Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day 4-Miler Recap

Slow and steady runs the race.

I didn't even realize I had a mantra for this race until it popped into my head during the first mile. You aren't trying to "win" a PR, you are just trying to run.

Slow and steady runs the race. 

Mom's Run This Town Ashburn/Herndon Chapters
photo by Marleen Van den Neste
courtesy of Potomac River Running


I had only run once since my hallux ridigus diagnosis, a tentative 2.7 miles a couple of days before the race. It went well enough that I decided to stick to my plan and run the Mother's Day Four Miler. 

I was relieved I wouldn't be chalking up three DNS (did not start) in a row. After my Rock 'n Roll DC and Cherry Blossom experiences earlier this year, I was ready to finally run a race again!

I cautioned myself that I wasn't running for time, I was running simply to run. There would be no PR attempts, and no shame in walking it in to the finish if that's what my toe needed.

I was thrilled to see the race shirt at packet pickup - it's one of my all-time favorites for sure! I had so much fun putting together an outfit that went with the shirt and getting ready for the race.

The Race

Mile 1 - 12:36

I started off conservatively and planned my usual 3 minutes running / 1 minute walking intervals. During the first mile I started with Tina, chatted briefly with Jen & Sallie, and had the slow and steady runs the race mantra pop into my head. 

Starting the race with my running outfit twin, Tina
photo by Craig Hunter Ross
photo courtesy of Potomac River Running

Mile 2 - 12:28

I ran a bit with Paula & her family and saw Rick & Freddy about halfway into the mile. Freddy was high-fiving people and shouting "Happy Mother's Day!" I felt good. I decided to aim for finishing in less than 50 minutes.

I don't know who these two dudes are,
but the dudes in blue on the right are Rick & Freddy
photo by Marleen Van den Neste
courtesy of Potomac River Running

Mile 3 - 12:25

I started to feel my right toe. Not in a painful "you shouldn't be running on it" kind of way, just a deep awareness of sensations there that made me recognize that it definitely needs some kind of additional protection. 

My left foot went numb, likely from neuromas. More evidence that it is probably time for custom orthotics rather than SuperFeet. I stopped a couple of times during walk intervals to loosen my left shoelaces. I was frustrated with my feet, but still on track for beating 50 minutes.

Mile 4 - you'll have to keep reading for the time...

The first half of the mile was rough. The numbness in my left foot was getting worse. I stopped to try to shake it off. I added an extra minute of walking to one of my intervals. I realized I wasn't going to beat 50 minutes, and told myself that was okay.

Coach Mike was cheering around mile 3.5. He was telling runners they had just finished the last big hill and a significant downhill was ahead. I high-fived him as he asked how I was feeling. I said "good" and felt motivated to pick up the pace on the downhill.

Right around here I hit my peak speed of 7:30 min/mile!
photo by Marleen Van den Neste
courtesy of Potomac River Running

I was running faster and faster. I don't know where it was coming from, but I kept speeding up. I skipped my last walk interval. I kept glancing at the pace on my watch - from 10 min/ 8?! I crossed the finish at a 7:56 pace. I smiled as Susan handed me my celebratory finish-line Mother's Day carnation and asked me how it went.

Coming in to the finish
photo courtesy of Cheryl

I looked at my watch and saw that my time was 49 minutes, 12 seconds. I had run the race.


  1. I'm so glad you were able to run the race. Even though you had some tough moments you pushed through and ended with a great time! And I was so happy to see that you were smiling at the end. :)

    1. Thank you for being there and being such a supportive friend :)