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Category: Race Recap

Tuesday Topics: Some of my best races

Happy Tuesday and welcome to another edition of Tuesday Topics!  Last week I wrote about some not-so-great things that have happened to me at races.   So today let’s discuss some of my best races whether it is because of a PR, the course, or some other reason.

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This week’s Tuesday Topic:  What was your best or worst race You can write about this topic or feel free to post any running related blog post.  Remember to link up with Kim and Zenaida!  Visit at least two of the other linked posts – the more the merrier!  Remember to come back for later linkers!

2016 Chicago Marathon – It it my marathon PR.  I simply love everything about this race.  I’ve run it a few times and also love spectating it.  

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2015 Live Grit 10 MilerI met Wendy and Marcia at this race.  It was warm in the beginning of the race but then the temperature dropped about 20 degrees.  I did not have a jacket and was COLD.

2019 Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Half Marathon – I was undertrained but loved this race.  I was also dealing with plantar fasciitis but I made the best of it. It is an incredible experience running the bridge to Canada, in Canada, and then back to the U.S.  

2019 Delaware Marathon Running Festival – Hilly course but I met Kim!  What’s not to like about it?  Running in Brandywine Park felt peaceful and very relaxing.  It was just what I needed to deal with all of the hills.

2013 Community Bank of Elmhurst 4 on the 4thI don’t remember how I heard about this race but am so happy I did.  I love everything about it (distance, price, location, to name a few things) and continue to run it each year.  I am sad it is cancelled this year but understand the reason.

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2020 Publix Atlanta Half MarathonSo the race itself was not that great.  It was a VERY hilly course and I was undertrained.  What I loved about it was the Olympic Marathon Trials that took place the day before.  I got excited and goosebumps being so close to many elite runners – LOVED seeing Desi on the course!!

Utah Valley Half Marathon 2017 – A race meeting up with blogger friends!  The views were incredible.  It was the first time dealing with altitude and running a downhill race.  Not easy but I finished in 2:34:59 which is a whole lot better than I expected!!

Walt Disney World Half Marathon and Walt Disney World Marathon – Did this as part of the Goofy Challenge.  Seriously, I have no idea what I was thinking when I signed up.  I don’t think I was thinking AT ALL!  🙂  It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done.  No regrets at all.

The Great Alaskan Running Cruise 2017 – It was a fun week exploring and running in Alaska.  There were a total of 4 races:

5K Kick Off Run/Walk in Anchorage and Welcome Party
√ Glacier Half Marathon in Juneau
4-Mile Amazing Race in Skagway
5K on the trails in the Tongass National Forest in Ketchikan

♥ Chicago Lakefront 50K 2012 and 2014 – I don’t have a recap from my first race in 2012 but HERE is the second one I did in 2014.  As if running a marathon isn’t hard enough, I decided to run a race even longer than 26.2 miles.  I ran the RnR New Orleans Marathon early in March and then ran the 50k a few weeks later.  Why not, right?  🙂

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I enjoyed writing about this topic.  It was fun reading older posts (sometimes cringing because of what I wrote – Yikes!!), but overall remembering each one which made me smile.

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Tuesday Topics: Publix Atlanta Half Marathon Race Recap

This weekend went by so fast.  I am back home recoverating from my race on Sunday.  If you missed my recap of the Olympic Marathon Trials, click HERE to read about it.

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This week’s Tuesday Topic:  Have you ever taken a break from running?  Why?  You can write about this topic or feel free to post any running related blog post.  Remember to link up with Kim and Zenaida!  Visit at least two of the other linked posts – the more the merrier!  Remember to come back for later linkers!

I’m deviating from this week’s topic to write my recap of the Publix Atlanta Half Marathon.  I ran this race the day after the Olympic Marathon Trials.  Did you watch it?  It was INCREDIBLE.  I have no idea where it will take place in 4 years but for sure I want to be there again.

