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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Am I Half Crazy?

Happy Mother's Day!  Or Happy Race Day, for me & 3,000 other runners!  Today was the day... Sunday, May 12, 2013. The day of the Delaware Marathon, half marathon, and marathon relay!  I had done all I could do, could I have trained harder... Sure... But that was neither here nor there.  The time had come.  I set my alarm for 5:30 am, boy did that come fast.  I thought going to bed at 9:45 pm, would still leave me rested. Oh well, I had no time to dwell on how tired I was.  I had to get up & run!  I laid out my clothes, pinned my bib to my tank, and laid out all the rest of my running junk the night before (smart).  I hopped in the shower, brushed my teeth, threw on a little sunblock & a lot of deodorant... Then it was time to put on my clothes. I strapped on my braces, even though my legs were feeling pretty good, tied my sneaks then headed to the kitchen.  My usual run breakfast is pretty consistent, PB & J on wheat toast with water... And recently 2 ibuprofen.  I peed on last time, then headed down to the park... By the way, I decided to crash near by at my cousin Lenise's, to eliminate having to wake up even earlier and that drive from Newark.

Lenise & I got down to the park, right around 6:30 am... And boy was my stomach in knots... Was this nerves? I found my fellow BGR runners, chewed the fat for a minute or two, then we all posed for a picture... Cheese!

After the picture, it was time for the marathoners to start, 7 am on the dot.  Guess who I saw... Christina Colon, looking for the rest of her relay team.  It was nice to see another familiar face, in a sea of strangers.  Then the relay runners started, it was 7:05.  Opps, I need to pee again... Lenise and I race to the train station, the line was 30 women deep.  The POPs had an even longer line... Well, I realized it was probably just nerves... So I let it ride, and hoped for the best.  It was time to line up, I gave Lenise a big ol' hug, like I was never going to see her again, and I found a place amongst the crowd of 1000.

BAM... They're off... But all of a sudden I have a strange desire to bust out the wobble... Oh wait it was playing... Any way, back to running.  I started off strong, remembering my run yesterday with Mia, this was the same course, I smiled. We headed towards the riverfront, down Justison, towards the chase center, through the outlets, and back up the river walk.  I had a great pace, and surprisingly, little slow me, was passing people.  We headed past Big Fish, Joe's Crab Shack, Firestone & Harry's seafood grill, all getting ready for the big Mother's Day rush.  We curved around back past the park, and off the abandoned warehouses (I knew there was water there, bonus). I maintained a great pace, a little faster than I usually start, but I wasn't fatigued... And before I knew, I was passing mile 3, and I thought, only 10 more to go... Lol.  Walnut street was coming up, with a slight incline, I knew I could handle it... And I did!  As walnut street was coming to an end, I looked up, and saw some BGR angels cheering us runners on, Yay!  Then water and a shot block break, another yay!!  We curved into the brandywine, shade and a breeze.  This is one of my favorite parts of the city; the Brandywine river, zoo, and monkey hill.  Once I passed monkey hill, I knew the Nova time keeper was up ahead, and I picked up my pace. 5 miles done!  I crossed the 5 mile mark, somewhere around 58-59 minutes.  My goal was to get to 6.55 before 1:15... But I knew I had an ugly, curvy incline ahead of me.  I slowly ran & walked some, up the woodsey road.  But I also remembered there was a water station on the other end, so I forged on.  Grabbed my water & Gatorade from a little kid, mixed them, and continued on my way.  SIDE NOTE: I always mix gatorade & water and walk through water stations... For those who know and love me, know I have no coordination, so running & drinking at the same time, leads to chocking and spilled Gatorade all over me, no bueno!  Anyway, around some more woodsey curves, and we approach kentmere.  I hit the 6.55 mark, at 1:12, I figured if I kept up the face I would smash last years time... p.s. This is another one of my favorite areas in the city, Rockford park... The homes are are beautiful and historic, the streets are lined with trees, the neighbors are all out of their houses cheering runners on... Makes for a pretty, encouraging run!  We head down Bancroft parkway, towards little Italy... Another favorite neighborhood.  My pace was ok, I was definitely slowing down a bit.  As I turned down 4th, the headed back down Lincoln. Fatigue was starting to set in... But what did I see... A sign for the Italian festival... Starting June 9!!  All of a sudden the thought of spaghetti dinners perked me up again! The thought of food, and good tunes kept me going back down the parkway until about mile 10.  I knew I only had 3 more miles to go, my pace was slow, some walking in between, but I knew what was a head of me at mile 12... So, I decided to keep it slow & steady.  It was all downhill from here, right?  Well, Kind-of!  At the next water station I took my last 2 chews, and back down winding Lovering I went.  I walked behind the hospital, saving my energy for the final push at mile 12.  The sun was shining, my energy was coming back, I saw Dawn, from BGR, cheering me on... And here we go... I started the final climb- King Street!  It had been breezy all day, but some how moving up king st, I felt like I was in a wind tunnel, with crazy headwind.  I was pushing my body to sprint, and all it was doing was jogging.  I finally got to the break, Rodney square... Downhill!  Yes!! Thank you, Lord!  I picked up a little speed moving downhill, but those headwinds were crazy... Or maybe I just was.
Right when King intersects MLK, I saw the most handsome cheerleader... My husband, snapping photos.  I picked up my speed rounded the corner, and what did I see 3 iPhones in a row (my parents), and 2 little smiling faces, holding signs, yelling "go mommy". That was the best and final push, I dialed in to whatever energy I had left, and finished strong!  With a final time of 2:39:40... 3 minutes off of last year's time.  Here's the added bonus, GPS tracked me running at 13.61 mi... So, I really kicked my last year's time of 13.46 mi in 2:42:36!

All in all, it was a good race, I finished strong and didn't feel like a Mac truck ran over me! I hydrated well, stuck to most of my plan, reached my goal (improving my time, & coming in under 2:40), but more importantly I enjoy the run! Wilmington is my hometown, I love seeing the beauty of it on foot, surrounded by 3000 runners!  An enormous thank you to the Delaware Marathon, Races 2 Run, and the volunteers for putting on an amazing, organized, warmhearted race.  A big thank you to the Wilmington Police department for keeping us safe from cars, the paramedics, and all the sponsors. Also one more, thank you to my fellow DE marathon festival runners, and of course Black Girls Run for all of the love, encouragement, and support throughout the race!  A big question lies before us... Will I be back next year?  As my aunt, mother, & cousin say... YBYSAIA... I've got to beat this years time, who's with me?  Ok, ok... I am crazy!

Here are some more fun anecdotes & information:
Training for Half Craziness #1, #2, #3, #4
Course map


  1. congrats on finishing! how amazing to have your family there to cheer for you! And aren't shot blocks the best?? they taste like gummy snacks!


    1. Thanks AJ! I love shot blocks, they are my go-to refuel.