By Devonna Hall
On October 17, 2015 the women of Runitlikeamom were runit ready. We had pounded the pavement for months preparing for this day. The weather was absolutely perfect- clear skies and a 65 degree day. As we gathered together to give last minute hugs, support and to take pre-race pictures, we were looking forward to reaching our personal goals.
The Hartford Marathon was my first race, which meant I was full of anxiety because I was the inexperienced member of the team. When I was asked to be a part of the relay, I reluctantly agreed to participate, but I refused to let anxiety or fear get the best of me. With three weeks to prepare, I laced up my shoes and increased my running. A week before the race I ran 6 miles in just under an hour. This helped my confidence a bit, but I still had some anxiety. After all, this was my first race.
So here we are, race day, and there is no going back, only going forward. My relay team members Emily, Jennifer and I made our way to our respective buses that would take us to the relay exchange points. My anxiety was lessened by having Jennifer to chit chat with about the race and our kids, and also to watch the front runners with envy.
A couple of hours later it was my time to run. My mind was racing with reminders to not start off too fast, enjoy the moment and remember that I was going finish. I set a personal goal for myself to complete the 6.3 miles without stopping. I initially thought this was a stretch, because I had not trained like I should have. I ran the first half and felt really good. I did not take water until I made my run back on the second half of my leg at the last water station. I was unsuccessful at drinking water and running at the same time (I imagine not many people are skilled at doing that), which meant I basically wet my lips and threw the cup hitting another runner on the side of his head. I apologized to the runner who was extremely nice about it, he just smiled and quickly ran past me…oops! At the last mile I attempted to turn up my music and somehow switched the song. I completed my leg listening to R. Kelly’s “Bump N’ Grind” thankful that no one knew what I was listening too, but I finished strong. Jennifer was ready and she took off. It was a great first run and I felt awesome.
Emily and I walked back to the buses so we could be at the finish line to cheer Jen on. Jen came through strong as well. We picked up our medals, took pictures and had a beer.
This was such an awesome experience and I’m looking forward to my next race. No more excuses- I am recommitting myself to make the time to pound the pavement. Til we race again!