I signed up for this race in April of last year.  I paid $50 plus fees.  Pretty great deal!

I didn’t sleep well on Saturday night.  I even took a melatonin.  I think I finally went to sleep around 10:30 pm.  The race started at 7 am but I always like to get there early and use the port-a-potty.  Plus, I knew it was going to be cold in the morning and I was planning on wearing sweatpants and sweatshirt, so I also needed plenty of time to check in a gear bag.

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I woke up at 4:40 am but didn’t get up till 15 minutes later.  I quickly got ready and went to the lobby to get a coffee from Starbucks.  Then I walked to the start line at the Olympic Centennial Park.  I had 3 layers so I did not feel cold at all.  🙂

I used the port-a-potty, took some pictures, then I checked in my gear bag.  I got in line about 6:30.  Then I waited.  And waited.  I asked myself why I had gotten there so early.  It was chilly but I wasn’t THAT cold.  I wore a Oiselle flyout long sleeve underneath my singlet and that helped.  

When it was almost start time, the race announcer introduced Meb.  He was pacing the 1:40 group.  I was in Corral C and I am assuming he was in either A or B.  I wanted to leave my corral and find him.  I didn’t.  Then she mentioned that the Olympic Marathon Trials winners were there as well.  Neat way to start off the race.

Then it was time to run.  My goals were to finish the race and to have fun.  I did finish it and made the best of it.  I was tired and in pain.  I knew it was a hilly course.  I underestimated how hilly it was.  The plan was to walk up the hills and run the downhills.  Good plan, right?  Well, in this race I was either going up or down.  There were very few flat areas.

Here is the elevation map from my Garmin.

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I felt good for about 3 miles then I got really tired.  I decided to just walk and run whenever I felt like it.  I don’t remember too many details because I was so focused on running and walking.  By then it had warmed up a little and the sun was out.  I was never hot nor cold.  In reality it was just perfect weather.

While running I saw Kim and we ran together for a few minutes.  I could not keep up with her.  🙂  I also saw Vanessa and ran with her but also could not keep up with her.  I saw Jessica pacing the 5:30 team but also could not keep up.  I was really struggling but I still wanted to finish.  I didn’t care about my finish time.  I just wanted to finish.

I took two Huma gels (mile 4 and 8) and stopped at every water station.  I think it was around mile 11 or 12 that I had some Powerade.  I needed something to get me through the final miles of the race.  I don’t remember being thirsty but that drink tasted really good!

I enjoyed running in Piedmont Park.  It was lovely and a great place for running.  I didn’t see other runners except those running the race.  I thought that was strange.

The last 4 miles is when I was cursing a little bit.  I was tired of the hills.  I was struggling more than ever.  But I was almost done and I just needed to hang in there.  

I was so happy to hear the race announcer.  I was almost done and could stop running.  🙂

After the race I got my medal and was handed a bottle of water and chocolate milk.  There was a tent with some food but I didn’t get anything.  I got my bag from gear check and went to take some pictures.  I just wanted to get back to the hotel to eat something.  I was so hungry.

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I showered, packed my suitcase, and my friends and I went to Hard Rock Cafe for lunch.  We then went back to Olympic Centennial Park to walk around for a bit before going to The National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

I loved that they offered FREE race photos.  I like the long sleeve shirt.  It is soft, comfortable, and perfect as a pajama top.  I don’t like the medal.  So plain.  🙁

There weren’t too many people on the course.  The volunteers were friendly and encouraging.  There were also plenty of water stations.  I was looking for a medical tent and did not see one at all.  I was disappointed because I wanted some Vaseline or something to apply to where I had chafed.

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This was state #43 for me.  Next is the Garmin Oz Half Marathon in April (#44) and the Fargo Half Marathon in May (#45).  Then I will need 6 more to go!  Total will be 51 because I am counting Washington DC as a state.

Have you run this race before?  Would you run a race knowing that it was a hilly course?

