ECSC 5k – Race Recap

“Light tomorrow with today.” ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

This morning I lined up for a 5k knowing I’m not in racing condition, knowing that I’ve struggled all summer to find space in my runs, and knowing that 3 miles now feels like a long run. I know all of this, yet I was excited. The timing of this race just felt right. I was ready to test my new running philosophy: accept where I am at today.

But old habits die hard. I did my best not to speculate about finish times, to analyze the few runs I have worn my garmin on this summer to predict my outcome, or to stress that a PR wasn’t a possibility (24:50 for those of you who are curious, 7:59 pace). I only let my brain wander as far as setting a few loose goals for the race outside of enjoying myself and pushing myself on the course.

A perfect day – 27:xx, 8:59 pace (I am well aware that I ran this pace for 10 miles in April. Another true test of my new running philosophy. Could my ego let go?)

A solid run – Low 9s

Crap that sucked – anything over 9:20

I lined up next to a few friends and told them that who ever was having a solid day running was required to run.

Laura and I stuck together for Mile 1. I had previously told her my plan was to hit a 9 minute mile. At some point she kindly told me that if a 9 minute mile was my pace, I was running way too fast. We slowed down, chatted, and had some fun.

Mile 1 – 8:28

In mile 2 I encouraged Laura to go ahead. My stomach was telling me to slow down, but I knew I was in a good spot if I could just hang on. Panicking mid-race has been my weakness this year. When I saw 8:28 on my watch and my stomach started to rumble, I felt panic taking over. My focus quickly become to sit in a pocket that felt comfortable. Don’t panic. Relax. Don’t panic. Relax.

Mile 2 – 9:35 (I may have got a little too comfortable this mile)

Mile 3 was about hanging on. My hip flexors are tight lately. I like to lead with my pelvis when I run. Instead of focusing on the miles or the finish line, I focused on my body. I did my best to keep my hips under me. I did my best to keep my upper body relax.

Mile 3 – 9:16

In the final stretch I found a familiar face. Teresa, the overall female winner today, came back to run me in. She helped squeeze out the last bit of energy I had left in my legs. She reminded me to lift my knees and to use my arms. She took over my thinking since my brain had shut off.

Final stretch – 6:58 pace

Official Finish time: 28:00, 9:02 pace

Finish line fun with some great friends

Finish line fun with some great friends

Am I happy with this run? You bet!

It’s no secret my ego has been attached to my running ability for some time. It’s so easy to get caught up in the race to run further or to run faster. I got stuck in a place that let the pace on a race clock determine my level of success. Today that ego didn’t show up. I hope it’s squashed for good. I ran each mile as best I could. I have happily accepted exactly where I am at right now, not last year, not last month, but today! Coming to terms with this has been hard. My ego put up a good fight. But man, it feels good to kick that ego to the curb. It feels good to enjoy the run!

Today’s run was perfect! It makes me really excited about the fall races I have coming up!

Cheers to a very happy start!

Cheers to a very happy start!

Breath. Depth. and Meaning.

Breath. Depth. and Meaning.

On Thursday afternoon I sat in a room with all of my coworkers and Shawn Achor. Shawn Achor was just on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday for two weekends in a row. He has one of the most viewed Ted Talks. There is a reason for all of this. What he has to share with world needs to be heard. He is a happiness researcher. His words echoed into my heart, and I’ve been trying to hold on to them.

Happiness is our choice. We choose which lense we use to view life. Why not train our brain to find patterns of happiness instead of patterns of stress, depression or pessimism? During the two hours he spoke with us, he repeated this phrase several times, and I quickly reached for my pen to write it down.

Breath. Depth. and Meaning.

I took these words to heart. I interpreted them to fit my life. If I focus on my now, if I take the time to pay attention to my inhales and exhales, this allows me to view life through a lense of happiness. If I take the time to move beyond living life on the surface, this allows me to view life through a lense of happiness. If I do things that give meaning to my life, this allows me to view life through a lense of happiness.

Breath. Depth. and Meaning.

Today I headed to the CHKD 8k Run/Walk. My intention was to carry these words with me. I was running on Operation Smile’s Team World Care. We were running to say thank you to the children’s hospital for taking such amazing care of our world care patients. Running is a privilege I don’t take for granted.

