let me start off by saying, i TOTALLY underestimated the amount of hills on this course, but since i dont know the area, i guess that one's on me!
anywho, my sister && i woke up super early [[3:00AM to be exact]] && hit the road by 4:00AM! for anyone who doesn't know i live in central jersey so we made the drive down to raleigh, nc for me to run this race && then spent the week in wilmington, nc with our family! we made good time getting down there && actually beat all of our family there [[they live in a different part of NC about two hours away]]!
jen && i made a quick trip to dick's sporting goods so i could grab some last minute race things. by the time we got back to the hotel my mama && aunt were there to greet us!! my dad, his wife, && their daughter weren't far behind. we all checked into our rooms && we hit the expo!
my dad ran this race as well so it was a nice experience to go to the expo with everyone && check everything out. we picked up our packets without any issues, snapped a few pictures && shopped for a bit. i got tired real quick && my aunt totally felt the same way so we waited for everyone else && then we got something to eat since we were STARVING by that point!
us girls had a nice dinner && then we all relaxed in the hotel because we found out we had to be up much earlier than we had originally thought. in typical fashion i laid out my outfit the night before && got to bed as early as i could. its always rough sharing a hotel room when everyone goes to bed at different times. i turned on my heating pad && sound machine && was out like a light. i didnt sleep well at all. apparently none of us did.
i woke up && went through my usual routine && made sure my headband was pinned to my head && wouldnt move. my dad came over && we all took the drive down to the starting line. once we were there my mama, jenny, && aunt colleen went to find a spot to see us start && my dad && i stayed warm for a while then decided to find our corral. it was unseasonably cold down there so a lot of runners thought i was crazy for wearing shorts. i knew in a matter of miles id be sweating!
my dad && i were actually able to move up a few corrals && before we knew it, it was go time. we started out trying to weave in && out of people && then my dad took off && i lost him. i quickly caught up && passed him && just kept my groove going as best i could. i didnt want to stop too much because i was already having a high pain day so i was just focused on getting to the finish!
i saw my family just after the start && then again around mile 5-6! that is ALWAYS something to look forward to. its an amazing feeling to hear && see them cheering you on. the course was FULL of hills! i cant even make it up when i say there was AT LEAST one hill every mile. i had a pretty good pace going && was able to navigate the hills for a while until they just became too much! at that point i had to take multiple walk breaks. i found myself really struggling but there was no way i wasnt pushing myself to the finish!
then came mile 12. in mile 12 there was a HUGE && i mean HUGE hill! they actually called it "king of the hill" && it was lined with signs that said things like "i eat hills for breakfast." i was pretty much dead at that point && did what i call the shuffle all the way up this hill! the course had great entertainment along the way && at the top of this hill was a big blow up && i actually forget what it said [[LOL]]! && how could i forget the point of the race where we ran by a bunch of frat houses && all the kids were outside drinking. had to laugh at that one!
one of my favorite parts about a race is reading the spectators signs! there are always great ones that i say ill remember && then later forget. so once i made it past this hill i was in the home stretch. i got near the finish && i saw my family && i felt tears start to well up in my eyes. my watch beeped at 13 miles && i took off like usual to sprint the last .1 miles!
my aunt actually got that one on video! a few minutes after me, my dad crossed the finish line. i didnt see him because i was looking around for my mama at that point. when i finally found her i was just happy to fall into her arms. that race was definitely one ill never forget [[i dont know if thats a good or bad thing LOL]]!!
stay tuned for my next race recap on the superhero half here in morristown, nj!! till next time!