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Tuesday Topics: Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Half Marathon Race Recap

Disclaimer:  I received a free entry to the Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!  

This week’s Tuesday Topic is a FREE topic.  Feel free to post any running related blog post.  Remember to Link-up with Kim and Zenaida!  Visit at least two of the other linked posts – the more the merrier!  Remember to come back for later linkers!

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On October 20th, I ran the Detroit Free Press/TCF Half Marathon.  It was my 73rd half marathon.  It was also state #42 in my goal to run a half marathon in each state.

I left Saturday morning and arrived in Detroit at 1:00.  Once there I took an Uber to the hotel to check in and left for the expo.  I stayed at the Rivertown Inn and Suites on Jefferson and Rivard.  It was an OK place to stay.  What I liked about it is that the expo and start line were less than a mile away.

The expo was fun with lots of vendors.  I signed up for the International race so I had to show my passport in order to get my bib.  

I tried on some shoes but didn’t buy any.  🙂  Although these felt more comfortable than another pair of Ghost 12 that I had but sent back.

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I bought 3 pairs of Balega socks (it was buy 3 pairs and get one free) and an R3 foot roller. 

Race morning I woke up tired.  My neighbors next door were loud and it took me a while to go to sleep.  I got ready and made some UCAN gel for before the race and during the race.  Then I went to the lobby because the clerk told me when I checked in on Saturday that there would be breakfast for the runners.  I ate a waffle as big as my face with coffee.  I walked with another girl to the start line while eating my UCAN.  It took us about 15 minutes to get there.

One bathroom break and it was time to run.  I was happy and excited.  I almost skipped the race because my left foot had been bothering me so much that it hurt to walk.  I blamed it on my inserts.  I have two different pairs – one in my shoes for running and another in the ones for running.  I switched them and hoped that I made the right decision.

The race began at 7am.  It was dark.  I didn’t worry about it too much and concentrated on my run.  I was feeling good.  The beginning of the race was in downtown Detroit.  I couldn’t really see my watch but knew that I was going faster than I was supposed to.  Still I kept running.  I was determined to enjoy and finish the race no matter what.  

Then came the incline to the Ambassador Bridge.  It was long.  I was beginning to feel tired.  I stopped to take a few pictures because the view was gorgeous.

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Running in Canada was so much fun!  Lots of spectators cheering for us.  I was running in Windsor, Canada while on the left was the Detroit River and left to it was Detroit.  How awesome is that?!?!

My foot began to bother me.  My longest training run was 6 miles so I was beginning to feel more tired.  I didn’t want to remember this race as one in which I was in pain.  Instead, I wanted to remember it as the race where I ran in two different countries.  I soaked it all in.  The weather was perfect and I loved seeing the Canadians cheering for us.  So I kept going. 

My time in Canada was coming to an end as I entered the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel which is under the Detroit River.  Someone warned me that it would be hot in there.  It wasn’t too hot but I did warm up a little bit.  Love the middle picture with both flags!

Towards the end of the tunnel is another slight incline.  

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You know what I am going to say now, right?  I was hurting.  I felt even more tired.  I wanted the race to be over.  I still had about 4 miles to go.  I kept going.  I began to wonder if I had made a mistake in running the race.  Well, at that point there wasn’t anything to do but to keep going.  I am smiling in my pictures but pictures can be deceiving, right?  🙂

I ran and walked the last 4 miles.  We were back downtown and I remember thinking that I was going be done soon.  I could see more people lined up on the sidewalk.  I could hear the announcer and knew I was close to the finish line.  I kept running till I finally finished.

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I enjoyed this race and would love to do it again.  And this time hopefully not be dealing with an injury.  It took me a few days to recover from the race but I don’t regret running it.  My quads hurt a lot.  I felt like I had run a marathon.  The weather was perfect, there were a lot of water stations (there were signs letting you know how far the next water station was), and the volunteers were wonderful.  Every runner also gets free race photos (low resolution but still free).  Oh and the best part was running in CANADA!!!!

