This morning was a whirlwind of activity. We had to get up at 6:00, because Noah had a cross country meet today, and we were supposed to meet there at 7:15. The temperature dropped a LOT overnight, and it was in the 30's early this morning. By the time we left, it was 42 degrees with a windchill of 32. So I had to dig out the coats, hats, and gloves.
Noah was nervous about his race, but I kept reminding him that it doesn't matter what place he comes in, as long as he does his best. His official mile time from the last meet was 10:34, so I told him just to aim to finish under that time, and not worry about how the other kids did. My parents went to the meet as well, so we went to the starting line to watch. Noah looked very ready, and when they sounded the horn to go, he looked like he was pushing it harder than at the last invitational. I was actually a little worried he started out too fast.
We headed over to the finish line to wait, and the kids started coming in at the 6:00 mark. I was guessing Noah would be around 10:00-11:00. We saw him make his way around the last quarter mile or so, and he looked like he was doing really good. I was just hoping he'd come in under 10:34, so he could see that he'd improved over his last mile time. He really picked up the pace when he was in sight of the finish line, and he crossed in 9:34! A full minute faster than his time on Tuesday.
I was super proud of him for giving it his all, and he was very proud of himself as well.
As soon as he was done, we booked it to the car. My younger brother, Nathan, was running his first half-marathon today, and his race was about 45 minutes away from where Noah's invitational was. Today was Nathan's scheduled 20-miler for his marathon training, so he ran 7 miles before the race, and timed it so that he'd have just enough time to hit the porta-potty and then run the half-marathon. He didn't know we were going to go to the finish line, and we thought it would be a nice surprise.
We got within 15 minutes of the race when the traffic on the expressway stopped moving. All three lanes were merging into one due to construction, and traffic was barely creeping along. We'd had a little cushion as far as how much time we had to get to the finish line, but as the minutes ticked by, I was worried we wouldn't make it at all. Finally, my dad took an exit that was way too soon, but we didn't really have a choice. One of the main roads was barricaded due to the race, so we tried to get as close as we could. There was pretty much no hope of getting there on time.
As we pulled over to turn around, I noticed that there were some runners going by at the bottom of the hill we were on. I asked the guy who was directing traffic if he knew what mile that was, and he said he didn't have a clue. My dad pulled over onto a side street, and I decided to run down to ask the volunteers what mile it was before having the whole family go. I ran down the hill as fast as I could, and the volunteer told me it was mile 12.75-ish. I was tracking Nathan with my phone via his Garmin, and he was at about mile 12, running an 8:55-ish pace.
So I ran UP the hill to tell my parents to come down there, and then ran back down to wait. I realized I forgot the cowbells in the car, so I ran as fast as I could UP the hill again, grabbed my bag from the car, and then ran back down the hill. I was chatting with the volunteer, who was a runner herself, when Noah said, "Mama" pretty calmly, and pointed ahead. I looked, and at first didn't notice, but Nathan was right there. He usually wears really bright shirts, so that's what I'd been looking for. We started cheering for him and ringing the cowbells. He was surprised to see us, and I told him we'd see him at the finish line.
I wish I could've seen him finish, but it was just ahead of where we were standing, so we all walked to the finish area and found him. He did AWESOME on his run--he ran the whole 20 miles at an 8:53/mile pace! His time for his first half-marathon was 1:55, and it was part of a training run. It took me 3 years to get a sub-2:00! ;)
Even though we only saw him for a few minutes, I was so glad that we made the drive up there. Running 20 miles, including your first half-marathon, is a big deal. Now he starts tapering, and two weeks from tomorrow, he'll run his first marathon!
Today was a rest day, but I got in almost 8,000 steps by 10:30 this morning, just from all the running around for the races. It's kind of strange though, I feel like I worked out this morning from running up and down that hill so many times. I've had that "runner's lungs" feeling all day today, and my face feels flushed like it does when I have a hard workout. So weird! I guess I just need more hill training, haha.
I keep thinking that today is Sunday (it really feels like a Sunday!), but I get so happy every time I realize that it's actually Saturday. This weather has me wanting to put on some warm pajamas, curl up on the couch with some tea, and watch a movie or read a good book (with Estelle hogging my lap, of course). As I type this, she's sitting in her very favorite spot:
I don't know why she likes my shins rather than my thighs, but I can't sit down for more than 30 seconds before she makes herself at home on my legs.
Now, I'm going to go make some hot soup for dinner!