Monday, May 21, 2012

The Divas Half

So this past weekend was the Divas Half Marathon in North Myrtle Beach.  Originally this was supposed to be a fun girls weekend getaway and race with my mom and a close friend. Then we found a few more girls to invite and one of them had a great place to stay close by on the cheap. It was a fun group of girls and sure to be a good time, PERFECT! I was thinking I'd be able to leave Parker by now and, just in case he wasn't ready, had made a back up plan to have my sister come along to help out on race day. Well, as plans some times will, our plans changed. Several times. All of them. My sister was asked to do a house sitting job and needed to take it, so I decided to bring the whole family along, mom and I found another place to stay, not as close, but just as cheap, the original friend who had planned the trip with me had lots of things pop up last minute and wasn't able to make it down.  The night before the trip I got an email changing something important to me, that I have worked hard on and put lots of effort into and I was feeling pretty crummy about that. By the time Friday rolled around I was feeling overwhelmed by packing for five and buying and planning food for five and... well you can imagine. But we all loaded up and drove down to North Myrtle ( a place I don't personally believe to be the most family friendly beach, especially during bike week, which it was). The kids rode down great, Aarik was a champ like always, we had a great time, everyone behaved. It actually turned into a much needed, fairly peaceful family mini vacation. While we were there mom was awesome enough to take some family pictures for us. You may have noticed some of them already plastered on here.  I'm SO excited about finally having pictures with all of us in them. Especially because I actually got to shower and get ready before we took them! So here are a few pics from the trip.

Now onto the race :) I've made it no secret that training for this race has been a struggle. This was my third half but my first time not being able to stick to a training schedule. It was frustrating and made me lose a lot of the excitement I normally feel looking forward to a race, but two things kept me plugging away (as best I could anyway) #1- I needed to build a base again after not running during the end of my pregnancy and before I start training for my full and #2- my mom. This year my mom will turn 50, she won't look it, but she will be it. Last year was a very hard year for her, which isn't unusual, but it was really hard. So several months back I suggested she do this race as a way to celebrate her 50th year. Honestly, running is my thing. The thing One of the things that makes my family think I'm crazy. I was able to get my husband to do it, there was no way I could convince anyone else, right?!? Well, bless my mama's heart, she signed up for the race, and then she started training. I gave her a training plan, and a little advice, we found her some good shoes (insert ASICS plug here :), and a few cute outfits and she hit the pavement. Early on the plan was for us to do it together, like, all of it. Training, fueling, and the race. Then we got busy and had to do our training separately. She would ask a question here and there, we would talk about what our mileage would be on Saturdays, but she was on her own a lot. It was up to her to be accountable for her training, and she was. She would get up earlier than I would on weekends and get in her long mileage. She would come home from work and juggling other people's schedules during the week and get her mid-weekers in.  She worked her rear off. Since I was running all of my mileage, I decided I would just run the half and then go back and meet her. But the closer it got to race day, the more that plan just didn't feel good. So a few weeks before I decided to go back to the original plan and do the race with my mom. This race was a blast! From the expo
All the way to the finish
I enjoyed it all. Being an all women's race made it a whole different experience. The expo was full of women dying to spend money on stuff they would only use once. Pink and sparkles and crazy costumes were everywhere on the morning of the race. I have to tell you it was so refreshing to approach a race differently. Instead of spending two hours pushing myself and freaking out about my time, I spent 3 hours and 15 minutes encouraging my mom and other ladies who had never done a half before, enjoying all the support and funny signs on the course, thanking the volunteers, laughing and chatting, posting pics of mom on Facebook, and yes, texting Aarik to see if Parker was screaming (he wasn't, in case you care :) It was my favorite half marathon experience. I stayed with her all the way until a quarter mile before the finish and then ran ahead to make sure she had at least one picture of herself crossing the finish line. I am SO proud of my mom. She walked and jogged that race like a champ. She didn't stop once. She was determined, and motivated, and she finished strong and got her blingin' medal. My mom is an inspiration.
I'm so grateful for this experience, and the memories we'll always share from it. Way to go mom!

In 10 days registration for the marathon will open. Every time I think about it my stomach knots up. I'm praying everything goes smoothly, the registration, the training, my foot, the race and most importantly the fundraising. Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive so far. I was hoping to be at least half way to the goal by the time I registered for the full. There's still a little time to hope, right? If you haven't yet, please share the fundraising page. If you haven't yet, PLEASE donate or make plans to before the end of October! Every single dollar counts! Every donation will help us reach our fundraising goal and every single dollar will get us closer to a treatment and eventually a cure for Spinal Muscular Atrophy. We can help make sure that this disease doesn't continue to torture children and their families. That it doesn't continue to take children away from their families. With 1 in 40 people being a carrier of the SMA gene, you can't think you'll spend the rest of your life with out being affected by it. I am so proud to be raising money for The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation and I know that they will use every dollar to fight this terrible disease. 

If life is too crazy for blogging until then, I will definitely be letting you know once I am officially registered for the big race! Hope everyone has a great week!!


  1. Great job on the race! And congrats on signing up for your first full- I've only done one, but it's an experience I'll never forget. I hope to do another someday! Thanks for stopping by my blog! :)

    1. Laura- I loved your blog and will probably be looking to you for some advice as I'm getting back into running and ready for my full! Thanks for saying "Hi"!