Race day had finally arrived! We woke up beyond early and had way too many logistics going on before it was even light out. We arrived at the start line in our PINK attire with about 2,000 other racers! Of course we also wore our #fellowflowers! #courage #noexcuses #hope
It was a bit chilly but perfect weather for a long run! The race started going slightly uphill on gravel and was crowded! Before we even got a mile in there was a peppy little runner shouted "On your left!" from behind us. "Seriously, EVERYONE is trying to pass. We are ALL on the left." was my irritated response as we ALL wanted to start the race strong. After the first mile or so there was room to run and we were able to pick up our pace! The course was advertised as "flatter and faster" than last year. Apparently we misunderstood flat and fast because there were HILLS, LOTS of hills. Despite the hills the miles were peeling off… until mile 5. "My knee is hurting. It's really hurting." - Me "Suck it up, buttercup." - K and that's exactly what I did for the next 4 miles. Somewhere around mile 9 my knee/hip gave out and I was in excruciating pain and then came the tears! I don't actually know how I made it through 9, 10 and 11 but I ran up the hills and walked down them. Opposite of what most runners would do. There were quite a few times when I literally couldn't run because I felt like my knee was going to snap off or my hip was going to pop right out of place! Cheerful runners passed and offered words of encouragement which only made me want to punch them in the face :)! "You got this. It's only a few more miles. Finish strong!" "You're almost there. Just keep running." "Mind over matter. You can do this." I just wanted to yell, "It's NOT the distance that is BOTHERING me. This is a training run for me! I am in pain so just shut up and finish YOUR race :)!" I don't know if I was more angry that I was ruining my goal time or that I had actually hurt myself. I tried saying every mantra I know which helped me to keep going but the pain just kept intensifying. And then the tears… this was supposed to be my BIG race of the year, what I had been working towards ALL year and now I was struggling to walk let alone run. Thankfully at mile 11 I felt an arm wrap around me and saw a sweet familiar face, Kerri! She got me through the last 2 miles and we crossed the finish line together- smiling, well maybe I was a little teary! In my head I know that the time is not important but in my heart I was wildly disappointed because I started so strong. I guess I have a new goal to crush :)!
We enjoyed the hotel jacuzzi and relaxed for awhile in the room.
We celebrated all 13.1 miles and the journey that we've taken thus far out at PF Changs!
Then we had a Princess Party back in our room! It was an awesome weekend shared with some amazingly strong and fierce women who I am so lucky to call friends!