Monday, April 4, 2011

LATE Race Recap and Inspiration

Cary March Madness Half Marathon is what many consider the start to their race season, and was the start of mine. This was my first time participating in this race, and the name is spot on… it was MADNESS!

The weather is usually a gamble in March… I was prepared for the weather, I brought long tights, a windbreaker, two kinds of gloves, thermal cap, arm warmers, etc. My aunt and uncle live about 1/2 mile from the start/finish. They were awesome and opened their home to us that morning! (thank you --and thank you to our awesome cheering section that braved the cold and rain- YOU GUYS ROCK!) My Mom and brother raced that day also. We did a 15 min warm up in my aunts neighborhood and then finish the warm up with a nice jog over to the high school. During my warm up I was fine, felt good. So I made the decision to race in shorts, t-shirt and arm warmers… thinking if I get too warm, I could take off the arm warmers. Race day forecast called for 45 degrees and rain. While checking in my gear I decided that I wouldn’t need my gloves either. (a brilliant decision, I will regret about 3 mins into the race!)

Yeah, Im goofing around trying to stay warm!
The gun went off and and so did the rain. Seriously?  It stopped for a few miles and then started back up again around mile 4-5…. The wind was relentless, when it blew it just chilled you to the bone. I grumbled all the way until mile 4 about my choice in clothing , but had to stop the negative talk – and realize there isn’t a damn thing I could do at this point about my clothes. OH WELL time to suffer

Now, on this course the first half is pretty easy, mostly downhill. By mile 5 you are hitting the first hill. I pumped my arms and moved my legs – felt good.  As the miles ticked off, the hills kept coming and so did the rain. By mile 8 my hands, arms and knees felt frozen. Mile 10 brings on the biggest of the hills… and it is really a mental challenge to will yourself to the top, especially in the conditions we were given. I buckled down and powered through…. Knowing I didn’t have but a 5k left-- this is where I was supposed to turn it on and go faster. Um, yeah - no. Legs wouldn’t budge being frozen and all… it took all I had to maintain the pace I was at. There are a few sneaky hills the last 3 miles, and on tired race legs these are really rough. Again, that mental aspect of just getting to the end was what kept me going. An Ironman wouldn’t stop… and you won’t either. KEEP GOING and GET OUT OF THIS COLD! 

By the time I hit mile 12 the rain was coming down pretty hard. I made it up the last little incline and rounded the corner to the finish line. I gave it everything. I swear there was a river running down the road up to the finish chute! Just as I finished the thunder and lightning started. I thought about my Mom as she was behind me… It always feels SO WEIRD that we start the race together and then that’s it. I am a worry wart, and protective. So it feels weird to say have a great race – see you at the end. But in my family we wouldn’t want it any other way, we support each other.  I was so nervous for her being out there and was so very glad when she came in. 

My Bro, He makes this look so easy.

My brother did well and got a PR for the course, and I was happy with my time too. My Mom had a PHENOMENAL race! She took 10MINS off her last ½ marathon. She is truly an inspiration! (Im going to brag about her for a min here, since she would never do it herself) My Mom just 2 short years ago could not run 2mins on the treadmill!  She is running her first marathon Mother’s Day weekend… AND competing in her first ½ Ironman this year! GO MOM!

So for all you who say impossible… take the first step and get something on the calendar. Giving yourself a goal to work toward is so huge and often just the kick in the pants to get you started! I look forward to planning my race season and registering for my races in December… it makes me accountable and gives me goals to work toward. So get your first 5k on the calendar. There are sooo many to choose from. (see links below)

Second step: have a plan. You can find plans like from couch to 5k…. it is doable. Set up a Google calendar and block out your workout time, send yourself a reminder… you will get there… You just have to take the first step and keep at it.

These websites are good starting places to find races along with some articles on training. has all kinds of things from baseball training to triathlon tips PLUS you can find running races to organized group bike rides in your area.


  1. Yay Cheryl! Great race by the whole family! The family that sweats it! PS - Tell your mom she ROCKS! -Kate

  2. Nice post. I think maybe I'll try the couch to 5k again this year. Not sure about a race but the workout was a good one.