The race took off, and I fell into a comfortable pace (except it was too fast). I had no goal for this race except I wanted to remember why I was running. I wasn’t running for a race clock. I was running to say thank you. I forgot all of this in the third mile when things got hot. I forgot all of this when I started to hold the tension in my hips. I forgot all of this when I started to think I wasn’t capable. My brain shut down. My body gave up with it. I got irritated with myself. The negative self talk took over.

Just past the fourth mile marker a girl ran by filled with optimism. She was cheering for everyone. It was the reality check I needed to get my head in check. It was the reality check that got me to the finish line pushing instead of giving in.

Breath. Depth. and Meaning.

Not too long after my finish, I was joined by more coworkers. We were joined by our world care patient from Haiti. We walked the 1 mile fun walk together and celebrated the importance of life. This young lady that joined me on the race course has spent her entire life hiding behind a four pound tumor that had grown on her face. Thanks to some really amazing people and this amazing Children’s Hospital, she will see another birthday. The tumor has been removed forever. I ran one bad mile. Life was put back in perspective.

Breath. Depth. and Meaning.

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During Shawn Achor’s talk he reminded us that choosing happiness isn’t about being naïve. It isn’t about turning our backs on the real sadness and heart ache in our world. It’s about looking for patterns in our life, patterns of gratitude and appreciation for what we do have. I am lucky enough to live in a culture that encourages me to chase my dreams. I am lucky enough to have the chance to grow as a person. Every single day I get to work on fine tuning my well-being because I live with a healthy body.

I have work I want to do. It’s not work that I have to do. It’s a privilege. I want to learn to be strong in the middle of my race. I want to learn to hang on when things get tough. I want to learn to fight for my potential. I’ve got work to do. This is my privilege.

Breath. Depth. and Meaning.

Grow into it.

(Today I forgot)

Race Results:

8k – 46:23

Garmin: 5.04 in 46:25, 8:34, 9:02, 8:53, 11:05, 8:45, 5:37 across the finish line (talk about potential!)

When I crossed the finish line today, I viewed my race as a failure. I was done racing for a while. The one mile walk with our world care patient changed that. I was using the wrong lense to view my run. Today’s run wasn’t a failure. It was a chance to see where my weaknesses exist. It was chance to see where I have the potential to grow. This is how I want to view my life. This is the lense I’m choosing.

Gorgeous Finish Line View

Gorgeous Finish Line View

 

Elizabeth River Run 10k Race Report

The past two weeks I’ve done very little running. This was intentional. I wanted to give my head and my body a chance to adapt to all the changes that come with starting a new job. I knew when I lined up on the start line with a few close friends on Saturday morning, I wasn’t in race condition. I’m no where close to my peak condition. My race plan was simple: have fun.

I could have run the race in cruise control, but running solo has lost its appeal lately. I wanted to run with my friends who are also fast and also in great running condition. I’d hang on as long as I could.

Part of my race plan was to also run without my garmin. Numbers didn’t matter for this race. As I left for the race, I grabbed it anyway. What if I had a great race and wanted to know my times?

Damn Ryan (my running coach). He rigged my watch.

I never got a connection during the race. There was no cheating on my race plan.

At the Start (photo credit: @thefitpetite)

At the Start (photo credit: @thefitpetite)

I hung with my friends until just past the three mile marker. My hips were tired. They didn’t want to open up. I wasn’t having fun anymore. I let them slowly slip away, and I took in the gorgeous views on the race course: historic downtown and riverfront streets.

Around mile 4.5, I remembered why running solo (on a crappy run day) isn’t fun anymore. Maybe I should have fought to hold on instead of giving up? I had settled into cruise control mode, and I was now running solo. Just when I started to think this is not fun. Running slow and solo sucks. a smiling face was waiting for me on the side of the road. Jess, The Fit Petite, was waiting for me. We start the race together. We finish the race together. I could have hugged her, but I was tired at this point.

Being rejoined by a friend on the course gave me an extra boost of energy. I may have mumbled and grumbled that I didn’t feel like going faster, I’m pretty sure I speed up significantly when she joined me.

My finish time: 58:25. Five minutes slower than my PR, but significantly faster than a fun (lazy, crappy) run a year ago. ( read my report from Elizabeth River Run in 2012)

The race was exactly what I needed. Racing slow isn’t fun anymore. I’m ready to pick back up my training plan to get myself out of my comfort zone. The day was also filled with lessons of trust but I’ll save that thought process for another post.

Always learning. Always growing. Always smiling. It’s the only requirement I have for myself.

