I am so excited to say that I spent my Mother's Day doing something good for myself. I was fortunate enough to participate in the Great Mother's Day Race in Tampa. Never in a million years did I think I would be spending my special day running 3.1 miles but I'm glad I did!!!
On Saturday, I took Noah with me to Fit2Run in International Mall to pick up my tshirt and race packet. I have to say, the shirts were pretty awesome! They are so soft! They feel like a really worn in cotton tee with an active element to them. I don't know...I can't say enough about the feel. (I'm all about a comfy feel). I may have worn it the rest of the day!!! Noah loves going to packet pick ups with me so it was nice to spend some quality time with just him. I got there right when they started so I didn't have any wait at all! It was nice to breeze right in and get what I need.
Of course I sprung it on the Hubs that I needed a new shirt to run in. For some reason I have to buy a new shirt or something when I have a race. It's weird. I think it's because all my pictures have the same 2 shirts in them. So off to Old Navy I went and came home with a new tank and an amazing sports bra (this is a huge accomplishment since I am a little too blessed in that department. Finding a decent bra is hard and I found this one and it was on clearance!!!!). I was totally ready for the race!
The race was held at Al Lopez Park in Tampa. I have seen the park before but had never been there before so I had no idea what was in store for me. I ended up getting there insanely early (the Hubs overestimated how long it would take to get there) but it allowed me to get some stretching in. After a while I met up with Jen, one of my Tampa Bay Moms Blog contributor friends, and got to meet her adorable family. I love that they run as a family. One day that will be us. Hear that Hubs??? Her hubby is a trooper and pushes the jogger the entire race. We headed towards the starting line and got ready. I hung back a little ways for a couple reasons:
1. I'm not a good run and talk girl. I have to concentrate on actually breathing. Plus I listen to music to drown out the sound of my heavy breathing
2. I'm slow and I knew they would be a heck of a lot faster
3. I was rocking this race solo. Most of the time my brother's girlfriend does the races with me. We start off together then she leaves me in her dust. This time it was just me.
The course was really nice. It was pretty flat and pretty shady. The first mile was a great one for me. I recorded my fastest mile to date as well as my fastest 1K to date. Granted, this is still really slow but I was proud of myself. And I did it without trying. But then, BAM. Mile 2. For some reason the second mile is always the hardest for me. I'm not sure why. But it got to me. Then I had an epiphany. This race was about me. As much as I wanted it to be about PRing, it was more about doing something for me. With all the stress of Em's health and surgery and severe lack of sleep, this race allowed me to have a few minutes to just clear my mind, which was the best Mother's Day gift I could have received. All of the stress I've been under just melted away. I decided in that moment that I was going to just do what felt right. If I wanted to walk, then I was going to walk. If I wanted to run, I was going to run. And I wasn't going to beat myself up over it. And you know what? It was the most liberating feeling. Sure my time was about 3 minutes slower than any 5K I've ever ran. But those extra 3 minutes were what I needed to clear my head. It was a wonderful feeling. Oh and I can't forget how awesome it was that Jen and her crew were cheering me on as I crossed the finish line. Her boys were cheering for me and it was absolutely adorable! I can't thank them enough for that!!!
I can't speak enough about this event. The race directors are awesome. Claire walked by me before the race and introduced herself and welcomed me. That's pretty awesome in my book! I loved how family friendly it was. So many people were pushing strollers so their little ones could be part of the race. It was a great location with a great course. And more importantly, it was a celebration. There was an amazing sense of love and family every where you turned. I can't wait to spend many Mother's Days to come at this event!
Disclaimer: I received an comp'd entry into the Great Mother's Day Race in exchange for promoting the event. I am not being paid to participate. All opinions are my own.