Saturday, February 23, 2013

Gasparilla 15K: First Race with Jaime

Today was awesome. I ran my first race with Jaime!!

She and I became friends through running. Something that started out as running friends quickly budded into best friends for life. It is kind of strange how we have never ran a race "together". We have been in the same races, but never stuck by each other's sides.

Jaime is 5 months pregnant. I ran a marathon last weekend. It was the perfect formula to run together. Honestly thinking about it, it is kind of sad that something like this would create such a formula. We should have done this a long time ago. Maybe it takes things like this to happen to realize what you have been missing out on?

All week Jaime kept telling me she was going to be slow. I didn't care, I didn't have any expectations for myself and just wanted to keep it easy because of the recovery. I didn't think about the race all week. I didn't even get registered until race eve. It was 10pm the night before when I found out what time the race started! We were 100% stress free and just looking forward to the race <-- how all races should be!!

I was invited to be on a race team this week. I even had to tell them that I was going to sport their shirt, but was just having fun. This "fun" approach is something very new to me. For the past years I have spent every race trying not to stress and pretending not to care about outcomes. Then pushing myself to no end during races and trying to always be happy with times. Sometimes I am legitimately happy, other times I pretend to be and then beat myself up <-- how races should NOT be.

We got to the race start around 6:10. I decided to carry my phone in case I wanted pictures. People were starting to crowd towards the start. Looking around you notice people's faces. Some very happy, some stressing out and then those looking clueless. Runners were warming up and getting ready. Jaime and I were just taking it all in and laughing and trying to figure out where the start was! We didn't even know!

Once we reached the start we ran into a lot of our friends. Everyone was congratulaing Jaime on her pregnancy and we were wishing everyone good luck. The gun goes off and Jaime immediatly says... I have to go to the bathroom. We literally just started running! So we take off and she decides to wait till after the first mile.

Mile 1 - Porta Potty stop!! I decided to go too. What the heck. Might as well!

Then we were off again. We stopped at a bunch of mile markers to take pictures. I carried her water and made sure she was hydrated. I tried my hardest to talk and keep her entertained the entire time. It was so much fun to spend the time with her this way. Doing something we both loved. Adrenaline flowing. When she wanted to take a walk break we did, but then she found the strength to keep going. She really was a trooper. The humidity was at 93% and the heat was almost reaching 80*! At 5 months pregnant, maintaing a 9:19 average - she did awesome. We watched all of our fast friends run by and we cheered them on. It gave us both a second wind. We talked to runners along the way. We even saw some of our friends and ran with them for a while.

This race was a whole new experience. It gave racing a new meaning. It was fun.

Afterwards we went to Four Green Fields to have a drink with our group. Runners are some of the happiest and fun people around, so of course the bar was packed with high, glowing spirits.

Such a fun day!!