(photo credit: @thefitpetite)

(photo credit: @thefitpetite)

Flying Pirate Half Marathon, Race Report

The goal: sub 2 hours

The result: 2:18:29

I did everything right going into this race. I only missed one training run. I was hydrated. I was relaxed. I rested my legs. I wrote down my goal times the night before the race, and it felt like a no brainer. There wasn’t a doubt in my head that I was coming home with a 1:xx finish time.

Race morning went smooth. I was joined by friends JP and Meagan, and Christian dropped us off at the start. Everything went according to plan. I had my goal times written on my hand. I was ready to run.

As I crossed the start line, I focused on staying controlled. By mile two, my stomach was telling me it had other plans for today. My mind shifted from running to finding a portapotty.

Mile 3 goal time: 28 minutes but no faster than 27:15

Mile 3 results: 27:25

Just after mile 3, I found a portapotty. A quick stop and my stomach felt better. I was back to running. Christian was up ahead at mile 5 so I shifted my focus to finding him. By the time I saw him, my stomach was rebelling again. I took some Gatorade from him in hopes of some relief but no luck.

Mile 5 goal time: 46:30

Mile 5 results: 46:15

Another portapotty stop at the mile 6, and I knew my race plan wasn’t happening. It didn’t feel any better after my bathroom visit. I walked ahead, and found my running coach just in front of the 10k marker. We chatted for a few minutes. I considered dropping out, but after only a moments hesitation, I knew I needed to finish.

Christian stuck with me at this point. I ran walked. We chatted. He kept my spirit light with lots of inappropriate humor about my race turning to crap.

Mile 8 goal time: 1:13:30

Mile 8 results: 1:21:11

As we approached the Wright Brothers Memorial, sadness took over. I was disappointed, but I felt even worse that I let people down. Lots of people made sacrifices for me so I could run my perfect race. I still feel guilty. I cried which is not an easy thing to do while running and battling stomach cramps.

At this point, I came across another local blogger Reading Runner Girl. She saved me from feeling too bad about my race. We chatted for a while before she went ahead.

Mile 10 goal: 1:31:30

Mile 10 result: 1:41:47

I said goodbye to Christian just before mile 10 when the roads turned to trails. The whole time I was running (and walking. And using the bathroom), I told myself I would still race the last 5k. I could at least push myself there. When I hit he trails, I tried but my stomach didn’t respond well. I was back to run walking. Fortunately the trails were beautiful. Seriously, the trees were gorgeous. If I had my phone with me, I would have taken photos and finished 10 minutes later.

Finish line goal: 1:59:20

Finish line result: 2:18:29

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With friends surrounding me post race, there was no need to feel disappointed in my run. Bad runs happen. Shamrock half was a huge success. Cherry blossom 10-miler was another surprise success. The Flying Pirate half just didn’t workout. When you run races year round, some of them won’t go according to plan. They all can’t be perfect. I know that one bad race doesn’t define me as a runner, and it certainly doesn’t impact my goals for the future.

Am I disappointed the day after the race? Yes and no. It’s hard to run a race below my potential. I want a do-over. My “fight for your race” attitude disappeared at mile 6. I do wonder what I could have accomplished if I had stayed engaged with my run instead of giving in to my stomach issues. These are all lessons learned for another race. I am glad that I wasn’t stupid on the race course. I finished healthy, and now I get to start my summer race season. It’s time to focus on speed and short races, and I’m starting the summer healthy! That’s a huge win for me!

On to the next race!

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A Sneak Peek at the EQUI-KIDS Cross Country 5k

When I was asked if I wanted to take a sneak peek at the EQUI-KIDS cross country 5k course, I couldn’t say no. The race is Saturday, May 10th, and I’m not so secretly hoping I can place in my age group (30-39 year old) so I can walk away with a winning ribbon. While the ribbon makes my adolescent self giddy, it’s my heart that couldn’t say no to this race. EQUI-KIDS is so much for than a race. It’s a place of hope and growth. It’s a place of love. While I plan on pouring my heart onto the course in a little under two weeks, EQUI-KIDS has already poured its heart into the community for twenty-five years.

“Founded in 1989, EQUI-KIDS Therapeutic Riding Program has grown to become one of the largest Premier Accredited therapeutic riding programs in the country benefiting the special needs community. We provide equine-assisted activities to a diverse group of riders each week and our programs offer support to individuals with disabilities such as Down syndrome, autism, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, amputation, mental and physical disabilities, attention deficit disorder and more. EQUI-KIDS has made a life-changing difference in the lives of hundreds of special needs individuals in Hampton Roads.”

