Needless to say I am lightyears behind in my blogging, but it is not for lack of good times or great races…quite the opposite…the business of life has gotten a little large in comparison to my careful retelling of the stories of Fall….  So over this Thanksgiving Holiday, it is my goal to recharge and catch up in my sharing and spewing about the pursuits of my semi-athletic life.

Since my last post I have run my first half-marathon, made my first trip to Chicago, completed my first Tough Mudder and Ragnar Relay Race and became a certified Hip Hop Hustle Instructor…all vastly different experiences, all challenging and all fun!

My first half-marathon became a lesson in friendship and the ability to yield control to runners with more experience. A few weeks before the race I finally started running with friends (solo runs were my method of choice in the past), but as the distances got longer and the physical challenge increased, running with friends/better runners just made sense.  I completed a full 12mile long run the week before the race which is technically over milage for half-marathon training, but due to my work travel schedule I had fallen behind so my confidence was shaky about completing the race.  However, after this long run and with the encouragement of selfless friends who committed to run with me…I felt like I was ready.

Race Day Swag

I didn’t sleep much the night before the race and arrived at the check in excited and over-hydrated with my mother in tow. My mom is gracious enough to come and support my athletic endeavors even if she doesn’t always understand why I would subject myself to such torture…  Even though I have been running for years, this is the first time I have worked into long distance of any measure, so my amazing friends Mandy & Debbie (seasoned distance runners) gave up their race time and committed to run with me and pace me throughout my first half. All of you real runners out there know this is a sacrifice regardless of race distance because running brings out our natural desire to compete and prove our athleticism…these girls set that aside for me and it completely changed my race day. We started out nice and slow at around a 13min/mile pace and finished at around a 9.30min/mile pace…which meant that I was able to beat my goal time of 2:30 by about 5 minutes…

A sprint to the finish…sort of
the triumphant finish…ie…looking for cupcakes!

I seriously questioned that finish line sprint when my hamstrings locked down like a vice, but in the end it was worth every step…what an awesome day.

Post Race Posing…Medals are FUN!!!

You see, I still think medals are wildly exciting…unlike my friends…I don’t have very many and they aren’t awarded at triathlons…feels like you’ve actually accomplished something when you get a medal…a little tangible validation for all your hard work and effort… Life doesn’t always give you a medal when you work hard…but when it does…it’s super awesome!

I WIN! I WIN! I WIN!

And thus began my descent into legit runner-hood with the evolution if my exceptionally ugly runner feet…Dancers and Distance Runners have the ugliest feet and the toughest bodies…it’s a trade off I presume and as the season continues so does the ugliness of my poor feet.

My dogs are barking…the ride home.

So the story of my long awaited first half-marathon goes down in history…I’ll never forget the race, the women that ran with me or the ones that cheered me on…it’s been a great season with lots of new challenges…and now a winter breather to cross train and prepare for a big 2013…

Coming up next…a trip to the Chicago Marathon…the culinary and shopping filled adventure in support of my super runner friend!!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends and loved ones…

Secret of Life
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