Because I apparently like blogging things long after they happen, here’s a recap of the Colonial Williamsburg Half Marathon I did with Lelia back in February! It was such a great race, and I just can’t let it go without being documented.
Lelia and I had talked about running a half marathon together for years, but it just never seemed like the right time. After we spontaneously ran almost 8 miles on New Year’s Eve together, Lelia pensively said, “Hmmm, I wonder…”, and from there we decided we would finally do it. We made a training plan and cheered each other on each week as we checked off the miles. It was so fun to know my sister was a couple hundred miles away completing the same runs.
We also made matching shirts! We found various ideas online and combined a few of them to come up with this! “Sole Sisters!” forever! So many people yelled out to us and commented on our shirts throughout the race, which was really fun.We drove down to Michael’s parents’ house on Thursday night, since that would put us about 30 minutes away from the race location. We had a restful day on Friday, and then got up early on Saturday morning before the 8:30 am race start. I had better sleep than I expected to, since pre-race jitters always seem to get in the way, and Eve did alright and only woke up twice during the night.
We took the ferry over to Williamsburg, and arrived about an hour before start time, so I tried to nurse Eve while waiting for Lelia. Eve didn’t want anything to do with nursing, so I just had to hope she’d be happy while I was gone. Thankfully, she did great the entire time.
We got to the start line and waited to use the bathroom one last time. There were not a lot of porta-potties, and we were worried that we wouldn’t get through the long line before the race started. Another runner standing behind us told us about a random porta-potty far across the field and in a parking lot, so I had a nice warm-up jog over that way.
Michael took this picture as quickly as possible before we got into the start line. Lelia’s cousin Brandon raced, too (only way ahead of us)!
The race wound through Colonial Williamsburg for the first couple of miles, and I was wishing I could have shown my girls all the historical buildings. We ended up on a paved trail that cut through the forest, over a wooden bridge, and ended just next to Busch Gardens, where we turned around at mile 7.4. There were some small hills, but really nothing too challenging.
Lelia and I had dreamed of finishing in under two hours, although I was trying not to get my hopes too high and keep my goal realistic. When we saw the fast paces we were making in the first few miles, we said, “What are we doing?”, but we felt fine, so we just kept going and banked that time.
I knew the miles would fly on by with Lelia by my side, and I was right. We talked for most of it, and I might have also been singing Daniel Tiger’s “Close your eyes, and think of something happy” to keep us going. We kept calculating our pace and figuring that we would be able to make it in under 2 hours, although it was going to be close.
We had been worried about the weather leading up to the race. There was rain in the forecast, and it was supposed to be cold. On race morning, the radar gave me hope that the rain wouldn’t start until after we finished. It was also 49 degrees, which sounded absolutely amazing for February! I decided to wear my shorts and leave my rain jacket at home, thinking it’d be too hot. I’m not exactly sure when it started raining, but it quickly went from a drizzle to pouring down, and we were soaking wet. The temperature dropped 10 degrees, and by the end, I was wishing I had my jacket and gloves.
Lelia and I stuck together until the very end, around mile 12.6. Her hip was bothering her, and at that point, stopping or slowing down would hurt more for me than to just keep pushing forward. I pulled just a little ahead, and finally saw my family, standing out there in the rain, cheering for me as I crossed the line! My fingers were numb, and I couldn’t stop shivering, but I was so proud.Sub-2 sisters!!! We earned this! This was my first postpartum race! I’m amazed how much strength and endurance I gained in the seven months since I had Eve.The race website made these funny little digital certificates. I like that it has all my rankings on there though! Fifth for my age/gender group! Not bad! I just had to put the medal on Eve. It’s tradition for a postpartum comeback!Apparently, medals taste good.I’m so grateful for the ability to do this, and also the opportunity to finally run a half with Lelia! This was the first winter half marathon I had ever done, and it was great for personal growth. On to more races!