the wonderful world of veena.

05 March 2014

8 of 52: seeing my mother's face as I crossed the finish line.

When I registered for the Little Rock Half Marathon back in December, my mother said that maybe she would come see me run. I tried to convince her that it would probably be boring for her, even though deep down I really wanted her to be there. Because of the Sunday schedule, my family wasn't able to come when I ran the 10k two years ago, and San Francisco last October was a little out of the question, so this would be the first time any of them would get to experience Race Day.

We booked a hotel sort of on the outskirts of downtown, but we got lucky when my father found out the Courtyard Marriott had rooms available at the last minute, and we ended up with a room overlooking the start line and a 3-minute walk to the finish area.

As race day approached, the forecast for the day continued to get worse. I originally thought the temperatures would be mild, and I wasn't majorly put off at the forecast of rain, hoping it would be light and cooling. I wasn't expecting winds of up to 25mph, consistent rain, and a temperature drop of nearly 15 degrees over the duration of my run. It was cold, it was wet, and I couldn't really feel my face or most of my lower body by the end, but I finished. Half marathon number 2 is in the books.

But the real highlight was sharing the day with my mother. Since she could see the start area from our hotel room window, I got a glimpse of her as my corral neared the starting line. Since my corral started 45 minutes after the Elite runners began, I had the opportunity to chat with the people around me, so when they saw me waving and trying to get my mother's attention, they all began jumping and waving, too. The moment she realized what was happening and spotted me was awesome, and everyone around me erupted in cheers. At that moment, I almost forgot how wet and cold I was.

And then at the end. After 3 grueling hours, when I was cold and wet and freezing and numb, I stumbled across the finish line and glanced over to the right. And there stood my mother. She had bundled up and braved the cold and the rain to come see me at the end, and I nearly lost it when I spotted her [I'm getting emotional just remembering it].

I've known my entire life how amazing my mother is. She works hard and still finds time to do so much for her family, and she's always been my hero, but in that moment I loved her and appreciated her more than I think I ever have. To even just make the trip to Little Rock to keep me company meant a lot, but for her to come out in those crazy conditions was just incredible, and it's a moment I'll never forget.

other highlights included: a fun night at Slider Inn; Pyro's and a Grizz win over the Lakers; Arkansas win at Kentucky; Shakey's and Slim Chickens in one weekend; got invited to contribute a story to Maptia.

[clockwise from top left: my personal creation at pyro's; upgraded to club level seats at the grizz v lakers game; mike conley rally flags]

[not entirely historically accurate, but i can't imagine a better sight, unless i were there, too]

[love that our mothers finally got to meet!]

[thank you, bee and ang, for helping me carbo load]

[I agree, it was all pretty epic]
My next running goal? To break my 10k record. Wish me luck!

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