Saturday, December 06, 2008

I have been anticipating the Savannah River Bridge Run for months now. I signed up for the 10K (6.2 miles), which was my longest race, to date. This race has a reputation for being particularly tough, because of the incline and I was really looking forward to the challenge.

After discovering I was pregnant earlier this week, Matt was very hesitant for me to run it, even after being reassured by my doctor that it was perfectly fine. He doesn't mind me running while pregnant, but because of the early stage of pregnancy, combined with the supposed difficulty of this particular race, he just wasn't convinced I should do it. But I wanted to so, so, so badly. I am soooo goal oriented, and while I have (OK, am trying to) make peace with not doing the half marathon or marathon this year, I was really disappointed about the bridge run.

A compromise was reached by my walking most of the race, rather than run it or not do it at all. While it was hard to walk when I wanted to run (and to let go of hitting the goal I had set for this race), it was still an absolutely wonderful race and I enjoyed it so, so much. There was a group of us down there, and it was fun to cheer each other on and talk about the race. I rode down with John and Gracie Quattlebaum (Gracie did the 5K and did great!) and Robert Wagner (who did even better than he hoped to!).

This was the first big race I had run in...4,000 participants. The 10K started in downtown Savannah, near the courthouse. I loved running down Broughton Street, past the Paris Market and Brocante, and the Lucas Theatre. The street was decorated for Christmas and was lined with spectators who cheered as we ran by.

I started out slow, near the back of the pack. Directly in front of me was an older blind woman, who was running alongside of her husband. They were holding hands and I could hear him softly telling her everything that he was seeing. I was so moved by them, and started to cry every time I glanced in their direction. I decided that I needed to pass them, or I was going to be a wreck! I usually cry about twice a year...this week alone I have cried about ten times! Guess I am hormonal.

After I passed the blind woman and her husband, I was running behind a pubescent teenage boy. That was not going well for me and I needed to pass him quickly, for the sake of my churning stomach. After about a mile and a half, we reached the ramp of THE BRIDGE. I walked up the bridge, and while I was definitely "feeling the burn" in my thighs, it wasn't unpleasant. It was so cool to be at the bottom of the bridge, and look up and see the entire bridge covered in people from end to end. It is quite a large, long bridge and it was really neat. I wish I had a picture of it with all those people. By the time I was on the bridge, the elite runners were already on their way back over it for the second time. It was so inspiring to see those runners!! Many of the other runners cheered as they ran by. A little farther on, I passed John Manack, Sean Kent, Robert Wagner, and Barry Abell coming from the opposite direction. Then, I came up on Leslie (Tootle) Tucker, and we walked together for awhile.

It was a great race, and was really fun to go over the bridge. I got dizzy when I ran/walked too close to the edge. I walked about 4 miles, and ran just over 2 (I jogged through downtown, the declines on the bridge, and the finish). Though it wasn't what I had planned or hoped to do, it was actually really enjoyable because I didn't put any pressure on myself. I just enjoyed the scenery, the music at the water stations, the people running around me, and the experience in general. I didn't worry about time. Even so, I was pleasantly surprised to finish in 1:11:59. My original goal was to run it in 1:05 or less, which I would have done if I had run, rather than walked the other 4 miles. Other than a slight headache, a little dizziness, and some nausea at the end, I felt great and loved the whole experience!

I don't know if I will be able to beat my time next year, with a four month old, but I hope to try!! It was a lovely experience and our group all agreed that it should be a new annual tradition. We celebrated with lunch at Mellow Mushroom afterward, then headed home!

After a hot shower (and a cup of ice), I am going to get on my snuggly pajamas and am going to spend the afternoon reading to the boys, making a big pot of vegetable soup (with cornbread) for dinner, sipping hot tea, and enjoying being at home in a cozy house with my four favorite boys! I hope your week-end is delightful too.


  1. great job Laurel...really amazing.

  2. I so glad Matt let you at least participate even if it wasn't the way you had planned. Sadly, Michael sat up in bed at 7am on the dot, and we realized, "Oh crap" we won't make the packet pick up. His alarm did not go off for some reason. His phone has been messing up, I should have known to set my alarm. And we spent that money for spots and everything. Oh well. Maybe next year.

  3. wait - did i miss something?
    next year you'll have a
    four month old?! are you preg-o??
    :) wow!!