Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Blessing Recap


Do you get nervous before a race?  I do, but usually it is just the night before and the morning of.  This race that I did on Friday, The Blessing of The Fleet, was at 6 pm.  My nerves got the best of me starting Wednesday.

I am not really sure why.  Maybe the distance.  I had only run 10 miles once before.  Maybe the crowd, there were over 3000 of us.  I think a big part of it was that Mr. RWM was not going to be there and neither were the kids.

The Blessing of the Fleet, has been a tradition in Narragansett for thirty five consecutive years.  I have never run in this race before, but I have been to the festival and it has always been a good time.

Back to Wednesday, I did not sleep.  Thursday, I had an upset stomach all day.  Thursday night, no sleep.  Friday morning, right off the bat, my stomach was queasy.  I had two cups of coffee and some water.  The thought of food made me sick.  This is not good, I need to eat.  Around one, I had a chicken salad sandwich.  It did not sit well but at least I got some food in.  At 4 I was in the car driving to the race eating a banana.

I usually eat a banana before I run.  It didn't upset my stomach and I was feeling better now that I was on my way.

Parking and the shuttle to the start was easy and when I got there I found Bria.  I knew a few other people running but could not find any of them.

We were supposed to start at 6, but at 5:20 the sky opened up and they said they were gonna delay the race until the lighting and thunder passed.   At 6:30, we were off.
Before the race.

I was told this race was fun, well run and had great crowd support.  All of this was true.  People had parties  on their lawns with music and water for us and some with hoses.  They were all cheering and it was awesome.  The first couple houses had the theme from Rocky on and well, if you know me, I love anything Rocky.

When we hit the water, there was the most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen.  I wish I took a pic, but I am sure someone else did and I hope they share it with me.

Half a mile in, I started to get cramping in my stomach.  Oh, no!  I am not sure why, I am guessing the lack of food, but it is too late now, I got to keep on trucking.  I was running with Bria and she told me to stand up straight and take deep breaths.  I didn't realize I was leaning over a little.  Can you say bad form?  I did as she suggested and it helped a little.

One of the cool things I noticed was the little kids standing on the sidelines, cheering us on with their hands held out for a high five.  I was surprised to see so many people just pass these kids by without putting their hand out for them.  I was wearing my Run Like a Mother tank and I thought to myself, what kind of mom would I be if I didn't play along with these kids.  I am not going to win so what if it takes a few seconds off my time.  I did my best to high five everyone who had a hand out, big and small.  I found motivation in that, which I really needed.

I had cramping for the first 4 miles.  I took some time to walk and got water at every stop.  I lost Bria somewhere around mile 4 and about 4 1/2 miles, I finally found my groove.  Better late than never.

It was here that we passed a house with a group of people playing bongo drums and cheering us on.  It was pretty cool.  After that, I met Sam.  We chatted for about 5 minutes.  He has only be running for 2 years, and completed his first marathon last year.  We talked about my upcoming half and he was sure I would want to do a full when I was done.  Doubt it, Sam, but I never thought I would run a mile let alone 10, so I guess never say never, right?

Right after Sam moved on, I heard the siren of an ambulance.  It passed me and turned at our next turn, I prayed that it was not a runner.   As I rounded the corner, I saw the ambulance and as I got closer I could see the man on the stretcher.  He was indeed a runner and he looked to be about 27.  I do not know what happened but I hope he is ok.

Speaking of praying, there were a group of runners wearing yellow shirts that read, Pray for Ali and a Cure.  I don't know who Ali is but every time I saw one of those shirts I said a prayer for her and her family.  Also, it was another source of motivation for me.  I ran for Ali because I am guessing, she can't.

Mile 6 and 7 were uneventful.  More cheering and little kids.  I was surprised my knee and back were feeling so good and this made me happy.   Happy until mile 8.  Right after I hit mile 8, I wanted to cry.  Not because I was in pain, but because I was exhausted and starving!

It was here, I realized I had Sport Beans with me and I was kicking myself for not eating them earlier.  I walked while I ate them and then had some water and off I went.  I felt better almost immediately, but I was still tired.  It was getting dark now too.

At the end of mile 9, the sign marker read, 1 mile to the beer tent.  That was my favorite sign!  This, I think, was my fastest mile.  I ran with out my GPS, so I can't say for sure, but I know I was moving faster than I had the whole race.