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The swag bag had a long sleeve shirt, a pair of gloves, and a race wrap.

I am pleased with how I did.  I enjoyed the race and finished it.  That is all I wanted.  Oh, and I got mostly positive splits.  Isn’t that the way to do it?  🙂  And yes I did run with my passport and no a border patrol agent didn’t stop me to check it.

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If you are planning to do this race, I hope I convinced you to do it.  Save the date as next year it will be on October 18.  There is also a marathon if you want to run more than 13.1 miles.  

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Tuesday Topics: 2019 Missoula Half Marathon Race Recap

Disclaimer:  I received a free entry to the Missoula Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!  

On Sunday I ran the Missoula Half Marathon.  It was also state #41 in my goal to run a half marathon in each state.  I am hoping to be done with this goal next year.  

I left Saturday morning on a direct flight to Missoula.  The airplane was small.  The Missoula Airport is also small, definitely different from Midway or O’Hare.  I was staying at the Hilton Garden Inn Missoula and they had a complimentary airport shuttle so as soon as I got my luggage, I called the hotel and there was a van waiting for me in about 10 minutes.

My flight arrived early and luckily a room was available for me.  I went to the expo at Caras Park to get my bib.  There were a few vendors but I did not buy anything.  Well I did buy a small bag of donuts.  

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Then I tracked down a friend of mine and met up with him and a few others at Big Sky Brewing Co (they were one of the race sponsors).  I had a flight (they were all delicious) and then went to dinner at Kobe Seafood and Steak.  Then we parted ways since we had to wake up early the next day.

Sunday morning I got up at 4am.  A friend of mine, Rebecca, was also running and she said her boyfriend could pick me up at 4:40am and take us both to the shuttle bus.  There is no drop off at the half marathon start so you have to take the shuttle bus.  We didn’t wait long for a bus and soon we were on our way.  It was about a 15 minute bus ride to the start line.  It was chilly but not cold.  I knew it would warm up later.  There were plenty of port-a-potties and I must have used them about 4 times before the race.

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There were no corrals but I lined up close to the start line.  I don’t remember hearing the National Anthem but soon it was time to start running.  Sure enough by then it had warmed up a little bit.  It was definitely perfect running weather.  

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The course is gorgeous!  You run through the country side and along the river.  I saw cows and horses.  The course is flat with some downhills.  The views were spectacular.  About a mile into the race I saw the 2:20 group and ran with them for about 2 miles.  I was feeling good but then took a break and then couldn’t catch up to them.

I saw a guy playing the piano in his yard!

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I kept running but eventually I was tired.  My left leg began hurting.  I also felt some discomfort in the bottom of my left foot.  I was frustrated because I had trained for this race (and did really good).  For about 2 months on Saturday mornings I ran the hills at The Arboretum to get ready for this race.  I knew it wasn’t a hilly course but figured training on hills still wouldn’t hurt.  I couldn’t understand why I was struggling.I decided then to just keep running and enjoy the race.  There were water stations about every 2 miles.  The volunteers were wonderful in motivating us.  

By mile 9 I was done with the race.  I was tired and sore.  By this time I was focusing on each mile and each one was slower than the previous one.  I saw the 2:30 group but had no desire to run with them.  It was sunny but I never felt very hot.  I did sweat a lot though.

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I saw a group of spectators with a table outside their house full of various adult drinks.  Mimosa?  Sure, why not?  At about mile 10.5 is when the first marathon runner passed me.  He was flying!!  

