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After years of sloth, I am now a mama who runs and practices yoga. I write about exercise; parenting a grownup child as well as two little kids; and whatever is annoying me at the moment.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

"Fun Mom": Race report

Eight months ago, I had hip arthoscopy to fix my right hip, which had a torn labrum and bone spurring.

Translated, it meant I couldn't straighten my right leg entirely, which messed up my running gait, which messed up running. Surgery in January repaired the labrum and shaved down the top of my thigh bone, so it fit in my hip socket again.

I feel SO much better.

Since May, I've been easing back into running, easing as in, I decided to join a friend of mine by signing up for the Fox Valley half marathon last Sunday.

I've run similar races undertrained and a few months post-partum, so why not, right?

Fox Valley is a good hour's drive outside of Chicago to a string of small towns along the Fox River that are cute, rustic-in-a-good-way and remind you that you have definitely left city limits. The Starbucks doesn't even automatically lock their bathroom.

I met friends Krista and Lindsay, Krista doing the half, too, and Lindsay doing the full, both as fundraisers for Feed My Starving Children. Both of them have recently dealt with some personal challenges. I love them both dearly, and admire them for toeing the starting line.

Especially on a freakishly hot September day. Chicago is in an unusually hot spell this month, and the mercury was forecast to rise well into the 80s that morning.

I didn't sleep much the night before, because I was like, wtf am I doing trying to run a half? Krista picked me up, since my car is still in the shop after someone cut off the catalytic converter from my car a week ago. Lovely.

She hadn't slept much either, nervous about her own challenge that day of running after a forced hiatus.

We traveled to the far flung burbs with Lindsay and Krista's husband, Scott, who radiates chill vibes, which I welcomed.

Parking, pee breals, nerves and we were at the back of the start line, speedy Lindsay already off closer to the start line with her amazing support crew. We were already sweating in the heat and we hadn't yet started running.

Krista and I ran three easy miles, with a few walk breaks. She saw her husband and decided she was good for the day..

I gulped hard internally, thinking, oh boy, how am I going to do 10 myself?

The next 10 miles were surprisingly good. It was ridiculously hot. Krista, joined now by her really sweet parents (who barely know me, but heartily cheered me on -- so kind) and her awesome hub, who yelled gustily "GO FUN MOM!"

Oh yeah, I have to explain that.

Months prior, when I signed up online for this race, I did it super fast before I could change my mind, and before I even told my husband. #badwife

I signed up so fast I didn't remember this weird question of "would you like to put a nickname on your race bib?" For some reason, I randomly picked "fun mom" which was printed on my bib in giant letters as "FUN MOM".

Good lord. Dork.

So, Scott loved yelling "go fun mom" at me, as did plenty of race spectators.

I mostly ran those miles, slow, concentrating to push off with step, to make sure my glutes and hamstrings were doing the work, and not lapsing into my plodding running in which the work is in the front of my legs and hips, to protect my newly healed hip.

It worked.

A miniature mimosa at mile 11 was helpful, too. I wanted to run backward for seconds, but decided to keep going.

Despite the heat, despite my undertraining, I crossed the finish line at 2:41, my personal worst time ever, even slower than halfs I've run pregnant and post-partum.

I was so happy to finish that I (mostly) didn't care about my time. "Fun moms" don't care about their race times, right?

Mostly I just felt grateful. I'm OK again.

No idea who this is, but I liked her shirt and sign
Some really great people. 

Dork alert
Fox River

Japanese garden -- so pretty

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