Race For A Soldier Re-Cap

My mind is a little bit all over the place with this race…lot’s of emotions and excitement about finishing and reaching my goal!

The facts:
-Well organized.
-Supports an awesome cause (PTSD treatment for soldiers).
-Challenging yet fun course.
-Plenty of bathrooms.
-While it didn’t start on time it wasn’t their fault…it was mother nature.  There was a downed big shrub/tree thing on the course that had to be cleared away.
-We totally got lucky with the weather, only a little bit of rain and only a few windy spots.  Was ready for it to be so much worse!
-Amazing community support with spectators and groups cheering you along the majority of the route.
-Parking is no fun, but that is the case with most races around here.
-Early bird registration is a reasonable price, even though I don’t remember what it was I remember feeling good about it.
-Free pacers.
-Love the heavy dog tag medal.

-This is a run every year race for me.  While it’s a really challenging course with one killer hill, and lot’s of other not so fun ones thrown in, the community support and beauty of running in Gig Harbor make it totally worth it!

Staying warm with throw-away shirt and blanket before the start.  Yes I know I look like a hobo.
It’s emotional because running a 1/2 is a still a big deal for me (actually running any race is a big deal still!).  It takes so much effort and determination to train, run the race, and finish that it feels like a major accomplishment.  Finishing this race was a double accomplishment because not only was I crossing the race finish line, but I was crossing the finish line of my running goal for the year…Half Fanatics!  
It’s official…registration fee paid and the sticker is on my car to prove it!  
The biggest reason I was near tears multiple times though is because I got to run all three races (and almost all the training runs) with Michelle!  Not very many people would go from “I’m going to run my first half and see if I like it or not” to “I’ll run 3 half marathons with my friend and be a Half Fanatic with her” at the drop of a hat!  Who does that?!  Michelle that’s who! 
It’s still amazing to me that we only started running a few years ago, and back then we only wanted to do 5K’s.  Running more than 3 miles was such a big deal that we would leave her car at one end of our training route and mine at the other, so we wouldn’t have to run an extra half mile or mile to get back to the car once we hit our 3 miles.  Now, we run 1/2 marathons!!!
The best part about yesterdays race was we went into it relaxed with the only goal being to finish.  Time/pace was a non-factor.  This last race was primarily about qualifying for Half Fanatics, and not about the race itself.  Totally took all the pressure off.  It was really nice to have fun, enjoy the course and the support, and accomplish a goal with my best friend.   
Thank you Michelle for being such an awesome friend and running partner.  2013 will forever be our summer of running!   
A big shout out to Elya who ran 30+ weeks pregnant!  Girl you inspire me.  I’m so proud of you pushing yourself to get through this one!  Now, rest and relax…Whidbey Island 1/2 training starts before you know it!  🙂
To keep this from getting too long and emotional Thank You to Mark, Bob, the kiddos, Dad, Fleet Feet Sports Tacoma, the Stroller Running Group, Yannick (was waiting near the finish with my 1/2 fanatic window sticker for my car…he is an awesome run supporter!), Amy, Jodi, Mom, Elya, Eleanor, Skinny Runner (perfect advice on how to handle the short time between race #1 and #2), everyone who posts on FB/Instagram/sends text messages/emails/calls offering support/encouragement/good luck.  It all helps get me to the start of each race and carries me through to the finish!   
Enjoying a rest day today…knees are a bit sore from all the hills…and then tomorrow starts a few 30 day challenges.  More on that tomorrow though.  🙂
P.S. This is so silly I probably shouldn’t even share it…I got to do two things I have always wanted to do at a race 1. Rip clothing off and toss it aside as I warmed up, and 2.  We got the silver space blanket things as we finished…totally made me feel like a “real” runner wrapped up in my silver blanket…because running a 1/2 isn’t real runner enough.  🙂

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