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With less than a mile to go I asked someone how much longer I had and he told me less than 1/2 mile.  At that moment even 1/2 mile seemed like a long time.  I told myself that it really wasn’t and tried to focus on my morning runs and exactly where 1/2 mile was from my house.  It helped a bit.  I remember then turning left and then right and then a bridge (downhill) to the finish line.  I ran as fast as I could and was finally done.  I think about 5 or 6 marathons runners passed me up by the time I was done.  😉  I did not stay long because I wanted to get back to the hotel to shower, get something to eat, and head to the airport.  My flight was at 12:30 and I wanted to be there by 11:30.  I know I had plenty of time but I hate rushing when going to the airport.  

I was at the airport by 11:15am.  I checked in and sat down to relax.  At 12:00 there was an announcement that the flight was delayed because of the bad weather in Chicago.  Later we were told it would leave at 2:30, then 1:30, then 3:30, then 5:30.  It finally left after 4pm.  However, the plane arrived at 9:10pm in Chicago but we didn’t get to the gate till 10:45 because there were other planes that were also delayed and were waiting for a gate too.  

My coworker picked me up at the airport and she sent me the information she got from the website which of course is different from what actually happened.

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I didn’t get home till almost midnight.  Lola was happy to see me!

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Thoughts:

• I should have done a better job of researching hotels because I regret selecting that hotel.  It was a nice hotel but not close to Caras Park where the expo was held nor close to the Adams Event Center where the shuttle busses were to take us to the start line (it is a point-to-point course).

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• Uber/Lyft is expensive.  Once I figured out how much it was going to cost me to go to the expo and and come back and also to and from the Adams Event Center (this was before Rebecca asked me if I wanted a ride), I realized I should have rented a car.  I checked online and of course no cars were available at the airport.  I will confess or runfess that I cried.  How could I have been so careless about this whole trip?  When I made my hotel reservation for Michigan, Kansas, and Georgia, I picked one close to the start and finish line.  I booked the first hotel I saw on the race website but I should have looked for one closer to the start line.  Oh and to top it off, the hotel was $300. 

• Missoula is expensive.  My flight was almost $600.  I did book it at the end of May so maybe it would have been cheaper if I had booked it earlier?  A few people did tell me that it is expensive to fly into and out of Missoula.

• I had high expectations for this race.  Many people raved about it.  The course is very pretty and flat.  There are also great views but I wasn’t that impressed with it.  I thought the course was nicer at the Delaware Marathon Running Festival.  Sure it was hilly but there was more to see in DE.

• It is a well organized race.  I liked that there were plenty of water stations and volunteers.  There weren’t too many spectators but the ones that were there did a wonderful job of cheering for us.

• Gear bag drop off and pick up is a breeze.  There was a bit of a line at the start line, but it still moved fast.  When I was done with the race I went to get my bag and one of the volunteers saw me walking towards the truck and quickly retrieved my bag.

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• I like the shirt but hate the color.  The marathon runners’ shirt was blue.  

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• Finish time is 2:40:56.  I am disappointed in my time.  The weather was perfect and the course was flat.  I was aiming for a 2:30 finish time but wasn’t even close.  The last time I did a half and got a “decent” finish time was the Covered Bridges Half Marathon in 2015.  I finished in 2:19:51 and that is my second best time after the Hartford Half Marathon.  Oh, and the course in VA was hilly.  

Would I do it again?  Maybe but for sure I would pick a different hotel.  I would also plan to stay longer and do more things in Missoula.

Tuesday Topics

This week’s Tuesday Topic:  Your 2019 mid year review.  You can write about this topic, or feel free to post any running related blog post.  Remember to Link-up with Kim and Zenaida!  Visit at least two of the other linked posts – the more the merrier!  Remember to come back for later linkers!

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Tuesday Topics: 2019 Delaware Half Marathon Race Recap

Disclaimer:  I received a free entry to the Delaware Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!  

On Sunday I ran the Delaware Half Marathon.  It was also state #40 in my goal to run a half marathon in each state.  I am hoping to be done with this goal next year.  

I left Saturday morning and took a flight to Philadelphia.  When I arrived I waited about 20 minutes for a shuttle bus to arrive and take me to my hotel in Wilmington.

