Race Day – 31 weeks and Counting the Miles

Apologies. Energy levels for blogging flagged as I tried too hard to keep up with family, work, church, hobbies, and fitness. Time that I might have spent blogging morphed into time towards other commitments with hard and fast deadlines. The last of which, was the Memphis Marathon (Half Marathon, in my case) for St. Jude. This was my third half, and one that I’ve considered since I started running. When I registered, I knew there was a chance I would run the race while pregnant, but I didn’t think I would be solidly in my third trimester on race day.

The first year, I let the race sell out before we registered without much care. Last year, I thought about doing it with a group of friends, but we also let the race sell out before our commitment firmed. This year, I was fresh off of my second half marathon, and I was waiting for it. The bib number doesn’t show it, but I paid my registration fee the first day I knew it was open. I also registered to raise money – just figuring that if those tough little kids could face cancer (and other life-threatening childhood diseases), fighting for their lives, the least I could do is help race raise money so that their families could keep enjoying the tremendous research and treatment at no cost.

St. Jude Half Marathon Race Bib

St. Jude Half Marathon Race Bib

Race day was December 1, a warm late Fall day, even for Memphis. Over 18,000 runners lined up in the corrals for the wave start, and my months of fundraising started to feel like a weight, a pressure to go the distance no matter how long it took. And it took awhile – about three and a half hours – compared to my earlier half marathon time of 2:18. Still, I did this one with 20 extra pounds and about 10 potty breaks. More importantly, I finished, both with my distance goal, and my fundraising goal.

We had a borrowed race bib whose personalized bib just happened to suit Jason just fine.

We borrowed a race bib from a friend whose personalization happened to suit Jason fine.

I promise I didn't run with my hands on my belly the whole time.

I promise I didn’t run with my hands on my belly for the entire race.

After Mile 9/10 we mostly walked. But there were still lots of people behind us.

After Mile 9/10 we mostly walked. But there were still lots of people behind us.

If you ever feel the need to be inspired, do this race. The Memphis community supports it with cheer stations everywhere! And you get to run through the St. Jude campus which they fill with patients, families and staff as your cheerleaders (this may not mean as much to you, but there are also port-o-potties at every mile – what can I say? I find it easier to be inspired on an empty bladder).

See – one of the cheer stations? This one was personalized for me. 🙂

Stopping to Enjoy Our Little Cheer Friend - not at all because we needed a rest.

Stopping to Enjoy Our Little Cheer Friend – not at all because we needed a rest.

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