I was pretty sure I’d made a really dumb move by signing up to run a 5-mile race on Saturday. It seemed like a good idea at the time. After all, June 30th is not July. So certainly it couldn’t be too hot. And I was only 35 1/2 weeks pregnant, so it’s not like I was big as I’m going to be. Right? What could go wrong?
Well, for starters, it could be upwards of 80 degrees by the 9am start time. And then I could also suddenly be really, really tired. So tired that walking up a flight of stairs was about as much as I could handle.
But before we even got to the start line, there was the challenge of child care. Earlier in the week I realized that we can’t always assume we’ll be allowed to push the boys in races. My go-to babysitter skipped town (thanks Abby . . .) so either I needed to find a babysitter or I needed to be able to push the boys. I contacted the race director and he wasn’t helpful. He didn’t tell us we couldn’t push the boys, but he basically made it sound like a a really bad idea because of the heat. So I stressed about it and thought, once again, that I was probably the dumbest pregnant lady in the world for even considering doing this race. But then I asked our friends James and Valerie if they could help us out. Valerie was running, James was not, and he said he’d be happy to watch our perfectly behaved children while we battled the heat. Load lifted. We owe him (and his friend Tyson) big time.
With the kids taken care of, I realized that I had no excuses not to run. (Aside from the heat and the pregnancy, of course . . . hahaha.) So we took the train down to Coney Island bright and early and Micah and I lined up at the start line with Valerie where we waited 15 minutes for the race to actually start. Not sure what caused the delay, but I was really ready to go when they finally let us loose.
And once we got going, it wasn’t so bad. We kept it slow. Like, 2 minutes per mile slower than I would have run if it wasn’t so blasted hot. The race was almost entirely along the boardwalk which made for great beach views, but it was completely unshaded. We walked through the aid stations, drank plenty of water, splashed it on our heads, and crossed the finish line about 52 minutes later, not too much worse for the wear. I felt great through all 5 miles and was happy to have run.
But once we finished the race, which ended at the home plate of the Brooklyn Cyclones field – pretty cool and kind of fun – things went a little south. We had to stand in line for a cup of water and some fruit. And there were no bagels. (Hot dogs and hamburgers, yes, but no bagels, which was really strange because 1. it was a race and 2. there were two bagel shops listed as sponsors on the shirt. I was counting on the post-race bagels since I don’t eat hamburgers or hot dogs.)
The moral of the story is this: it was a good run. It was before and after the run that was a little frustrating. Fifteen minutes late on the start? On such a hot day? Not cool. And another 15 minute wait for a cup of water afterward? Super not cool. But it really was the lack of bagels that gets me. I really wanted a bagel. Or two.
Of course, the experience was almost redeemed when we were on our way home from the beach (where we played in the sand and surf for a few hours after the race) and some guy covered in tattoos stopped me and asked if I’d run that morning. When I confirmed that I had, he informed me that I had passed him. It made me feel pretty good that he had noticed and remembered me, and that he was impressed enough to tell me about it.