1. Leave my house at 11:30 a.m., pick up a friend who is running on my team, and drive 2.5 hours to Richland, WA.
2. Have a fun road trip to Richland.
Wait, stop the press, it's not so easy in my world (insert more stops and time).
Here was the reality of that weekend for me (like many other Mother or Father Runners):
1. Leave my house at 11:30 a.m. with my two boys and all our luggage and pick up my friend who is running on my team.
2. Take my older son to his soccer game and play cheerleader from the sideline (while keeping his little brother entertained and out of the game, trying to carry on a conversation with my friend, and then looking really excited and engaged when my son looks at me after making a great game play or goal).
3. Take my son to his end of the season soccer party (with his little brother and my friend along for the entertaining ride).
4. Drive everyone an hour and a half to my in-laws house where I drop off the boys to stay the night (they LOVE IT at Papa and Grammy's house! Who doesn't?).
5. Have a fun road trip to Richland, WA. with my friend.
6. Arrive in Richland in time to meet our other two relay teammates and eat dinner at 8:00 p.m. A two and a half hour drive had turned into an eight and a half hour adventure. No wonder we were hungry!
7. Go to the hotel (oh, I mean sketchy motel) and get ready for race morning. (Laying out our race clothes consisted of covering the surface before putting your clothes on it.) The race started and ended in the motel parking lot so it was worth it for the location!
8. Get up the next morning and run...no, wait I'm third leg so I have no rush! Sweet! So, Traci (second leg) and I headed to Starbucks for coffee and oatmeal. Life is good when Traci has her coffee.
Turtle Girl was first leg again and we all gathered for a photo before the race started. Our friend Tammy joined us in the picture as she was running the whole marathon...her own one woman team!
It was another FREEZING cold morning. After the race started, Traci, Janine and I drove to the first transition point. It felt like a timed scavenger hunt; follow a paper map in an unfamiliar city to a set location before your runner gets there. Similar to the last race, we hovered in the warm car until the last possible moment to get out for the transition. Turtle Girl arrived and Traci ran off into the sunrise.
We piled in the car and continued on our scavenger hunt to find the second transition, then the wind and rain hit. Oh man. Cold, wet, and windy. Lovely.
Traci smoked her run (something about those second leg runners!) and then I was off. My first mile was fast because I was FREEZING! Then, as my body warmed up, my pace leveled out. I felt solid and was inspired by a family we'd been watching pass through each transition. The mother was running the full marathon herself and her family members were running as a relay team encouraging and pacing her, then transitioning to a new family member at each transition. Awesome!
I sprinted in to my transition and Janine took off as our closer. She is one of our "fun sized friends" who despite her small stature can turn on her jets and blaze past you. She blew all of our times out of the water and finished the marathon sprinting in faster than any of us can run. Our final team time was 4:15!
Back to the motel room we go to shower, change, and warm-up, then we all say goodbye and head out. Turtle Girl and Janine drive straight home, while Traci is along for the long ride home via the in-laws to pick up my boys, play in the leaves, chat, then finally getting home in time to make dinner and get ready for work the next morning. A two and a half hour drive turned into a five hour drive for this mother runner. Par for the course.
Where does the time go? The weekend was over and it was already time to start thinking about the Rock 'n' Roll Savannah Half-Marathon. My last race of the year!