The view at the start of the run

The view at the start of the run

When I was in 8th grade, I signed up for my first horseback riding lesson. As I learned more about horses and grew as a rider, something shifted inside of me. It takes confidence to sit on top of a horse. It takes courage to ask a horse to trot down a trail with nothing between you and the ground but a thousand pound animal. As a teenager, it transformed me. As a healthy child, I had these opportunities in my aspects of my life. I played volleyball. I ran track. I acted on stage in my high school theater. All of these things I took for granted. Because I am physically able, success and accomplishment is always up to me. The kids at EQUI-KIDS don’t have the same luxury. They can’t just sign up to play a sport. There aren’t many opportunities for them to feel self-pride. They are limited, but EQUI-KIDS removes this barrier for them. It gives them this gift. EQUI-KIDS gives its participates hope. It gives them self-pride. Many of the participants are bound to a wheel chair. Sitting on top of a horse is often the only time they get out of their wheel chair. EQUI-KIDS gives its participants a chance to feel their heart come to life.

EQUI-KIDS is all about heart. It was founded on a love for the children it helps, and it is sustained by people who donated out of love. The race on May 10th supports all the programs EQUI-KIDS offers. The entire day will be a fun-filled event for friends,family and even your dog.

Run beside horse pastures

Run beside horse pastures

Cross Country 5k

  • Winds through the wooded trails and around the property of EQUI-KIDS’ 92 acres
  • Awards given to top 3 males and top 3 females in age groups

Run with the Hounds

  • Run with your dog on a 1 mile course
  • Awards given to first place overall and first dog in weight classes

Pony Run for the Kids

  • Children 12 and under
  • Every runner receives a goodie bag
  • Awards given to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd overall
Run through the woods

Run through the woods

Come out on May 10th and run or walk the 5k. Bring your dog and run a mile. Bring your kids and let them run beside the horse pastures. I plan on racing the 5k with my heart. I have the luxury of healthy legs that carry me for miles. On May 10th, I will be using my legs to give the gift of accomplishment to other children in my community. When the races are over, stick around. Hoffman Brewing, Lagomar Pizza, and Just Cupcakes are supporting the race afterparty!

You can sign up online here.

This organization and this race mean a lot to me. They promote love, and I’d love to share their love with you. For a chance to win an entry into the Cross Country 5k, share this post on your facebook page and comment below (or on facebook). Where do you feel a sense of accomplishment in your life? Winner will be announced on Monday Morning on the Breath of Sunshine Facebook Page

Ready for raceday

Ready for raceday

Cherry Blossom 10-miler, Race Report

Going into this race, I had one thought process: I was kicking timid to the curb. It is time for me to run with “a little swagger” (words of wisdom from my running coach). My goal was to show up on at the start line with a bit of an ego. I need to know it’s my race to run.

My one and only time goal was to break 1:30. I hadn’t thought of any other goals, and since this was just another training run for me, I wasn’t worried having an A, B or C goal. I had one goal, A goal, break 1:30.

All of this should have been easy. I can choose my mindset. My body is ready for faster miles. What I chose not to control going into this race was life. I had two big speed work outs this week since I’m building for the Flying Pirate Half Marathon. Tuesday was mile repeats (7:58, 7:45, 7:25). Thursday was 800 repeats (3:50, 3:42, 3:32, 3:35). It was during these repeats that I decided it was time to break up with timid. On Friday, my family headed to DC for a long weekend of fun capped off by my race.

We arrived at our hotel around 2pm. We immediately headed to the expo, the Museum of Natural History, and the Mall. We walked and walked and walked. Everyone went to bed with tired legs. I went to bed with a blister on my heel. On Saturday we went to the zoo, lunch in DuPont circle and the Lincoln memorial. We walked and walked and walked. All of my walking included carrying a two year old (who just so happened to embrace the terrible twos this weekend!). By the time we went to bed Saturday night, my legs were exhausted.

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In the middle of one of Chet’s (many) tantrums, my running coach called. He had last minute advice for my blister (it worked!). He told me to show up and give what I had. Life’s too short to not experience a family weekend in DC. Whatever happened during the race, my weekend had been a success.

When my alarm clock went off on race morning, I rolled out of bed with stiff legs. My inner thighs ached. I was still tired after sharing a bed with Chet. It also just so happened to be the worst day of my period (sorry guys!). I followed my prerace morning routine to the minute. Everything was directing this race down the road to disaster, but I wasn’t willing to follow that path. I was breaking up with timid.