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Luckily my room was ready.  The front desk clerk gave me a bag that had two bottles of water and a cookie.

Then I unpacked and went to the expo.  I love it when the expo is in the hotel I am staying.  I got my bib and shirt but did not buy anything. I signed up to get FREE race photos.  I began talking to the volunteer that was there about my 50 states goal.  I mentioned that I planned to run in Hawaii next year.  He asked me if that would be my last state.  I said “no” and the idea was born to make it my last one.  Currently, it will be my 48th state.

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Then I got something to eat.  I ordered a chicken wrap and a beer flight.  Yummy!  I also ate my cookie at the hotel.

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Later I met Kim for dinner.  We ended up going to the small restaurant in the hotel.  We talked and laughed.  We had a good time.  Once back in my room I got my stuff ready and went to sleep.

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Race morning it was in the mid 50s.  No rain and no sun which makes it perfect for running.  I made coffee, got ready, and ate a Clif Bar.  I met Kim and her mom in the lobby and we walked to the start line (about 15 minutes away).  The race started and ended at the Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park.

My two goals for this race were to enjoy it and to finish it.  I remember at one point I was hoping to make this race my PR race.  My training hasn’t been going that great so that idea went out the window.

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This race is not flat.  Well, for about 4 miles it was flat.  Then it was all downhill and uphill.  I thought I was going “fast” in the downhills but my watch told me something different.  We ran in Brandywine Park and that was simply gorgeous.  Lots of trees – very peaceful and relaxing. 

A little after mile 6 it was up, up, and up.  I saw Kim and she was in her zone.  This is when my legs started to hurt.   

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Beginning at mile 7.5 was the Munchkins Mile.  Lots and lots of munchkins.  I grabbed two and kept going.  It was here that we ran through a nice neighborhood.  The houses were beautiful and I remember what seemed to be like a small park/lots of trees in the middle of the two streets.  

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I remember that after mile 9 someone told me that I had already run the most difficult part of the race.

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Then it was back to Brandywine Park (more downhill).  

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I almost cried when I saw the mile marker for mile 12.  I was very sore and tired.  The last mile was uphill for 1/2 mile and the rest downhill to mile 13.  That area is “Lawyer’s Row” and I saw a bunch of law firms such as Richards, Layton & Finger; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP;  and Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP.  I used to work at the American Bar Association so I recognized those firms.

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I was so happy to see Mile 13.  I did stop for a few seconds to catch my breath and then ran to the finish line.  

Finally done!  I got my medal and a bottle of water.  I kept walking and saw Kim and her mom.  It started to drizzle and at first I was OK, but then eventually I got cold.

I sampled two different Dunkin iced coffees.  The pistachio almond fudge was good but the butter pecan was even better.  Then we got some beer and pizza.

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Our hotel was at about mile 12.5 of the race course.  During the race it was nice running downhill, but heading back to the hotel it was all uphill.  That was rough.  

Once I showered and changed, I met Kim and her mom for lunch.  We ended up going back to the same place I had been to the day before.  This time I had a cheeseburger and a mimosa.

Overall, I thought it was a great race.  The weather was perfect.  It was well organized. There were plenty of water stations and the volunteers were wonderful.  There wasn’t a lot of crowd support, but the views made up for it.  Again, Brandywine Park is gorgeous.  What I did not like were the hills.  I was very sore.  My left leg was bothering me and I stopped a couple of times to stretch.  Want to know what was going through my mind throughout the race?  I told myself over and over again that I should start training on hills.  Someone asked me if I would do it again.  The answer is “yes”, but I would train on hills.  🙂

I definitely recommend this race.  Two thumbs up from me!

Tuesday Topics

This week’s Tuesday Topic is a FREE topic.  Feel free to post any running related blog post.  Remember to Link-up with Kim and Zenaida!  Visit at least two of the other linked posts – the more the merrier!  Remember to come back for later linkers!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter