Monday, February 9, 2015

Race Day Prep {+ Franny Freezer Recap}

It's 11 a.m., and I'm already feeling antsy. Mark is just sitting down for lunch, and Miles is picking at a plate of ... something.

I can't decide what to have. The aversions are strong and with a 5K at 2 p.m., it's difficult to know what to eat. I need something but not so much that my stomach feels unsettled or I need to pull off at a portable bathroom after a loop. I go with an English muffin – one side with cream cheese + jelly, a childhood favorite, and the other with peanut butter, sliced banana and honey.

I scarfed it down with a glass of Nuun and proceeded to round up the boys.

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The walk from the parking lot to the building is slow and frustrating as is any walk with a toddler who must jump in all the puddles. Some people like to stretch and hydrate before a race but the late start time means one thing.

We can get shit done.

Miles and I are meeting Mark, who drove separately, at Sears to buy Miles a big boy bed. Baby boy needs the convertible crib. Besides, Miles was looking a bit too tall for the crib mattress, even in the toddler bed setup. To get Miles excited, we had already purchased a suite of pirate bedding in twin size. Now, we need the mattress, box spring and frame.

We have about 45 minutes to try beds on for size. Ridiculously, I envision us testing out the different models and Mark snapping photos for this post. When I get to the mattress department, he ushers me to the corner. There is a floor model mattress marked down from $700 to $209 and there's an extra 20 percent off.


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The quick turnaround means that I have a few extra minutes to go to Target. I have four things on my list: wax paper, heart cookie cutters, laundry detergent and drain stuff.

But I have extra time, which means I can browse. All. By. Myself. Who cares if I'm doing this in my race day attire – Nuun jersey, capris and Pro Compression socks.

I start to look at the C9 gear because it's all so pretty. I'm wearing one of Mark's long-sleeve Under Armor shirts as a base layer as it was the only thing in the house that a) covered my belly; and b) matched my Nuun jersey. It's tempting to buy something new, something longer but I err on the side of frugal.

Instead, I wander around aimlessly and issue far too many apologies for getting in people's ways. I do treat myself to a soft pretzel because the English muffin duo did nothing for my pregnant appetite.

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I show up to the race about 1:15 so I can drop off my registration and get my track club membership squared away. I figure it would give me enough time to jog a short warmup, allowing me to hit 4 miles for the day.

But my friends were there, and I like my friends. So I chatted and stood around in the cold. Or sort of cold. It was mid-30s and just slightly cloudy. The path was clear, too – the only reason I was even doing the race and why I was doing day-of sign up.

Also, I promised Shannon that I would run with her. Even though she's been running for years, it was her first 5K. She's coming back from IT issues but her training runs would line up with my goal perfectly: sub-30.

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The horn blew and we were off. Despite my best efforts to seed myself toward the back, I saw some of the fasties surge past in the first tenth of a mile. I cheered and waved.

And laughed. One joked that it was her goal to beat the pregnant lady. I assured her that even though she ran 12 miles before the race that she would be good. 

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Together, Shannon, Tina and I ran the first loop of the race, which is two times around a local park . We maintained a pace that would have us squeaking in under 30 minutes, and I was just fine with squeaking. I felt challenged but could breathe and talk – my personal pregnancy test.

But just after we crossed the mats, we were greeted with the hill. I didn't like it on the first loop, and I hated it on the second. I slowed to a walk and waved on Tina and Shannon. If they remained steady, I figured I would catch up. If I didn't, well, I didn't.

I gave myself a landmark and then picked up the pace. The walk break was nice, and I felt my tight hamstrings sigh at the respite. Things seemed to be moving and feeling better. I wasn't paying attention to the watch, my sights focused on catching up with the girls, and continued to chip away at the distance.

After a half-mile, I was side by side with them. Just in time for the best part of the course – the downhill stretch toward the baseball diamonds. From there, it would be a tenth-mile or so to the finish.

My legs were moving and so I kept going. Shannon's stomach, though, was moving, too. And she needed a short break. So Tina and I pushed forward.

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Note: I should have gone with the longer shirt. Never let your husband coerce you into frugality!

It was going to be close, I noted, as I rounded the path. I had to give it a shot.

I kicked it up as best I could, and Tina did, too. She had a bit more oomph but I tried to keep up. I crossed the mat just as the clock flipped to 30:00:00, my buddy Joe told me.

But we had a chip finish ... and chip start. My sub-30 was possible.

And real. 29:46.

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I cheered on other runners and chatted with the girls before leaving. It would have been nice to get coffee but I had other things on my plate. Bowling with the family.

It's just how we mother runners roll, I guess. 


  1. Woman you tell a good story! I loved that you stressed that you listened to your body and that you gutted it out when it was time to gut it out. Good luck with the BIG BOY bed!!

  2. Great job on the sub-30 mins! The stories you'll tell this baby!