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When I arrived at my corral, it was packed. The entrance would have placed me behind the 10 minute mile pacer. I wanted to be with 9 minute mile pacer. I walked along the edge and saw a guy on the outside talking to his wife. I asked if there was an entrance ahead, and after telling me no, he offered to help me over the fence. Over the fence I went. I have honestly never seen so many people in a corral ever. The start was packed. After jumping the fence, I started talking with the man’s wife. She had the exact same goal as me. We said maybe we’d cross paths on the course, and wished each other good luck.

Mile one was crowded. I wasn’t anywhere near my planned pace, but I was stride for stride with my new running friend. We were a good running match and decided to stick together. I sat back thinking the crowds would thin out, and I’d have extra steam at the end.

9:29

Mile two was crowded. I knew I couldn’t get stuck running a 9:30 minute mile, so I started playing leap frog. Find a pocket. Run. Get boxed in. Slow down. Repeat.

9:02

The game of leap frog continued for the rest of the race.

8:59

8:23 (although I am pretty confident this is wrong. I lost satellite connection running under the Kennedy Center)

8:52

5 mile race results: 45:49, 9:09 pace

I was feeling great at this point. The running was effortless. The crowds were frustrating, but the views were amazing. We were running past all the highlights of Washington DC. I didn’t even realize we had run 4 miles until someone around me mentioned it. I thought we had run 2.5. Having a running partner on the course helped the miles fly by too. We weren’t talking. We just kept each other going.

8:27

10k race results: 56:24, 9:04 pace

The last four miles of the race got tough. It’s two miles along the river and two miles back to the Washington Monument. By mile 7, my legs felt like lead. All the factors that were working against me going into this race started to catch up to me. This is where I decided to fight. I could have sat behind the crowds of runners who were all falling back. I could have settled into my comfort zone and finished with a happy result. I had done some quick mental math at the 10k timing mat, and I thought my sub 1:30 (8:59 pace) goal was out of reach. Then I remembered my speed work from this week. I remember the feeling of finishing a race in my comfort zone. I wasn’t willing to finish this race comfortable. As I felt myself slipping back, I kept reminding myself that every second counts. Be a bad ass. Be a bad ass. Be a bad ass. Every second counts. It’s all I kept repeating in my head while looking for a visual to check off segments of the run.

8:46

9:03

At mile 8, I did mental math again. I need 8:45s to reach my goal. I just couldn’t get my legs to go that fast. In the last mile, my running friend pulled ahead. I tried hard to hold on, but I had nothing left to give. With a half a mile to go, the dreaded hill to finish line appeared. I wanted to cry. I dropped my arms for every bit of help I could get. I was exhausted. In my head I told myself to imagine my family on the sidelines. I told myself to imagine my coach was watching. The strangers who yelled “go Kristy” were my dearest friends (thank you strangers! Seriously!). I pushed and held on. I finally spotted the finish line and surrender. I left everything I had on the course.

8:57

8:50

7:19 pace (.15 on garmin)

As I came across the finish line, I saw my garmin. 1:30:02. In my exhaustion I felt tears spilling over. I knew I could run sub 1:30, but had no idea where I could have run different on the course. Maybe if the course had been less crowded, maybe if I hadn’t walked miles all weekend, maybe, maybe, maybe…..

I knew those two seconds would haunt me, but I was so happy with my race. I wanted to cry more and be upset, but I had just raced harder than I had ever raced. The effort I put into this run surpassed all other races. I had every reason to celebrate. I called my husband to find out where he was and he greeted me with a huge congrats. I managed to get out “I tried. I feel like I should be upset, but I’m too exhausted”. That’s when he told me my finish time was under 1:30. I just made it under.

Race clock finish time: 1:29:59, 8:59 pace

Garmin finish time: 1:30:02 for 10.15 miles, 8:53 pace

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Every second really does matter. When I told myself this over and over again between miles 7 and the finish, I had no idea how true it would be. When I fought for my race, I had no idea I was fighting for my goal. I was aiming to make myself proud. I wanted to finish without regret. I let go of time expectations and ran with heart.

