I was planning to run with her for the last 9-10 miles of the race and so I signed up to volunteer on the course at the beginning. I found a slot that lasted from 7:30-8:30 and would give me enough time to drive to mile 19 and wait for her to arrive.
Rewind to Saturday, the day before Mother's Day. This was the forecast:
in case you can't tell, that is garbage. A shit ton of rain right smack where the race is. Boo.
But being the good friend that I am and the fact that I had actually signed up to volunteer, I decided to go ahead and go down anyway. Race direct from 7:30-8:30, then find Stacey at Mile 19 and pace her to the finish.
It was a lovely day for a marathon--pouring and 43*. I was stationed at mile 4 and would be directing runners to stay to the right. Easy peasy. Actually, the hardest part was finding where I was supposed to be. I am directionally challenged you might say. And thankfully, I had nothing to do with the extra mileage that most of the runners ran due to a directional error. Not me! lol
I was pretty prepared though. #allthegear
thermal, lined running pants, sports bra tank, lined running top and rain pants and jacket
I hate being cold and wet and I was prepared to be neither. Although Mother Nature had different ideas as I ended up being both cold and wet. C'est la vie.
Directing folks to "bear right up ahead" was pretty simple and I really enjoyed it. So many runners took the time to thank me for volunteering and that was awesome. I mean, it was shit weather out there, they were at mile 4 of what would turn out to be a 26.8 mile run and they were still nice enough to thank the volunteers. I love runners. <3 Volunteering at a race will definitely be on my list of things to do in the future.
After my hour at my station, I returned my flag and vest (sadly) and went out to find a good spot around Mile 19 to meet Stacey and get her to the finish. I met my friend Sarah (who is also battling breast cancer and just had chemo on Friday!) and Lesley and we yelled and cheered for the runners as they passed us.
Maybe I should add that I had my tits cut off 4 months ago! Running in the rain is a piece of cake!
I met my friend, Stacey, and off we went. First thing she said is "the course is long". We were at Mile marker 19 and her watch said 19.5. It had been off for awhile she said. I told her maybe she didn't do her tangents properly. Turns out she was right. After the race we found out that at Mile 12, a volunteer/course marshall had directed runners down a dead end for an out and back that wasn't actually part of the course. There was an actual out and back at Mile 20/21?, but not at 12.
Anyway, the last 7.2 miles were a bunch of suckage. It was rainy, cold (although I did warm up!) and windy af. The stretch of beach that was such a relief 2 years ago when the weather was 90* was just a nightmare this year. The wind was so bad and rain was pelting in your face. I tried to run in front of Stacey so she could draft behind me. I'm not sure how much it helped, but I'm sure it didn't hurt. I wore exactly what you saw in the picture above. Rain gear and all. haha
may as well have worn grundens... trying to block the wind for Stacey behind me
I turned off just before the finish and let Stacey finish on her own. I also didn't take anything at any of the aid stations or use any of the services. I didn't take or try to take a finisher's medal, t-shirt or any other such thing. I did change in the locker room afterward, but I would imagine that was ok.
For the record, she fell (literally. and broke her pinky) at the finish line at exactly 4:00. So she squeaked in under her qualifying time. YAY! Mission accomplished. Her husband and daughter had our dry clothes all ready for us and we found a locker room to change in.
The locker room experience ended up being a little weird for me actually. I have no problem changing in a big locker room in front of a lot of people so I went about my business and started stripping down. When I got to my sports bra, it kinda stuck on my hard ass boobs and I struggled to get it off. And then all I could think about was my nipple-less breast, my scars and all that went with having the mastectomy. I hesitated for a moment, feeling self-conscious for probably the first time ever. I wasn't embarrassed for me, I was just worried about making someone else feel uncomfortable. Then I said fuck it, and if they are uncomfortable that is their own problem and not mine. I'm not sure anyone even noticed, but it was just a weird moment because it was the first time I'd ever been embarrassed or even conscious of what someone might think of my body. We all have lumps and bumps and rolls that we don't like, but not everyone has one nipple and scars all over.
So to sum up my Mother's Day:
1. Running with friends is the best. Even in shit ass weather.
2. Pay attention to directions so you don't fuck up 30+ people's BQ time.
3. I am capable of running 7+ miles in full on rain gear in a hurricaine.
4. I don't want you to feel bad for me or pity my boobs in any way. I quite like them, scars and all, but I don't want you to feel uncomfortable around me. I'm not uncomfortable. I'm quite comfortable with my new parts.
5. My friends are all badass. All of them. The BQ ones and the fuck you cancer ones.