My Running Buddy, Alix comes to get me around 5:15, and we drive to the Sleep Country Ampitheatre in Ridgefield, Washington for my 3rd and her 1st Half-Marathon. I am tired but EXCITED!!
We get there, like an hour early, they are still blowing up the start/finish line arch, setting up the booths and stuff so we hit the potties and try to get anything that needs to get out before the race out! ;)
Finally some women start showing up and we talk to the race director a little bit and chat with a few volunteers and pose for some self-shot nerdy pictures of ourselves, hit the "real" potties 2 more times, check our bags and start to head to the start line. We shoot some more nerdy pics, stretch a little and then we're off.
Mile 1: I had decided earlier this week that I was going to run this race with NO expectations and absolutley NO Garmin. At Lacamas, I obsessed on that stupid watch and got so mad at myself when my pace dropped below 10 minute miles, so I had to get that pressure and distraction off my wrist for this one. I would still use Log My Run for iPhone app, just so I knew my pace later, but I was gonna keep that bad boy shoved in my pack the whole time! Alix and I and all the 5k'ers and Half-Marathoners are together until right after mile 1 and we split... I keep telling myself... go LEFT! Starting out slow, easy pace... get the legs moving and not overdo my friend, who hasnt ran in over a month! HA!
Mile 2: We split at the 1 mile mark and there is not a whole lot of Half-marathoners left... couple hundred, maybe! It was weird to me so see such a small race, but it was nice to see all women. End of mile 2, Alix decides to walk and I plug in the pod and start off on my own. Little rolling hills in the countryside are so nice to look at along with all the cows and horses. It was beautiful and the weather is PERFECT!
Miles 3-5: Pretty much the same, kept an easy pace, had some good Jesus time, little rolling hills made this run one of my favorites. It was only a semi-closed course so we were pretty much single file on the side of the road for many of the miles but it was OK.
Miles 6 - 7: Up a pretty good hill, water stop and then down onto a tree lined paved trail with a lake. This was my favortite part of the race, a nice easy flat trail, there were other people not in the race, walking or running by nodding hello.
Text to Hub and Kids around mile 9ish.. LOVE YOU!
Miles 7 - 9: This was an out and back-ish race so we turned around at mile 7 so I could see others behind us. I took out my ear-buds and cheered on all the ladies coming the other way... "you're almost halfway", "Keep it up", "You look great" and many did the same back. Women seem to do that for eachother, I think we kinda need a little encouragment and some random chick in the same boat as you telling you "Lookin' good" somehow helps! Around my mile 9, I see Alix, she is running and she looks good! I yell and high five her and tell her "see ya soon"
Miles 9 - 10: Up a pretty good hill then again back to the single file line on the roads, at this point me and another lady (I think her name was Angela) had been pretty much been back and forth keeping pace with eachother since about mile 9ish and we kinda chatted off and on. Nothing special happened here... Just plugging away, feeling really good at this point in the race which I NEVER have felt this good at mile 10... So I decide to kick it up a little.
Mile 11: Up another decent hill and Angela and are are still pretty much together. We pass a little girl who was maybe 8 years old running with her Mom. So cute, I of course have to tell her she is... i think that's pretty awesome and it also stung a little... an 8 year old has been Waay faster than me for almost 11 miles!
Mile 12: Turn the corner and UP the hill... This one is a good one... Gets the legs and chest burning. Angela says to me "you are the BEST hill runner I have ever seen, if I could only keep up with you" WOW, that's a shock, cuz I feel like my legs are not even moving, but they are and she quickly ends up behind me! I tell her "go girl, we're almost done! See you at the end" and I keep going. My legs hurt, I can barely breathe but I am feeling good and still going. 1 more mile, so i'm gonna make it count. Hit the top of the hill onto another trail and a cute teenager points to the right, to the trees... I am confused... The trail continues on going straight and she is pointing me into the trees?! Ok! I hit the little tiny trail, covered in pink tape to highlight the braches and roots sticking out. Then all the sudden, its' over!
Mile 13: Come out of the woods and back on the road, volunteers are yelling and telling me "less than a mile" WHOOOOOOP! I kick it in gear... weeeeee! Go through the frnt entrance to the ampitheatre and down to the start/finish line. The whole way down, people are cheering, ringing cowbells and the announcer is yelling "here comes Erica Endicott, looking good with a big smile" I finished at 2:08:42.
I was hoping for a 2:05 and I know I could have pushed harder and maybe got there, but no regrets, I felt good the whole race, finished strong and had a blast!
So I knew I had some time to kill before Alix finished, so I hit up the best part of this race... ICE CREAM and Chocolate milk at the finish! AWESOME!
Next, I started shopping to kill the time...(I, er Hubby has decided that I will no longer be allowed to bring my Debit card to races) Sarah Bowen Shea from Another Mother Runner was there too, signing books and selling stuff, so I chatted with her for a few, bought both books and an "I Run Things" shirt. Went to go pick up my bag from bag check and got stopped by the pretty awesome saleslady from Sweet Spot Skirts who wrapped a SUPER cute skirt (Diamond are a Girls Best Friend) around my waist and had me sold before I could ask the price (which I should have first, OUCH)
Got a text from Alix, she was on the trail... So she was at the home stretch so I head to the finish line to cheer her in. A few minutes later, she turns the corner with the BIGGEST smile I have ever seen on her! I start yelling "You're number 1" (She really was bib #1) and watched her cross the finish line and then, of couse, started bawling.
She's comin round the bend, in the orange shorts... I made a movie after this pic instead!
This was one of my favorite races to date, (mainly because of the lack of hills ;), but it was a small race, and it being only women was super cool. I would totally do it again (even without a Groupon but of course with my Garmin, and NOT my credit card)