Brooks: Pure Connects, Seamless Arm Warmers, Infiniti Tights, Versatile Bra, Nightlife Equilibrium LS, D'Lite Mesh Tank , Infiniti Headband
Nuun: Podium Headsweats Hat, Grape Nuun
Garmin: Forerunner 610
Throwaway gloves: Not Pictured
Honey Stinger: Ginsting & Vanilla
I was in bed and sound asleep by 8 pm. I had a feeling that my 4 am wake up call was going to be brutal.
We left our house a little after 5 am. Since the TriCities is about 2 hours south I figured I would have plenty of time to locate the start and get my bib #. I was told by the race director since I was driving down day of I needed to pick up my bib no later than 7:20 am. We got to the start at 7:22 so I pulled over on the side street and ran over to get my bib while Mr. Healthy Diva found some parking. I got back to the car and put on my running shoes (did you really think I was going to run in my Ugg slippers?) and my gloves so that I could warm up. It was windy and it was really cold! My legs felt okay, but definitely not refreshed. The joys of marathon training. J
I ran around for a little over a mile and came back, inhaled a vanilla Honey Stinger waffle, drank some grape Nuun and then stretched myself out. With about 5 minutes to spare I pinned on my # and grabbed my amphipod belt and ran over to the start. Perfect timing!
The plan for the day was to start out at an 8:00 min mile, then a 7:45 for the second mile. The rest of the race plan was to try and stay as close to MP as possible. The course was an out & back which I generally like if there isn’t a high wind running in effect.
Miles 1-3 went by pretty fast. I kept telling myself to slow down that this wasn’t a race for me, but a TRAINING RUN. I knew that coming back was going to be tough since I would be running into the wind. I wanted to be as conservative as possible so that I didn’t tank against the wind.
Miles 4-6.55 got a little tough. At mile 4 we took a turn and were soon running against the wind. Two miles running in 40 MPH gusts were not fun. Especially when I still had half the race left to run! I ran with a group of guys for a while. They must have noticed me sticking to them like glue because they said I should be wearing one of their running club t-shirts. At about mile 5.75 I started to pull away from them. I had my sights set on a girl about 500 meters ahead of me. She was an easy target because she was wearing all black. As I was getting closer to the turnaround point I noticed my car parked on the side street and then I saw Mr. Healthy Diva with my cheering section- Tia Bean & Maisy Moo! As I went running by the girls got all excited, but then seemed confused because I didn’t stop to pet them. I was really thankful to hit the turn around to have the wind at my back for a while.
7:51 (stupid wind!)
Sucking massive wind here. About 600 meters from the turn around
Maisy & Tia were so excited to see me. I think that they were a little confused because I didn't stop to give them kisses. I was just thrilled to have the wind at my back!
Miles 7-10 I finally caught up and passed the girl in black about mile 8. I was also passing a lot of men at this point (sorry guys!). I knew that they probably pushed it too hard going into the half way point. I was proud of myself for being smart! Between miles 9 & 10 there was a slight uphill through a neighborhood. There were quite a few people standing out in their driveways sipping coffee and cheering. I really wanted their coffee! Right around mile 10 is where we turned back towards the start and had to run against the wind again. We were running out in the open so the wind was hitting me hard. It didn’t feel good at all.
Miles 11-13 were WINDY! I knew that everyone else was dealing with it too so I just sucked up knowing that I was almost finished. I ran with another group of guys before pulling away from them in mile 13.
I totally passed him with about 25 meters to go. #BeastMode
Mile 0.16 I kicked it up knowing that I was almost finished. I saw my cheering section again and had my eyes on one last guy I wanted to pass. He was about 100 meters in front of me, but I dug deep and passed him less than 25 meters from the finish line.
I know that this might sound super cheesy, but I almost started bawling as I crossed the finish line. I felt an overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment when I saw the finish line. For those of you that have been following my blog over the last year, you will know that it has not been easy. I missed out on about 5 races (including my fall marathon AND Ragnar with Nuun) that I registered for and the entire summer of training. I had to learn how to run all over again. It was hard. I cried more times than I can count, but I did it. The hard work + dedication (or stubbornness) was well worth it. I still don't feel 100% and I still have a lot of work to get back to where I was, but I am making great strides. The light is at the end of the tunnel, I can finally see it!
I knew from the amount of female runners I counted at the turnaround that I was easily in the top 10 overall, but I was really surprised/ecstatic to win my AG. I was not expecting that at all! Made the early wake up call and long drive well worth it!
Obviously the wind was awful, but you can’t predict the weather.
I emailed the race director at the beginning of January since I didn’t see any information on the race website about day of bib # pick up. I wasn’t going to register if I couldn’t drive down morning of. He emailed me back saying I could pick up my bib # morning of. The week of the race every email (they sent out an annoying amount of emails!) they sent out said ABSOLUTELY NO RACE DAY PACKET PICK UP- NO EXCEPTIONS. Um, okay. I went through my email to find my email correspondence to the director and emailed him asking if I could no longer pick up my bib # the morning of. I told him I never would have registered if I couldn’t and if this had changed I wanted a refund. He emailed me back saying that he was making an exception for me, but I had to pick up my bib # no later than 7:20. Fine, fair enough. THEN, at 6:00 pm the night before the race I get another annoying email from the race saying that “due to the overwhelming interest in the TriCities Half Marathon, race day registration AND packet pick up were being offered.” SERIOUSLY?!
I generally don’t care about race t-shirts, but when I went to get my packet they informed me that they given away all the tech shirts away at the expo the night before. They only had XL tech shirts left. EVEN though I had no option, but to pay for one in my registration fee. That irked me. They had a small, hideous, neon yellow cotton t-shirt so I took that.
The race start was easy to find and there was plenty of free parking.
Race started on time and was a great course. I would run this race again if I lived closer and didn’t have to drive down day of. The course was well marked and all intersections had police holding back traffic. Even with over 400 runners on the out and back, the course wasn’t crowded.
If you partake in post race food/snacks there was a lot to go around. I just had bottled water, but I noticed bottles of powerade, Cliff bars, bananas, cookies and other goodies.
The race volunteers were awesome and there were plenty of aid stations.