Then I went to Utah for a week and our training was interrupted. I would run out there and Ron would run with Evi in the stroller. But then it turned out that Ron was able to come to Utah for the funeral too, so Evi had the week free of riding in the stroller for long periods of time. So the week before the run when we wanted to run together didn't so much work. But that was ok, because my mind wasn't really on 'training' anyway, more on just getting out and getting my mind on other things. My mind wasn't really focused on the race the week before it. I had just gotten back from Utah; from being with my family; from losing my dad. I knew I wanted to run the race, but my will wasn't entirely there.
We slept at Ron's mom's house the night before the race, because the race started at 7:30am and we were going to leave Evi with her for the morning. If it's unclear to anyone at this point, I am not a morning person (neither are Ron or Evi!), so we opted to stay overnight rather than get up even earlier to drop Evi off. I slept pretty terribly that night. My mind was too active, I wasn't in my own bed, and I don't know what else. But maybe I got 3-4 hours of sleep before my alarm went off, although I felt like I was awake all night.
Tired or not, I had prepared for this race, and we were off. Fortunately for me, it rained almost the entire time. I run better in the rain. Besides the fact that I felt a blister working it's way onto my toe, I much appreciated the rain, rather than normal June heat and humidity. We started with much gusto, maybe too much. I just don't like running in a huge pack of people, so we utilized the sidewalks (with some others) and ran ahead until there were some nice openings, and it felt good...
...It felt good for awhile, but Ron and I got separated and I was running alone thinking I wasn't physically and mentally ready to push as hard as I was. But I also shrugged that off and was still determined to push for my goal time of 1:30 to finish the race. The police commissioner of Baltimore was running the race; he started at the end of the group and with the the help of his police cadets, tried to catch as many people as they could. If they 'caught' you, they'd put a sticker on your back saying "caught by the commish" and money was donated for every person they caught. Well, I was also determined not to get caught. I never saw him or knew where he was, but a couple of times I heard commotion behind me and thought they were coming, so I picked it up some more. Actually, the last time was when I really felt like I had nothing left, but I'm that stubborn to not get caught that I kept on going!
When I was really hoping that I was close to the finish, I checked my watch and knew it would be close to getting my goal time. I tried to increase my speed, but I was tired, worn out, and hurting. Then I ran up next to a man, who when he heard me coming, he basically talked me in. He said, "come on. I hear you coming. Let's go. Let's do this." I ran hard and fast and that dear man helped me do it and talked me right to the finish. My time when I crossed? 1:29:56. That sweet man helped me get my goal, and he may not even know how much helped me. I did thank him, but I didn't get his name, or racing number, but he helped me to finish.
It would have been great to finish with Ron, but I was pushing for a time, and Ron's goal was to finish it. This was his first race of any kind. And did I mention that he's not a runner? He really doesn't even like to run, but he did this because it was something we could work at together. He did awesome (and wasn't "caught by the commish" either!). I got to cheer him on to the finish and greet him with a hug when he crossed. So although we didn't finish together, it's a goal we both made and accomplished together. It really was a great thing for us and I'm glad we did it. Not sure if he's ever going to run another race, but still, I'm glad we could do it.
The next couple of days with sore legs and blistered toes were a reminder that I might have pushed my body a little hard, but still, I'm glad I did it, and glad I got my goal. The few days before the race I thought I had decided to try for a full marathon....now I'm not quite so sure :). We'll see what time has to tell for that big feat.
Here are some pictures of Evi enjoying the race venue the night before the race. I don't have any pictures of us on race day, so Evi will have to do!