Every freaking second matters! Every freaking second! Lesson learned!
;

The Pushers and The Pullers

In the Shamrock half marathon (and even the marathon), the turn on to Fort Story is a huge turning point in the race. The course changes directions. Heading north is done. The course is now southbound straight to the finish line. As I made that turn on to the base, I was overwhelmed with emotion for all my friends on the race course. I said it in my race recap, and it is worth repeating. I knew their stories. I knew what they were trying to achieve that day. All of them had worked their butts off to get to the start. I hadn’t fought the physical battle they had fought to show up feeling strong. My obstacles to overcome were injury and staying mentally engaged. I knew I had to let my mental strength carry me through this race because my body wasn’t ready yet. When I got tired, I pulled from the energy I knew they were using to run their own race.

To thank them, for inspiring me, for pushing me along or pulling me forward, I can gush and rave about them for a few minutes (in order of how they popped into my brain on race day!)

My friends and running partners, Leah and Laura (not always a duo, but on race day, together they were my rock) – I’ve trained with these girls, drank too many beers with these girls, and laughed way too much with these girls. We went our separate ways at the start line, but I promised them I’d do my best to catch them. Laura is a fast starter. Leah is a strong finisher. I knew the reality of seeing them on the course wasn’t likely, but I loved knowing they were in front of me the entire race. Both had races worthy of celebrating. We may have shared a beer or two together after the race too.

Me, Laura, and Leah

Me, Laura, and Leah

My true soul sister, Heidi (LoveEachStep)- we share a brain. Everything she feels I can relate too. Whenever I have a thought, a feeling, a complaint, an ah-ha moment, I know she will understand it. She was on a quest to beat her own PR on race day. I gave her a hug as I made my way to my own corral, and I knew she would be at the finish line just after I arrived. My entire race, I kept hoping she’d sneak up behind me.

heidi

Heidi and Me (and too many beers making fun of Leah’s beer face!)

Kim – We had Identical goals this race. If all went well, we wanted a 1:xx on the race clock. Sometimes I think we have identical hearts too. She lost her father just a few days before the start. I knew what emotions she would travel through during this race, and she showed up ready to run. The fact that she started and finished still amazes me. When I saw her around mile 11, my heart filled and sunk all at the same time. Honestly, I didn’t want to pass her, but I knew she’d kick and scream if I slowed down. I could tell she was tired, but strength oozed out of her. She was in her own magical bubble when I found her. I ran beside her and she told me to go (just like I knew she would). I blew her a kiss, told her I loved her, and ran for her and for me. My feeling of gratitude grew.

Me and Kim

Me and Kim

 Lesleyanne (BeachyRunner) – she was my sanity check this training season. She was my sounding board when I needed to decide between the half or the full. She was my sounding board when my ankle was injured. She kept me sane. I also knew she had really big goals for this race, and I also knew that she was about to race on less than ideal circumstances. As I approached the finish line, I kept hoping I’d find her with a huge smile on her face (sadly, I never found her!) 

Me and LA

Me and LA (old photo but a favorite!)

Jess (The Fit Petite) – Our running resumes share far too many similarities.We both had nearly identical PRs going into this race. We both ran in high school, we both slowed down, and we both are on a quest to speed back up. When I was stuck at home on a bike while everyone ran, I quietly cheered for the success she found in her runs. Week after week, she got stronger and faster. It pulled me through my injury and pulled me through my race on Sunday. I know every runner is different, but I feel like she is paving the way for me. She has trained hard and found huge success on race day.  She is proof that following the plan works! As I crossed the finish line, I hoped she was already enjoying a beer. (I also missed seeing her after the race!)

Jess with our coach Ryan (I don't have one single photo with her. oops!)

Jess with our coach Ryan (I don’t have one single photo with her. oops!)

And then there is my sweet friend Jenny! I’ve known her since elementary school. I didn’t see her on the race course. Our running has overlapped a lot in the past two years. We’d run a few miles together in a race, and then she’d normally leave me behind. I saw her husband (who deserves a pat on the back too! he broke the 1:30 mark on Sunday!) in the beer tent after the race. When I went to say hi, he told me she also broke the two-hour mark! (I get goosebumps just writing it). In the past two years, she has run her first half in 2:28, she’s had a baby, and she just made her come back by running a 1:59. I saw her as I was leaving the race, and it was the highlight of my whole afternoon. The picture says it all!

Jenny and Me

Jenny and Me

I adore these ladies. The running community and the friends I’ve made through life and through running make all of this fun, rewarding, and huge part of my life. Running feels like home. I absolutely love it!

Now, who can I convince to run the Flying Pirate Half Marathon in the Outer Banks on May 4th with me!