It can be very lonely as a runner when you aren't actually actively running. Ask anyone who has been injured and they'll agree. Many of us have mostly other runners as friends, or they are the only ones who can tolerate us constantly talking about the sport! Add to that being a suburban stay-at-home mom and well, it's easy to feel disconnected from the local running community. Thank goodness for Facebook and Twitter to keep me somewhat sane, living vicariously through running friends' achievements.
But Sunday was a fun morning for me. The DRC Half Marathon was held in Dallas that day. A race dear to me because it's the major fundraiser to provide local running scholarships to Dallas ISD students and because of my past involvement. I got involved in running leadership and race directing via that race, after volunteering during it while I was injured in 2005. I served as Volunteer Coordinator in 2006. Then, I co-directed the race with good friend and Heels and Hills founder Paula Robertson in 2007 - the race was 2 weeks after my first daughter Marissa was born. There are pictures of me in early labor on my Blackberry working on the race. Here's one my hubby snapped...
The plan worked beautifully - I did a lot of the planning and prep and the second the baby was born, Paula took over for the chaos of the last two weeks of executing, and then we both were there all day race day to make it a success.
In 2008, I directed the race solo, and it was a record year that has not been matched since in terms of entrant numbers or finisher counts. 4,450 registered, about 3,700 of which finished the race and were chip-timed! I turned down directing the 2009 race. A race that size involves such a large quantity of hours and effort to make happen. You basically don't sleep the last couple weeks. In 2009, I needed a break from that, and it was great because it let me focus on being able to be more involved with Heels and Hills.
Like I did in 2009, on Sunday I came out and cheered on all the runners. I had my camera in hand and took 130 pictures of awesome running friends looking so strong as they passed me around mile 9 1/2. Some, like Jose, were literally flying (no really, look at his feet, they aren't touching the ground, and yes, Jose is FAST!).
And of course, I saw tons of Heels and Hills shirts, like what Jill is sporting here!
It was a lot of fun, but cheering is always bittersweet for a runner. You wish you were out there with them, running alongside, relishing the anticipation of that upcoming finish line. But I'll be back, and with a vengeance, post C-section recovery to running again in 2011!