirt that is actually usable! At this point everyone had there own bibs, safety pins and ready to roll early the next morning.
We all laid our stuff out that evening after the birthday festivities, found places for everyone to sleep and settled in for whatever sleep we would get. I think for the most part sleep went well except for me. I still get whacked out the night before a race. I probably always will be that way.
We woke up to beautiful and perfect racing weather and after we got dressed and geared up, had a photo taken and out the door we went.
We made the trek to Augustana College in Rock Island, IL where the Quad Cities Distance Classic is staged. It was pretty chilly but that wouldn’t last long. After dinking around waiting for start time we found the starting area which was a little hard to figure out where that was unless you ran this race before. It just felt a little awkward. After the National Anthem, we were all off with Emily and me running our HM’s and Jim and Matt running their 5k’s. We all started together but parted ways within the first mile.
The guys went on to enjoy a pancake flat race course while we would trudge up a hill. Obviously they will finish first.
Crap. Now I am having JASR flashbacks LOL. After we made it to the top of the hill that would be it for hills. We ran a few miles through a residential area that turned into historical that involved a stretch of cobblestone that was not easy and I did not like it at all. Fortunately it didn’t last long. We are now heading towards downtown Rock Island turning toward a rather boring ugly industrial area. I did not care for this stretch at all and it was not motivating at all.
It was at this pint where I was really paying attention to my Garmin. I was currently at a PR pace. WTH! Me? I couldn’t get excited yet as I had to watch my pacing and keep under control.
Finally after a mile or two we are heading towards Sunset marina but could not run the complete marina course because of Mississippi River flooding. That led us to another boring stretch. By now, I am starting to feel tired and I believe it was about mile 6-7. I was still holding on to a PR pace but slipped a minute off my pace. It was at this turn around that I spot Emily and she is looking awesome with a huge smile on her face. RAWK! Then I see Pam (kayali) then eventually Jenn (jenn26point2) so all are accounted for.
By the time we made it back to the marina area we are now running along the river which was a nice change. Scenery and crisp air but now the wind is in our faces! We are now at mile 9 and yep, heading back to the industrial area. At mile 10 I am heading back to the business area where I have to start to dig deep mentally. I am still holding a PR pace.
At this point it now appears I will be running this HM pain free with my knee! My ART sessions are paying off! That gave me a small boost along with a packet of GU Chocolate Outrage. That gets me to mile 11 where we run along 5th Avenue in Rock Island and straight back to the Augie football stadium where we would finish. By now I am ready to get this party over and at that point I spot the stadium lights ahead. So close yet far away. I am still at a PR pace but lost another minute. At mile 12 as I am alongside the stadium and rounding the corner I get a burst of energy that would carry me in to the parking lot and to the stadium.
I now enter and make the lap around the track on the rubberized track. I welcomed that feeling and it felt so good. What do I see right ahead of me? The finish line with the timing clock with an unbelievable time! I would compete HM #4 which would give me what I needed to join Half Fanatics along with a great PR that shaved 4 minutes off my best HM time. My official chip time 2:29:59. Sweet!
I receive my medal and take a moment to regain my composure. Ask my hubby, I can get very snippy at that point in time. I feel bad about it but hay, that’s how I roll.
After an apology we are all waiting for Emily to come to the track. There she is and yep she still has a smile on her face!
I go over to the medal person and ask if I could present Emily with her first finisher’s medal. Here she comes to the finish with a grin from ear to ear. She looked awesome!
I place her medal around her neck and we share sweaty hugs. She then meets up with her Mom that came to see her run and by then grandson Hayden is there so it truly was a family affair!
We watch Pam (kayali) and Jenn (jenn26point2) finish and that completes our Quad Cities Distance Classic experience. We are now very ready to head home and Matt, Emily and Hayden pack up to go home. Jim and I immediately clean the house while we are still in our running clothes LOL. After that, we take our showers and put our feet up. Finally.
It is at that point where I send my email to Half Fanatics with the necessary info that I had already typed up and ready to go. I wasn’t anxious at all. It was not 45 minutes and I receive the email stating that yes, I was qualified and so and so would send me my membership number. The waiting commenced. How many times did I check my email? Answer unknown LOL. At about 4pm I became Half Fanatic #1047!!!! What an awesome Mother’s Day gift to myself!
As you can see, this was truly a weekend with so many special moments. The bottom line is this. With the support and encouragement of my SparkPeople running buddies and from some very special Cornbelt Running Club members, I have learned the magic that running can bring to you. It is now my chance to pay it forward and support and encourage those that find the fun that running can be. I truly love watching that love for running that unfolds in the laps of new runners. I was there once and I remember.
I plan on taking the rest of May and most of June off from formal HM training to allow my body to rest and recover. I am starting in to ST in order to get in better shape for my running. That is my motivation. I have a strong desire to lower my body fat and to correct some structural imbalances that I have. Those imbalances may cause running injuries and that would not be a good thing.
I will start back up at the end of June as I will run the Madison Mini HM at Madison, WI late August with yep…more Spark running buddies! Until then I will be running about 3 days per week with easy runs with a few Tempos thrown in. I also have some fun 5k races that I will be running with hubby Jim so that I can coach him as he learns the running ropes.
This Mother’s Day weekend was extraordinary for our family and the simple fact remains…SparkPeople played a major role. I discovered my love of running and have enjoyed so many incredible accomplishments. Emily caught the Spark from me and now has found her love of running and is now a proud owner of her first Half marathon finisher’s medal. She and I already have some HM’s planned together. Our son and Emily’s hubby Matt caught the Spark running bug from Emily and after running 5k races wants to train for a HM this fall. My husband Jim was Sparked and is now running 5k races. He and I are going to enjoy running 5k’s this summer during my down time and that in itself is so cool! Our daughter Julie is now running and has races planned this summer.
This is what Sparking is all about. Sharing your passion with others and paying it forward!! You never know who is watching you and being motivated and inspired to better their own lifestyle. Chances are that person will eventually pay it forward. The Spark burns brightly!
Here is a link to Emily's race report: