I went to packet pick-up on Friday after work at one of my local running stores, Feet First. My swag packet included my bib and timing chip, a t-shirt and a chapstick.
I put together my outfit on Saturday evening debating about what to wear. I was glad that the weather had changed from rain to a cloudy day but still not sure of the race temperature. I wasn't sure if I wanted to wear the Marvel leggings or Captain America socks with my outfit so I asked GWP followers to let me know. The response was overwhelming for the leggings! I also loved wearing my Dress Me Up Red Sparkle Skirt. I love Sparkle Skirts!
Rip-It Events sent this out the evening before the race-I loved it!
Sunday morning arrived and once again, when the alarm went off, I thought why am I doing this again when it is cold and dark! Don't we all think that way on race morning! :) I took my selfie, (yes, I suck at selfies!) wrote my bible verse on my arm and off I went. I was excited about this race as it was the first of two half marathons in a row qualifying me for Half Fanatics.
I had planned on meeting with my local Moms Run This Town chapter for a group picture. We had several other local chapters join us for the picture and thank you, Deb for organizing this. I loved seeing Deb, Mary, Cynthia and meeting Whit! Thank you, ladies...it's always great fun when we're together!
While waiting for the start, I saw several of my running coaches from almost three years ago along with another Sparkle Skirt Sister. I loved meeting Taryn and her husband, Dante. She was running this half marathon five months pregnant...go girl while SS Sisters rock!
The race started almost twenty minutes late and I ran the first half mile with them. Then, I was off. I was hoping to PR this race! The sun was shining and beautiful blue skies-we couldn't have asked for better running weather! I got to mile two and had worn long sleeves; ended up taking off my long sleeved-shirt and tying it around my waist.
There were water and gatorade stops at every mile along the race course. At the half-way point, there was a timing check point along with several volunteers shouting "Half-way there now"...little did they tell us that around the corner, they was a hill! From miles six through ten, the course was very hilly. I could really feel it. I started to get tired around mile ten and a half, thinking I am not going to PR this race as I thought due to the hills. The volunteers from miles eleven through the end were absolutely encouraging and wonderful. Thank you so much to the people who volunteer at races for us-we love you!
As I crossed around the corner at mile 13, I saw one of my running coaches waiting there shouting me to the finish line. Thank you, Bev for waiting for me even though you finished almost 45 minutes before me! As I looked at the finish line and saw the time, I quickly realized that I was going to PR by six minutes. I started to shout, jump up and high fiving everyone to the finish line. I can't wait to see that picture!
At the end, I was greeted by another friend, Mary and met her husband and beautiful daughter! Thank you, Mary for your kind words and for your husband taking pictures!
After the race, I went to Panera Bread to grab coffee and pastry. It's becoming my post-race tradition. I love this picture of my medal, coffee, pastry and Fellow Flower believe flower. Yes, I do believe that I can do better and did in this race! :)
At home, I took a showered, napped and then went to run some errands along with attending Mass. Thank you always to God for enabling me; giving me the strength and courage to run! I'm halfway to my goal of qualifying Half Fanatics-next week (Frederick Running Festival Half Marathon) will be my qualifying race. Thank you to all my wonderful friends along with my amazing John who support and love me!
And remember, my journey continues....If you can dream it, you can do it as Walt Disney said!