A bird in the hand...

Yesterday I completed my second official half-marathon distance race. Completed is really all I can say. Given the insane conditions of the race- extreme heat and humidity- I will forever revel in my 2:20 and some odd seconds finish.

Before I get into the details of the race, let's talk about the super awesome time Friday night!!

Emily and I got to the expo right around 2pm, picked up our packets/goody bags and walked around a bit. I got to talk with Nate for a bit and catch up on running triumphs and plans for the remainder of the year. I wanted to wait around to buy a copy of Chris McDougall's Born to Run. I have wanted to read this book for quite a while so getting this opportunity to meet him and have him sign a copy of the book was quite awesome. I can't wait to see where this book takes me and I think it will serve as great inspiration for the second half of marathon training.

You could order quilts made of your old T's! 
And the famous ROAD APPLE award- earned by doing Garden Spot Full or Half PLUS BIH in the same year


After expo, we headed to the hotel to check in and get settled a little bit before the rest of the evening.
our room plaque.. how fitting!!

We did a little window shopping at the local outlet centers to kill time before we could go to the race site for dinner. We were SO looking forward to it.. here's why.


Amish pizza and spaghetti/meatballs= HEAVEN!!!! Oh my goodness- oh yes and the breadsticks. Oh boy. As you can see, I did a pretty good job eating this massive amount of food. When we got done, we watched the 5k runners come to the finish line- with our very full bellies. We walked around and enjoyed the sights for a bit too.

The first finisher clocked at 15 minutes and some change. WOW!! 
This guy carried the flag the whole way, 1 of 2 to do so. 


After we walked around and our food settled a little, we decided to head back in for dessert!!

This was THE BEST Shoo-fly pie EVER. I mean, not shocking, but it was amazing!!

After ingesting this deliciousness, we again walked around, listed to Chris McDougall speak for a little bit, then enjoyed the awesome bonfire. Oh yea.. and maybe we also enjoyed a s'more. 


Needless to say we had a pretty full evening and were quite exhausted and ready to head back to the hotel after all of it. We got our camelbaks filled, our outfits laid out and settled in for the night. I didn't sleep so well, rarely ever do pre-race, but got some rest either way..

Pre-race views and our pic of course!! 


So onto the race itself..

We both took our energybits 20 minutes before the start and were ready to go. Mile 1-2 I ran with Emily but I decided to drop back because she was really hoping for a 2 hour finish and I already knew there was NO way I was holding that pace. The sun was TOO hot and it was way too humid to even think it was an option for me. 


Smiling a little after mile 2

A few miles down the road I actually saw Amy from over at Will Run for Ice Cream so we chatted a little until I lost her. I started following her as a fellow Sweat Pink and Girls Gone Sporty ambassador and turned out we live close-by and are both part of a local running group!! It was good to have some company for a bit. I also ran into an awesome lady who was running her 50th half marathon. What an inspiration!! I talked with her for a few minutes as we ran- pretty cool story!

I really didn't feel "settled" into the race until closer to mile 6 or 7. The heat was killing me and making it really impossible to keep myself steady or very comfortable at all. I was so thankful that all along the course Amish families were out with water and gatorade. They also had igloo coolers of ice (MY LIFESAVER) and families were also out spraying us with hoses. I seriously almost cried a few times when I saw these people. I made sure to thank every single one of them that helped us all through this 13.1 miles. I have never been more grateful in my life. I also took my energybits around this point and they carried me to the end.


Not looking too thrilled around mile 7 or so. Just keep swimming.

Then at some point.. I really can't remember mileage point, maybe 10ish? There was a beastly wrapping hill.. which I KILLED!!! But, not before taking a picture.

I also had a nice smile at the top of this hill... with some CAMELS!!! Ah. Who doesn't love seeing camels?? Plus, it did pretty much feel like the desert. 

They also served us RITA'S!!!! I almost cried with excitement. To have something FROZEN that I could eat.... aaaaah. And it was my favorite flavor... MANGO!!!

After the Rita's, we hit a private, rocky/uneven road and then the last miles were ours. It was so hard with so little shade, so much sun and even more humidity. There were too many people that had to be treated by medics, but we made it across the finish. Those that didn't are in my thoughts- I am not sure how many there were,I just know we heard sirens as we ran. 

Speaking of crying... I pretty much did crossing the finish. I was finally there. They announced my name as I cross the finish. They gave me my medal and milk. The BEST. MILK. OF. MY. LIFE.

I wandered aimlessly and a little mindlessly until hubs found me. Boy was I glad to be done. We enjoyed some of the AWESOME bbq picnic they had for us and families. I loved the bbq chicken. 

As we were walking out... they had put up this pool-like thing and Emily and I kind of oogled at it... then a medic told us we could get in!!!!

You only live once. If someone puts a makeshift pool in it after you run a half marathon..
YOU GET IN!!!

So there you have it.... my really long. Really picture heavy race recap. I would not trade this experience for the world. I would do it ALL over again. I might have been miserable, felt like dying, a tad discouraged... but I fought to finish and earned my medal. My final time was 2:20:35.35 and 715/1449. 



What is your all time favorite race????





Comments

  1. I want to do this race! I first heard about it last month when I was searching for PA races. :) Hopefully next year!
    And I love Team RWB. That guy did awesome! One day I'll be able to carry the flag for the full half marathon distance.

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