This past weekend, I ran Raleigh for the second time (check out last year’s here) and turned 31 on Sunday. ‘Twas a lovely weekend!
Of course, in true Vila fashion, I got sick last week–we have this joke that one of us is always sick prior to my parents visiting. I don’t know if it was something I ate, but Gabe had it also (after we ate Chinese food on Tuesday night… yuck). I stayed home Wed. feeling completely awful, and still didn’t feel better by Thursday. Thankfully by Friday I was starting to feel normal again, since we had to travel to Raleigh that day! I lost about 3-5 lbs and definitely felt weak, but wasn’t about to not run after paying all the $$$ for race fees.
My parents came mid-afternoon, I took 3 hours off work, and we got all packed up and ready by 4. With the kiddos in tow, there were 6 of us in the minivan, and we rocked it all the way to Raleigh, about 1.5 hours away (with no traffic–of course on a Friday, there was traffic!) We needed to get to the expo by 7 PM, so we made it with 45 min to spare AND scored a great parking spot! However, I had a brain fart and forgot to print out the waivers… but no big deal! Just filled in by hand.
With the race #’s and T-shirts in tow, we headed across the street to Zpizza for some carbs…
….and into bed by 9 to get up at 6. The 5K started at 8 and since it was the inaugural one, no one really knew where it was. I ate a banana, got ready quickly, the family got some Starbucks, and we were off! About a mile to the start line, so the parentals took the bus with Gabe while J & I walked with Asher in the stroller. The walk was a perfect warm-up but I needed to use the restroom. I ended up using the bushes because of course–the line was HUGE! I was in the 3rd corral, so started near the front and told myself to run by feel. My breakfast settled just fine and I felt decent, but knew I was weak from being sick so I didn’t intend to push extra hard. Just a good 90% effort.
Mile 1: felt great, tried to hold back a little and not go out too fast. Mostly downhill. Realized I forgot to take my GU before the race, oh well! 7:57
Mile 2: saw Mom & Dad & Gabe about halfway, gave Gabe a high 5, grabbed a sip of water as I was parched, and told the volunteers they rocked! Mostly uphill. 8:22
Mile 3: Still felt great, started to kick it into gear! 7:27
Last 0.1: Felt like I was flying! Saw the whole family, pushed it in hard! 46 sec which is 5:38/mile pace!!
Official result was 24:32 🙂 4th in my age group and 18th out of 1,106 women! Thrilled with that, especially after the week I had!
Here’s the map:
And a few more race pics!
We took a few family pics, post-race:
Had to schlep it allllll the way back to the hotel, which Gabe wasn’t a fan of:
I was starving, so I chowed down on some lovely breakfast buffet at Jimmy V’s, which was inside our hotel [the Sheraton]. The rest of the day consisted of a shower, nap, hanging out at the Kid’s Museum, and then dinner at Chuck’s (not my choice, was trying to please hubby! I wanted Asian but he was down for a burger) I actually felt like having a veggie burger, and it was REALLY good. Guess my body just wanted some more nutrients after those few days of not eating.
We turned in pretty early since we had an early wake up (5 AM alarm so we could eat and digest). I layed out my outfit but then had to change it, as it was incredibly cold and windy, much more than expected:
We woke up at 5. I had a banana with peanut butter, and–because it was my birthday–a bear claw from the bakery 🙂 I got Javi a bagel with cream cheese. Unfortunately we made too much noise, and Asher woke up. He then proceeded to spill his pretzels, allllll over the floor. Because of course, lol:
We met up with my parents and Gabe in Starbucks, I did one final potty stop in my parents hotel room, and we were ready to go!
We got to the start line with about 10 min to spare before our coral (13) started. Here’s the start line, courtesy of MarathonFoto:
The music and atmosphere made me want to run fast, but I was running at J’s pace, which was just fine. We have never ran a race together! So today was very special 🙂
I ended up making a pit stop about 2 min into the race. I don’t know why but I just have the urge to pee a lot when I’m racing. Guess I’m just well-hydrated. So I figured since there wasn’t a line, I’d just go. We chugged along the hilly course, getting warmed up in those first miles. I had chosen family members to dedicate each mile to, so that kept me occupied since we were both listening to our iPods and not talking a lot. We stopped for J to use the bathroom around mile 5, and chugged up the hills like beasts–J can really charge up a hill! I was very impressed. The bands were every 2-3 miles, and so were the water stops.
Mile 8, where I nearly fell apart last year, was just fine this year. I enjoyed recalling both last year’s race, and the Raleigh City of Oaks marathon from 2012, with J. We were finally in double digits (10 miles!), and cruising towards J’s goal of 2:45. I told him my favorite part last year, the military mile at mile 11, was coming up. And then–big womp, they didn’t have it this year!! I really missed seeing all the “Wear Blue to remember” shirts, and the faces of our fallen comrades. I dedicated mile 11 to my fallen comrades: Daniel Hyde, John Runkle, Dimitri del Castillo, and Sarah Knutson Cullen, all from West Point. I also thought of David Lodwick, who died in a tragic hit and run accident shortly after our training exercise at Fort Sill ended in Sept. 2007. We finally shed our long sleeves:
After that, it was the home stretch! Just 2 miles to go and the excitement of the finish line! I knew we were going to make it–not that I had any doubts, but it felt REAL. And as we rounded the final 2 turns, and heard the crowd, I nearly cried from happiness. A ways from the finish and Javi grabbed my hand. I smiled the biggest smile the whole way in! Mom shouted to us, and we saw her, Dad, Gabe, and Asher to our right. And we crossed the finish line, hand in hand, just like I knew we would 🙂 Pure joy!
With that, we got our lovely finishers medals (and I got my remix medal for running both races!) and we headed to Jason’s deli for sandwiches–after a shower of course. And later, a nap and a delicious steak dinner cooked by my amazing hubby. And my family all got me some very thoughtful gifts, including Tiffany’s jewelry–so blessed.
I am so thankful for my family, my body, and especially my husband. He ran 13.1 miles with me–something he doesn’t really care for, but did it for me. He shows me what love and selflessness is, every single day. I love you with all my heart, baby!
Thank you for reading, if you made it this far 😉