- Finished with a chip time of 2:27:46 which is a new PR for me by over 3 min!!!
- The scenery was beautiful with green pastures, cows, and huge trees
- Race swag: long sleeve tech tee, running hat, finisher's medal, nice bag that I can actually use
- First two miles I ran with Jenn (she has even longer legs than me!) and had a great time chatting
- Running into Elizabeth and Melissa after the race
|This was one of my favorite spots along the course|
|Absolutely beautiful countryside!|
- Whiskey Hill was pretty rough and even though I walked the entire hill my quads are still burning from it
|Looking back down Whiskey Hill|
|Looking up at what was still left to go|
- Moving Comfort = disaster for my poor little shoulders (I was sooo disappointed by this!)
- Bloody socks and shoes again (my fault for not remembering to cut my toenails!)
(There will be no pictures of either!)
On Friday I decided to take Sasha for a nice ride up to Lynchburg, TN, so I could pick my packet up at the Jack Daniels Visitor Center and make sure I knew how to get to there since I would be driving by myself the next morning. It was an hour from our house to get there and the entire drive was absolutely gorgeous!
|Packet pick up|
|Sasha says thank you to the visitor's center for her lemonade!|
|What I'd love for Santa to bring me this year and it's for sale!|
|My favorite part of the drive (I stopped the car to take this the next morning on the drive in)|
Going into this race I knew several bloggers and friends would be there and I tried to find as many people as I could. Luckily I found Jenn just before the start and we ran together for the first couple of miles. This girl is fast and ran a great race! I let her go after the first couple of miles because it was obvious I was slowing her down. (Jenn-I'd love to know what our times were for the first couple of miles because I'm pretty sure I've never run that fast!). After Jenn took off and I stopped to walk for a second I nearly checked out mentally. I felt like crying and I was so tired from the busy week and emotionally exhausted from being worried about my parents last week. The mental struggle continued for the next 5 miles as I tried to run as fast as I could and only take short breaks to walk.
|Jenn and I post-race|
Somewhere around Mile 8 I noticed I was catching up to many of the people that had passed me between Miles 3-5. This stirred up my competitive nature and I decided I'd try to see how many of them I could pass and off I went which meant I was completely focused on my running and keeping good form. This continued for the next 3 miles and the section of the half that is normally a struggle for me probably turned out my fastest miles (with the exception of miles 1 & 2) as I picked people off. I took a couple of breaks to walk before checking my phone to see that I was close to 12.5 miles. I decided to run the rest of the way in and try to pass the few people that were within reach. As we neared the finish I did my normal sprint to the finish and easily passed them.
|Loved the carved wooden medal, running hat, tech tee, and bag!|
I knew I had set a new PR as soon as I crossed the line and achieved a huge personal goal of running a sub-2:30 half. The only downside to it was that Allan was on a plane headed home instead of waiting at the finish line. Nonetheless I quickly grabbed some fruit and somehow managed to spot Elizabeth as she was leaving so I ran after her and we chatted and took a quick picture (yes, we are very good bloggers!). I've enjoyed running into her at races. It's always nice to hear a "War Eagle" after a race from a fellow Auburn grad! She ran a great race so keep an eye out for her recap.
|Elizabeth & I|
All I kept thinking about after the race was that I had only run my first half in November and there's just no way I've gone from running a half in 2:38:51 to 2:27:46. This PR was earned with blood, sweat, and almost tears. This is a course that I fell in love with and as close as it is to our house this is a race I will plan to run every year for as long as I can. Although I'm sure other PR's will replace this one you only ever run a sub-2:30 half for the first time once! Perhaps Allan will even run it with me next year! (I'm going to make him a long distance runner yet!) The perfect end to the post-race experience was running into Melissa afterwards. I know you guys have heard me mention her time and again as she is the person who inspired me to start running in the first place. She was a champ today racing two weeks after having the flu and still ran a sub-2 half! We realized that we've never taken a picture together after a race so we made sure to fix that!
|Melissa & I post-race|
I couldn't have asked for a better start to a month filled with 3 half marathons. Now I feel like I really can just enjoy myself next weekend running at the beach for the Gulf Coast Half and at the end of the month in Nashville for the Music City Half. Thank you all so much for all of your comments, thoughts, and prayers this past week. Both my parents are recovering well and Allan is home so I can't ask for more than that!