Nike Women’s Half Marathon Race Report

I know you’re surprised. It’s a race report. From me. It has been a while, I know. But, hey, I raced, so I will report.

This was my third race since becoming a mom. My first was a 5k last October. It was cold (30-something degrees) and I raced with the stroller. Not just any stroller, but the snap and go, which is not at all designed for racing. Heck, it is just passable for walking. But Max was just two months old and he wasn’t ready for the running stroller just yet. I can’t believe I did that. There was even an off road portion, which had me struggling just to walk. There was no way I was running over grass and gravel with that stroller frame.

Last month I ran the Rock and Roll Half Marathon. That was a whole other story. To make a long story short, it was after a week from hell (daycare issues, the Knight was away for 3 weeks, work was stressful). Until the day before I didn’t know whether I would even show up or not. I couldn’t figure out how to work the logistics with pumping and such. I finally decided just to go for it. I had no goals other than crossing the finish line. I accomplished my goal and was very proud of myself for not quitting before ever getting to the starting line.

Fast forward to this weekend. I decided that I didn’t want to “race” the Nike Half, but instead I would run for fun. I chose to run with a friend. She was going for a PR (personal record) and I wanted to try to get her there.

So together we ran the 13.1 miles through the streets of DC. You could not have asked for more perfect weather. It was beautiful. I helped my friend set a PR by over 15 minutes.

The race itself was a mixed bag. There were some kinks that come with it being the inaugural race. The corrals were jam-packed – to the point that you couldn’t actually even get into the corrals because they were so full. I’m not sure why Nike didn’t anticipate this, but hopefully next year will be better. On a related note, the course was seriously congested. Had I been trying to snag a PR I would have been more upset, but I just relaxed and kept running.

My little cheerleader!

Nike pre-raceOverall, I think Nike did a good job putting on this race. I was particularly impressed with the “Expotique” which featured free makeovers from Bare Escentuals, free sign making from Luna, and a lot of samples.

The course was a great tour of downtown DC. For me it was familiar territory, which was nice. The starting line was right near my office. I imagine it was also nice for visitors as we ran by the monuments, over the memorial bridge, and past the Capitol.

I admit that a big motivator for me to do this race was the race medal. Or rather, that the medal was actually a Tiffany necklace. It is a nice memento. I also like the finisher’s shirt.

Photo Credit: Priscilla (“PDiddy”)

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Nike Half

With Janene around Mile 9
Photo Credit: Joe

All in all, it was a good race. I feel so blessed to be able to go out and run 13 miles like it is nothing. The last time I ran longer than 4-5 miles was 6 weeks ago for the Rock and Roll Half, so I didn’t know what to expect this weekend. I would definitely do the Nike Half again next year. Then again, these things always sound like a good idea when the weather is nice. But sometime around January I start questioning why I sign up for Spring races. Winter training is hard. For that matter, so is summer training. Heck, all training is hard. But we love it, don’t we?

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All boy

I’ve heard people say that gender differences are innate. I have a coworker whose wife is an early childhood educator. They have three kids. When they were little they tried to give them all gender-neutral toys. When they gave their daughter a baby doll, she rocked it, fed it, and gave it love. Their son tied his doll to his bike and dragged it behind him. I love that story.

Little Max is all boy.  A mom recently posted on our breastfeeding listserve that her daughter freaks out when she starts the blender. She gets so upset. She has tried using it on the opposite side of the house but it is still too much noise for her. Meanwhile, Max literally bounces up and down with excitment when we start the Vitamix. He loves the loud noise of engines, motors and the vacuum. He thinks the pump is a cool toy, and tries to play with it. That is especially fun while I am using it.

We already do a little bit of wrestling. He doesn’t mind tumbling down a little and he giggles when you “tackle” him. He seems to enjoy hanging upside down and he is already climbing anything he can get to.

We have our hands full with this guy. And we couldn’t be happier.

Max and the Knight (March '13)

Max and the Knight (March ’13)

The Best Morning

It is Saturday morning; and it is a good one so far. The Knight is doing a training ride and he left early. “Early” was shortly after I came back to bed from a 4 am feeding, which lasted much longer than it should have. I am pretty sure that the little Thumper is teething.

He woke up for good around 7 ready to start the day. We nursed for a bit, and then Max crawled around the bed. When you’re 8 months old the dimmer switch for the lamp is a great toy. No need to actually use the switch. Just the little white box with a cord and a tiny red light is enough for amusement.

Tickling and belly raspberries followed this. I’ll do anything to get a laugh. It fills my heart to hear his laugh.

After we changed his diaper – which is easier said than done these days with a squirmy worm- it was breakfast time. While I prepped our food Max crawled around on the floor. He played his favorite kitchen toys: the empty coffee can and plastic container reserved just for this use. For extra giggles I gave him an ice cube to push around. We spare no expense on toys in this house.

Then we share a bowl of oatmeal. It is so neat sitting together and watching him “chew.” He is such a little man sometimes. Then I turn my head for a second and realize I probably should have seat-belted him in. Little monkey. Not only has he stood up inis high chair, but for the first time he has put one foot up on the counter. He is reaching for the oatmeal bowl. Guess I wasn’t fast enough with those bites.

We wind upon the dining room floor. Max has become a very fast crawler. I adore watching him crawl. He does it with such purpose and determination. I wind up sitting in the hallway while he explores. Max crawls into the bathroom and finds his rubber duck. He plays with it for a bit, always checking to see that I’m there. Then I start a little game of peekaboo. Never fails. Lots of smiles. Every now and then he stops what he is going to crawl over and touch me. He crawls up my legs and I pick him up and cover him with “kisses and hugs for Maxwell” until he squirms away to get back to his duck. We repeat this cycle a few times.

Finally, Max starts fussing, letting me know it is nap time. We don’t have a schedule. Max tells us when he is ready. The signs are clear. I put him down in the crib and he does the “I can’t believe you’re doing this to me” cry. It only last a minute or two and he is out. Now it is time for a mommy to get a much needed nap, too. It was a rough week, thanks to the above-mentioned teething.

Sleepy time. Ahhh. I can’t wait for him to wake up so we can do it all again.