I’ve run lots of races in my life and one thing I can say for certain is that you never know what to expect.
It’s great to learn from past experience, but each race is a new puzzle for the runner to solve.
I signed up for the Iron Mom Half Marathon in Paducah, Kentucky, shortly after running my last full marathon in Washington State. I knew I’d need a goal once I got back home. Some source of inspiration to keep me training in the heat.
I recovered very quickly from the North Olympic Discovery Marathon and all was going well. Until I threw my back out while picking up my eight month old son (who is 25 pounds). I started taking it easy hoping the pain would disappear. That didn’t work.
At the recommendation of friends I found a great chiropractor who got me all fixed up. I was still sore but I could run.
Another Great Small Town Marathon
We got up early to leave for the race at 4:30am. It was quite the feat to mobilize and get three small children up and ready at that time. We arrived in time to pick up my race packet, use the bathroom a couple times, and get to the starting line. It was a small half marathon with around 750 runners. Just my size!
I felt pretty tight the first 4 miles. Plus, the weather was hot and humid. At mile 5 it started to cloud up and rain lightly. The course wound through historic parts of town and a beautiful park. There were some trail sections to break up the monotony of the pavement.
I had a great cheering section that kept popping up around the course. Trevor and the boys definitely brightened my run and it gave me a burst of energy each time I saw them.
I tried to stick with the 2 hour pace group during the race, but by mile 10 I could feel myself slipping behind. The pacer was at least 2 blocks in front of me and I wondered if I’d be able to pull off a sub-2 hour race. For the last three miles I had to continually give myself small pep talks. I decided that I would not let the 2 hour pacer out of sight.
My strategy was that of a fisherman—reel him in. Even my arm swing became part of the reeling motion. I was slowly able to close the gap. I pushed hard during the last mile and finished in 1:59:09. Just a few seconds to spare. It wouldn’t have been a tragedy to finish in over 2 hours, but I knew I was capable of better.
Riley’s First Race
After getting my medal and some post-race food we bustled off to the Fun run 1 mile race for kids. My 6 year old son was doing his first race. After some difficulty finding the starting line, we managed to get going. I decided that running 1 mile with Riley would be a great way to cool down.
Despite taking multiple walking breaks during his “training” runs, Riley managed to run the whole way. I kept encouraging him to run “slow and steady” and when he saw the finish line he ran full steam ahead. He is very proud of his medal and has been wearing it for the last 2 days.
Running Benefits the Whole Family
I have derived many benefits from running over the years. However, one of the greatest joys has been to set a healthy example for my kids. I would never force them to become runners. But I do want to model healthy eating and exercise as important parts of life–like bathing and brushing your teeth.
I’d love to hear how you seek to model a healthy lifestyle. It’s never too late to set a good example!
Paducah has a charming downtown that overlooks the Ohio River. William Clark (remember Lewis and Clark?) bought this area for $5.00 in 1827. He named it after Chief Paduke.
This was the first year for the Iron Mom Half Marathon. I hope they continue this race!
Riley (age 6) and Angie with their Iron Mom medals. Notice Riley’s front teeth are absent for this photo shoot.
What a great experience with the family.
You seem to have a true competitors spirit breaking the 2 hour mark with a even sore back.
This new running life style is still new to me and my family, but I love seeing the differences. This coming July 4th instead sitting around and eating, my 21 yr old daughter and I will be starting the day off running a 5K together. What a fun experience our families will all be down there supporting us and who knows who will catch this running bug next. 🙂
Listening to the MTA podcasts have been great and shown how to make these changes in our lives. Signing up for races to stay motivated has been one of the best tips yet.
Keep up the great work.
It sounds like you have the perfect plans for the 4th of July. Be sure to let us know how the race goes. I know that the changes you’ve made will continue to inspire others around you. Keep up the awesome work!
You have been a wonderful inspiration for me Angie. Yesterday I ran my first 6 mile run. I had to push to do it, but I was determined. I am very proud of Riley & you on your Paducka runs.
I love you! Mom
Thank you Mom. I’m proud of you too. Keep up the amazing work!
Way to go, Delores! I’m guessing if you’re Angie’s mom you are probably not in your thirties. No excuses for me, ha ha!
Sarah, I am closer to 60 (almost 59). It feels so good to be able to run. I encourage you to follow Angie’s plan and get started. You will be glad you did. Go Sarah, go! 🙂
Congrats on finishing in under 2 hours with a sore back! As I mom, I can understand your pride in seeing your son run his first race. I started running 2 years ago (when I turned 40!), and I think one of the greatest benefits has been showing my son what a healthy lifestyle looks like. His daddy has always been active, but I’ve never been an athlete. Running has helped me find my inner-warrior (or Kracken as your husband might say!), and I love showing my son that even his mommy — the shortest grown-up he knows — can do things that other people only dream about. I finished my first marathon a month ago, and cannot wait for my next challenge!
Thanks for all you do. Your podcast is an excellent running companion!
Thanks Becky. It’s awesome to hear that you have an active family too. Congratulations on finishing your first marathon!! Which race did you do? Keep up the great work!
Hey Angie! Great work! I’m sure it feels great to get back into the spirit of reaching, and obtaining goals.
I’m registered for a Spartan Race, which if you’re not familiar, is a military style obstacle race. Most fun you can have over 3 miles.
I mention this, because I ran it last year, but we left just before the kids race we didn’t know about started. We had to keep my 2 year old son from knowing at the time, but he’s amped up for running his first Muddy Race in August! Thanks for the podcast, you keep us all inspired to hit the road on days we don’t really feel like it. Keep up the good work!
Thanks Tony. The Spartan race sounds like a great time. I’m glad that your little buddy will be able to do his first Muddy race in August! You’re setting a great example for him.
I am originally from Paducah KY so I listened with interest as you discussed this on your podcast. Thanks for the positive comments about our charming town and congrats on breaking the 2 hour mark.
I loved the interview with Riley on your most recent podcast. Your children are blessed in that you are teaching them the benefits (and fun) of running at an early age. I have a teenage son and he does not enjoy running at all. I started running when he was ~ 12 and I wish I had engaged him earlier. Many of the marathons have fun runs for the children – this is a great way to keep the family involved in our events.
Love the podcast – you and Trevor are doing a great work in motivating and educating us.
Hi Suzanne. It’s great to have you in the MTA community. We enjoyed visiting your hometown and would love to explore the area more. This was definitely a race that I’d do again.
Don’t give up on your son. Just keep setting a good example and at some point he may discover running for himself. I really didn’t exercise consistantly during my teenage years, but it’s never too late to get started. Happy running 🙂
I loved reading about your inspiring experience at the Lourdes Paducah Iron Mom event last year. We would love to see you again, May 12, 2012 http://www.paducahironmom.com.
Hi Cindy. I’m glad you enjoyed this race recap. Thanks for the reminder about this event. It’s coming up soon.