I got up half hour before my alarm (that almost always happens) and ate some cereal and had coffee. Then, after slowly waking up some more, I had "second breakfast"closer to when we needed to leave: grits with butter and CHIA!!!Yeah, it looks gross, but it tasted good and I load my grits with salt, so this was a good choice for me.
The drive took a little over an hour. My awesome husband decided to come with, which worked out great for both of us: he got a bunch of homework done, and also ended up being a major help to me by adding more Nuun to my water towards the end!
Once there, bib pickup was efficient- took all of 2 minutes- and then I set up my spot on the aid tables. Since this is a 1 mile loop and a litter-free event, participants brought their own water bottles marked by bib number. I wish more events would do something like this. It was amazing having all of my Gu just waiting for me, and being able to have my Nuun-filled bottle was awesome. I normally only drink water during races since I'm allergic to an ingredient in gatorade.
|At the start.|
|I wore this for the first lap, since I knew my husband would be waiting to take it from me once I got warmed up. I love my Tough Chik sweatshirt!|
The course is literally a 1 mile loop. Sounds boring, right? NOT! It made the time fly. The first 3 laps went by like a blink. Then a few more, then all of a sudden I was 9 miles in and my husbeast had returned to check on me. And then I was at 13 laps. And then 17. And then 21. All the while, staying well-fueled for once, hydrated just right, and STILL SMILING! One volunteer refused to call me Chubs for the first half, but eventually caved, and the second half, he couldn't believe how I was still smiling, lap after lap after lap.
What can I say? I was having SO MUCH FUN!
|9 miles in. SMILING!|
|24 miles in: SMILING!|
The finish: I encouraged that guy in blue, Zebulon, to run it in for the last quarter mile and got a huge thanks at the end (hence photo #2's awkward post-handshake, awkward laughing slump posture).
I'm so happy the race went as well as it did. I felt amazing- yes, I hurt some, it was 26.2 miles long- but I still had energy. I still felt ALIVE. It made me feel like a 50k is possible this December.
|Yes, the bib says Chubs. It's a nickname my husband gave me to remind me not to be OCD about my weight.|
The shirt and the medal both have a mobius on them. Makes my nerdy little heart pitter patter a bit.
I can't say it enough: if you live nearby, this is a race worth doing!!!!!!!! And it was under $40!
So, despite being sick with the flu last week, despite feeling like I hadn't done enough long runs (not one was beyond 16 miles), I managed an official PR of 5:12:05, which is 29 minutes faster than my first marathon in September. All the strength training, cross training, and speed work paid off, big time. I will probably stick to 16 milers over the summer as I prep for the AF marathon again. They're just so much more manageable than 20 milers, and easier to talk myself into!
I'm still riding the good vibes from that run. Even THIS can't wreck my mood:
We got over 12 inches of snow by the time it stopped today, which got me a snow day from work. which means I've been looking up more races to run... the addiction continues.
Hope your weekend was as awesome as mine!