First of all, last year's race was pretty much under the most perfect conditions I could ask for. I was in the end of serious half marathon training, injury-free, with an 8-mile long run under my belt, and the weather had been in the 70s to boot!
I knew going into the race this year that I wouldn't be as strong. It was my first race since July and I had just taken two full weeks off from running because of that mysteriously painful foot lump I had going on. I adjusted my goals accordingly.
|Strong coffee is a must pre-race.
My other two goals were to 1) genuinely and truly enjoy the entire race, and 2) finish injury-free.
The morning started out bright and early...because the moon has been monstrously huge the past few nights.
|How is it this bright at 5am?!
|The moon stayed up even as the starting line began to fill in.
|Pre-race: Meg, Daniella, Lisa, Sarah, me, and Tracey!
As usual, the race was extremely well-organized. There were tons of cameras out (which is why I was excited to see them...alas, they're not up yet) and I made sure to smile at and thank each photographer and all the volunteers. I ran the entire race and was totally pain-free (goal met!).
|Awkwardly trying to wave while running.
The best part of this race is the scenery. The entire route cuts through gorgeous tree-lined roads and lush green fields. It was easy to remind myself to just enjoy it.
|Finally, the finish line!
|Post-race, basking in our various accomplishments!
I crossed that finish line exuberant and proud. I hit 65 minutes on the head and was ecstatic. I had not the slightest muscle-ache afterward. (The worst was that I was dehydrated the rest of the day because I hadn't been prepared for the heat...rookie mistake.)
|A more honest picture of us post-race.
|Sarah receiving her award.