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Half marathon madness!

2018 has started off with quite the whirlwind of races for me!  Within the last two weeks I completed two half marathons.  The Gasparilla Distance Classic Half was first and then yesterday, the RocknRoll DC Half.  The first was a challenge, as I knew it would be, because of the heat and humidity.  Humidity is always a struggle for me and I do not train for longer races in summer becuase of it.  Having trained for this half in cooler temps of Northern VA did not prepare me for the toll it would take on me.  However, I was prepared mentally and that was so helpful. I started out with the 2:20 pace group and lasted about 6 miles with them.  When the sun came out and it became a struggle for me to keep up with them, I slowed my pace and decided to just "embrace the suck" and have fun with it. I cranked up my iPod and made my way down Bayshore taking in the beauty of the place I used to live when I was single and teaching elementary music. (Each water stop I dumped cups of water over my head and used the water in my Nathan Hydration pack to drink.)  I passed the places where I used to roller blade and the street where my tiny apartment was where I experienced my first "date" with my husband (he greated me with a tie on a single rose when he picked me up for our first dinner date!)  I remembered my first ever 5K race (I think I was 23) and marvelled at how the old me would never believe I was now running my 8th half marathon.  I took selfies with my mom and  college friend who had come to cheer me on with signs and cowbells!

I even wore SHORTS - which is huge for me, as I NEVER have worn shorts for a longer race before. I bought these Saucony shorts at the expo the day before, and I was so glad I did. I wish they were as cheap as the ones I linked - however, they were worth every penny. Very lightweight and allow for free movement of my muscular legs.  Highly recommend for warm-weather running! Overall it was a great race and I didn't care that it was my absolute slowest time (2:26) ever because of the challenging humid conditions.

After barely recovering from this half, I completed my 9th Half yesterday. The DC RockNRoll half. This was my 2nd time doing this one, as a did it 2 years ago.  Weather was and sunny.  However, this course is not flat!  I forgotten about the hills in this race (funny how one does that - like childbirth, you forget the pain).  It is pretty to run through Rockcreek Parkway but the hill coming up out of it is brutal!  I ran the first 6 miles with a friend and that was so great.  (My friend is training for a 50K so she actually ran 7 miles in ahead of time. Amazing!) 
The remainder of the race I ran solo but I felt strong and took in the cheers and music around me, as I didn't wear my iPod this time.  I finished with a time of 2:18:33 and was pleased with that!  My PR to date is 2:15, so considering the challenging hills of this course and the fact that I had just completed a half less than 2 weeks prior, I was not dissapointed in my performance.

Next up will my 10th half, the Trap Pond Half marathon  in Delaware.  This one is a flat trail race and hopefully I will be joined by my husband (this will be his first half!).  I am going in support of my 2 friends who will be completing the 50K in "celebration" of their 50th birthdays.  This will be my 3rd Half within 90 days, which apparently qualifies me to be a Half Fanatic.  Crazy! 

I am just so greatful that I am able to "RUN HAPPY" 
and continue to gain strength and confidence in myself!


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