Yesterday was the Mother’s Day Classic, where Lil Z and I were registered to run the 8km race.
I was fairly relaxed the night before the race. I made my traditional carbo-loading dinner of spaghetti with meatballs for everyone. We made sure the girls were in bed a little bit early because it was an early start in the morning. And even I managed to get to bed at a reasonable time.
The next morning there were definitely nerves. I hate the getting-to-the-race bit – it always seems to stress me out more than the race itself. And with two children, the getting-to-the-race bit is suddenly a lot more complicated. Lil Z needed her meds and a bit of juice since she wouldn’t have a feed until after the race. She also needed to be dressed in some warm clothes, since she tends to get chilly when we run, and the day was a bit cloudy and overcast. Vegemite needed to be woken, dressed and her hair tidied. I made a nutella sandwich for her to eat in the car, since trying to feed her breakfast before we left would be a disaster. And I packed Lil Z’s bag (spare nappies, wipes, change of clothes, extra water and juice, plus syringe to give it to her) and of course her rescue meds.
QB dropped us off near to the race and then he and Vegemite went to find a parking space. On the drive there he’d commented on how the weather looked like it would be good – which of course meant it started raining as soon as he’d dropped us off. I don’t have a rain cover for the running pram and I had visions of Lil Z becoming ill as a result of getting soaked during our first ever race. The sunshade protected most of her and I tucked her raincoat over her legs. I covered the rest of her with my long-sleeved top. She looked like a bit of a laundry pile on wheels, but it worked. The rain didn’t wake her up once.
Fortunately, the rain stopped shortly before the race. I met up with a few others from my running club and we went to the start line together. And then we were off.
On the first bend, I saw QB and Vegemite. The night before, Vegemite had drawn a poster for the race. It had a giant yellow hand (to wave at us) and said “Go Lil Z, Go 2963”. Not “Go Mummy”, just my race number, which she obviously felt was very important, although she was disappointed I wasn’t given number 1, or even 10.
Racing with the pram is a bit different from running a race on my own. It’s much harder to weave through the crowds of runners at the start. I was a bit cautious too because I’m still new at running with the pram and was worried I’d bump someone with my front wheel. So, there were several frustrating moments where I was stuck behind a group running slower than I wanted to go. And there was one terrifying moment when a woman decided to walk and stopped dead in front of me (I managed to swerve just in time!).
As the field stretched out, we managed to find our pace and really enjoy ourselves. Lil Z slept through it all – perfectly happy. I was surprised by the number of people running with prams – mostly with babies, one with a very vocal toddler (“run faster, Mum”, “I want a drink!”, “faster! faster!”), and one with a toddler who decided that she wanted to run the last 200 meters by herself… in her own time. And we won’t even mention the guy who passed me in the last kilometer pushing twins. He was just showing off.
All in all, it was a brilliant day. I felt good, Lil Z was happy, and the rain stopped during most of the race. I even got a little tearful as we neared the finish line, thinking about how Lil Z and I had accomplished something good. And despite the fact she slept through it, Lil Z did accomplish something. She’s been doing training runs with me for the past couple months – once or twice a week. She’s been getting up at 5.30am with me to go to running club with me. And she motivated me to get running again.
We got a little pink medal for completing the race. Vegemite coveted it because it was pink, but it is going in Lil Z’s memory box. It will be to remind us of our first race… of many.