Somewhere in this last mile, I heard my name and saw my neighbors who were at a Blessing party.  It was so nice to see someone who knew me and cheer for me.  Thank you neighbors!  To see the finish was beautiful. I couldn't get there fast enough and I was so happy to cross the finish line alive.  Bria was there waiting for me, she finished 4 minutes before me.  Way to go Bria!

I had two goals for this race.  Have fun and finish.  But deep down, I knew I wanted to finish in two hours.  I thought with my issues in the first 4 miles that this would be impossible, but guess what?  I finished in 1:58:09!  However, I just checked the official results and noticed they have me as 39 years old.  We all know I am 40, so what do I do about that.  This messes with age group awards, not that you get an award for number 300, but you know what I mean, should I let someone know?
The after pic.

As soon as I was done, I hurt and I got cold.  It was dark and I just wanted to go home.  I skipped the beer tent that I was so looking forward to, because it was a warm shower and food that I really needed.

I met all of my goals.  I finished and did it under 2 hours and most importantly, I had a blast.  Would I do it again?  Probably.  Next year though, I will hope Mr. RWM and the kids can be there.  I will also eat better the day of the race and now that I know what to expect, I am sure I won't be as nervous.  Plus, I hope to make it to the beer tent!

I would like to thank everyone who posted comments on my FB page.  When I finally sat down and put my feet up, I was surprised to see so many of you had been thinking of me and took the time to say so.  You are the best readers and supporters anywhere!  You all rock!

Run Strong, Think Big!

24 comments:

  1. Awesome job and way to reach your time goal! Woohoo!

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    1. Just got my virtual race medal in the mail. So cool! Thanks:)

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    2. You are so welcome! Enjoy it!

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  2. Great Job!! Nothing like a well run and supported race. I am proud of you! That's a great time and its neat that it was a night race.

    On a side note on runs longer than 3 miles I always bring beans. I eat a few starting after 30 minutes and then every few miles. Or a GU.

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    1. Thanks! Yes it was neat to run at night, which I had never done before. And I do know better, but my head was not in the right place. Thanks for the advice, I won't make that mistake again.

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  3. Great Job! Now you can work up to the Half Marathon! :)

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    1. Thanks Louise! I wish it was sooner rather than later.

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  4. Woo Hoo Nicole! Awesome race- as always I am impressed! You also always write such funny and well written blogs. I enjoyed hearing your thoughts throughout the miles. Hope you are resting and relaxing tonight as the rain pours down
    Kathy

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    1. Thank you Kathy, I am so happy you enjoy reading. Yes, I am hurting a little now, but I have my feet up and we are just enjoying the rain.

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  5. Way to go! Under two hours - YAY!!!

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    1. Thanks, I am pretty excited despite how much I walked in the beginning.

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    2. Funny, I was just commenting on your post at the same time you were commenting on mine. Love it!

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  6. Great job. Love reading your blog. Well written and funny. Also, you looked fantastic in your running outfit. God Bless and continued success.

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  7. Awesome job! Congrats on hitting your goal :)

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  8. Great job!! You overcame some challenges and still met your goal. You must be so happy. I love that you took the time to high five the kids. And hey, I noticed I'm not on your blog list. I'll go add you to mine too!

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    1. Thanks Michelle! I am down 11 pounds and still going. Clothes are really lose but I hesitate to buy a lot right now. I just added you to my blog list. Thanks for pointing that out.

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  10. Awesome job, Nicole!! Does that help build your confidence for the half? Some people only train up to ten miles before a half, you are totally ready! I'm so excited for you!

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    1. Yes it does help but now I just wish it was closer! Thanks for your excitement, it really helps me to stay motivated. Had a great 5 mile run today and I am planning on my long run for Thursday or Friday.

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  11. Hi Nicole. You are such an inspiration to get healthy. I've always wanted to get healthy (but my first goal is to loss weight) but I always have an excuse to not do it. I know that it's lame and I've even considered having liposuction from the Philippine Cosmetic Plastic Surgery but at the end of the day, I know that it's not the answer to what I want for myself in the future. Reading your blog is truly inspiring and because of you, I want, as in really really want to be healthy.

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    1. Cory, thank you for such kind words. I love that you feel inspired by me. That is why I continue to write this blog. You so can do it! I started this journey by doing the Couch to 5k plan that you can find on coolrunnings.com. I found so much support in the running community and love how I feel being more healthy. You will find that too, I am sure. Let me know how I can help you. Keep me updated on your journey either here or my FB page. Rock on!

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