Happy Birthday to Me & GW Parkway Classic 10 Mile Race

I did it!!  I ran 10 glorious, happy miles on Sunday in the GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler (thanks to Congress, it was not canceled!).  I ran all 10 miles less than 10 weeks after giving birth and at under a 10 minute pace per mile.  I am entering my 36th year feeling happy, grateful and hopeful.  Feeling strong and blessed.

This race was about proving something to myself.  When Gus was 4 1/2 weeks old my doctor told me that I could return to running.  It was not easy and I found myself feeling scared.  My hips, my pelvis, my tailbone…they all ached and hurt during and after every run (even runs that were only a few minutes long at a very slow pace).  The muscles in my pelvic floor were stretched out and weakened from my big baby and fast delivery.  I was so worried that I would not regain my fitness or my strength.  Running is my outlet – where I let off steam and let things go and it is also my “in-let” – where I am able to look inwards and find peace and clarity.  I wasn’t sure if the pain I was feeling was “normal” or if it was causing damage to my body.  If it was making me stronger, or injuring me.  I decided to be cautious with my running, holding an easy pace and building my mileage conservatively.  I went to a chiropractor for several weeks so the issues could be addressed.  I worked on the reformer and the mat doing Pilates exercises at the studio twice a week.  My strength was coming back and my pain was going away.  Hard work pays off.  I made it to the start line yesterday feeling strong.  Feeling ready for 10 miles.  I did not push myself – I held a comfortable pace – and I felt like I could have kept running for hours after I crossed that finish line.

me and my sister Jodi after the finish!

I felt exactly how I wanted to feel.  BLISSFUL.


The GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler is a great race.  And I’m not just saying that because it was fun for me.  It was a great race and I will do it again.  The course is a beautiful 10 miles of rolling hills along the Potomac River.  The weather was perfect, cool and cloudy.  The logistics were simple enough.  We parked our car in Old Town Alexandria just a few blocks from the finish and took a shuttle from there to the start at Mt. Vernon.  It was easy peasy.

my silly sister Megan posing with my birthday sign

I set my alarm for 4:00AM and got dressed in the clothes I had laid out the night before.  My 14 year old niece Ellie snuck up to my room the night before and pinned a sign she made to the back of my tank.  It said “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!” in bright colorful letters.  That was a fun surprise to find on my birthday morning!  I’m not really one to wear signs on myself during a race, but this was pretty cute and I love that my niece made it for me.  After having my breakfast and coffee I woke my baby up at 5:00 to nurse him before leaving at 5:30.  I went with my favorite running buddies – Jodi, Megan, Paul and Rebecca.  When we got to Old Town we parked the car and I had to pump before we hopped on the shuttle.  As a nursing mom whose baby could not be at the start of the race, the pump was essential.  I kept my pace steady for each mile of the race, hovering between a 9:45-10:15 pace.  There was a smile on my face the whole way.  The sign on my back was a huge hit – I have never been told “Happy Birthday!” by so many people I don’t know!  It was a fantastic way to start my birthday.

me and baby Gus after our nap, so happy to get birthday snuggles with him

When I got home I was so very happy to see my family.  I was greeted with hugs and smiles and warm kisses.  After lunch I took a nap with Abby and Gus.  I was only gone for a few hours for the race, but I missed my family.  While running I thought about how blessed I am to have these loves in my life.  To be married to this amazing man and to be the mother of my sweet beautiful children.  Life is GOOD and full of blessings!!

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