I thought I posted this long ago! But I guess I just posted it on Runnersworld.com instead, where it was very well received. Here you go:
This was a different kind of race for me. My 3rd time running the Mini but first time that I didn't care what my finishing time was. I had bigger things to care about and that was getting my mom across the finish line in her first HM.
Background: mom has never been athletic and just took up running last summer to lose weight after gastric bypass surgery. She grew to have a love/hate relationship with running but kept at it. She ran her first 5k in November and was hooked. She signed up for the Mini soon afterwards. I've spent many, many hours running with her ever since. She's about a 13:30-14 min mile runner so it was a real time commitment to run with her but we enjoyed it. She had a very bad 10 mile race 2 weeks ago though - her mental attitude was very poor, I wanted to leave her several times and she got a bad blister. I had a serious talk with her, telling her that running is as much mental as it is physical and she needed to get excited about the race or neither of us were going to enjoy it. She seemed to be doing much better with that as the race got closer and her blister healed. It was interesting to see her emotions, they mirrored mine before my first Mini - excitement, fear, unsure about your shoes... Just the standard first big race jitters.
We went to the expo on Friday, and she really enjoyed. It's one of the largest expos I've been too, a runner's dream. We chatted it up with Frank Shorter while he signed our bibs and everything. He wrote "Keep running out that OCD" on mine. I bought a tee-shirt that said "If found on the ground, please pause my Garmin". LOL. Mom got a really cool tech-shirt, it had bricks on in the shape of lips and said "I kissed the Bricks". We ate lunch at Noodles and headed home.
Saturday morning, mom and dad were at our house bright and early (kids spent the night at Brett's parents). The weather was chilly but we knew it would warm up. I wore my new plaid running skirt, l/s throw away tee shirt and a black shirt that said "Believe" on it. Dad dropped us off as close to the crowd as he could and he drove over to the 5 mile area in Speedway (the kids would be in that area as well with Brett's parents). We dropped off our bags at the Fedex trucks and headed to the potties. Next we went to a stairwell in a parking garage to get out of the cold and meet up with some friends of mine from RW.
Soon it was time to get to our corrals. Brett was in Corral B so i kissed him and wished him luck. Mom was in Corral U and I was in D so I went back with her. Even though we were so far back, there were still tons of people.
The gun goes off at 7:30 and it takes about 25 minutes for us to cross the start line. Weather was perfect, it was going to be a good day. Mom's first goal was to run the first 3 miles without stopping, which she did, even with dodging lots of walkers. Here are some pics of the first few miles:
Belly Dancers at Mile 2!
Elephant watching the runners go by!
Mom about mile 3ish, feeling great!We took a short walk break after 3 and again after 4. We were coming up to the town of Speedway where my dad and my IL"s were going to be with the kids. So we stopped for a quick picture.
Seemed like mom needed to walk more often then what we had trained on but her attitude was great, she was excited so I wasn't going to say anything. We entered the track and took a quick pitstop for the bathroom. Grabbed some water as well. There is no way you can miss the water stops on this course:
Before we entered the track, this firefighter (walking in full gear to raise money for children's burn camps) patted her shoulder and told her that she WAS going to do this. I think that was a nice pick-me-up for mom.
Her next goal was to run the entire track, 2.5 miles, but we did some walking as well. Her hip started bothering her, which it hasn't before so we stopped to stretch. This happens on the track to some people because you're running on a slight angle for most of the way. One nice thing about not worrying about your finishing time, plenty of time for pictures:
My feet on the Legendary Yard of Bricks
Mom just after crossing the bricks
We took a longer walk break once we left the track, about mile 9. The rain that had started as a sprinkle was coming in harder now but it was refreshing. Mom laughed at everyone getting out their garbage bags, saying "I trained outside this entire winter, this rain is nothing!!"
Both her hips started hurting by mile 10 so we did much more walking then running. But she did put a lot of effort in, not one bit of whining. We enjoyed the entertainment, sang some old hymns with the old men in front of a church, got hi-fives from kids, did cheers with the men in front of the liquor store and just enjoyed ourselves. Next thing we know we were on the last mile.
They decorated the final mile with checkered flags and had audio clips of past races playing on huge speakers.
Mom's knee started to bother her now too and with 1/2 mile left, she started to think she couldn't finish but she kept pushing. We ran the last 10th and finished together. 3:19:07. Her goal was to finish, her dream was to beat 3 hours.
I think based on this picture, her dream came true:
We both were pretty weepy when she crossed the finish line. She worked so hard for this goal and really seemed to enjoy herself. She was interacting with other runners and seemed to really want to take the whole experience in. Two days later, she signed up for Indy Women's Half Marathon. Watch out - Mom's an Athlete!!
Here are some other pictures that my dad took. IndyMini2011