I can safely say that my summer vacation has officially started, finally!! I worked my last full week of work last week, training the replacement for three days of it. Now all I have left to do is go in every once in a while to help finish training her, because honestly there is only so much you can cover in 3 days. And as much as I'd like to be completely done, I will keep going in as needed. I figure its better to help her on this end than to have to be called in again when she up and quits because I didn't train her all the way in the first place. She's a nice gal and seems really sharp too, so I have confidence she'll do well. I also made the offer to my mom that if she wanted I'd go in monthly to do bank recs, and of course, she thought that would be a fabulous idea. It won't be too different at that point than what I do for Erik, and will consist of just a couple hours monthly which should be easy to fit in especially after the girls start school. And I could use that money, what little I'll make in a couple hours, to pay for my race fees!
Erik couldn't believe it when I told him the half-marathon registration was $70 (of course, I didn't get it in early enough to be cheaper!). He seemed confused that anyone would pay to subject themselves to such....as he sees it, torture!
So yes, I did the half-marathon again this year and I still actually have the sore muscles to prove it! It was such a great race this year. Here is a picture of me and my three running buddies before the race, at about 5:30 am. See now fresh and clean we look? We took a picture at the end too, which I don't have yet, but suffice it to say we don't look nearly as clean or fresh! Anyway, I felt so much more prepared going into the half this year--we actually made it up to 10 miles in our long run and that definitely helped, but I think mostly its because I kept running throughout the last year, so its like I had twice as much training this year than last and boy could I tell! We started out the race together, but within the first mile, Coleen & Amber pulled ahead of Sonja and I. Although part of me felt anxiety about letting them go faster (I do have a bit of a competitive streak in me) I felt better about staying with Sonja and taking it easy, we were keeping a good pace of a little over 10 min miles at the time. So I let them go and Sonja and I just kept plugging away, stopping for water or powerade when needed and just keeping our steady pace. I didn't hit the 10 mile wall this year, although I was looking forward to the powerbar gel at the 10 mile water station--after taking it and some water I felt good to go. Even with the majority of the race behind me, I still felt pretty strong. Soon after that Sonja had to walk and urged me to keep on running, and so I did. It wasn't nearly as fun to run alone, but I figured I could do it for 3 miles and so I did. But I also bumped up my pace a bit and started to pass people here and there. At the 11 mile point I checked my watch and new I wouldn't make my time goal unless I sped up and even then I thought it would be close. So I pushed my legs a bit harder and I even ran past the last two water stops, not wanting to lose even a second. Once I new I had less than a mile left I gave that thing all I had left, I felt so strong and capable that I still had something in me to give and that I didn't even feel close to giving up, not like last year at all. I got to the bridge and saw all the cheering spectators and knew I could give it just a bit more, so I did until I crossed the finish line. I probably wasn't smiling in my finish picture, but I was very happy with my finish.
A bit later I was able to check my finish time. 2:21:45. Its slower than last year by about 4 minutes and slower than my goal by about 6 minutes, but that doesn't bother me. I am just so excited with how strong I felt the whole race, it was a great experience and I know I can work harder this next year and push it harder during the race and I know I can meet my goal next year.
As for my running buddies, Sonja only walked for a few minutes and then ran again, so she finished a couple minutes after me and felt good. Amber and Coleen finished several minutes faster than me and had a great time--I was proud of both of them: it was Ambers's first half and Coleen was coming back after an injury. So, it was a great race. Today is the 3rd day after it so I'm finally going to try to workout--that last 2 days my quads and calves have been SOOOO sore that I could barely walk or go up/down stairs...which makes me think I need to do some more strength training for my legs so they are a bit stronger! lol
Now that I've got some more time, I'm hopeful that I'll be able to get back to blogging a bit more often!