After the race we went to Tim Horton's for breakfast. I had never been there because in Pittsburgh we don't have them. It was one of the greatest coffee shops ever. I tried the dark roast coffee (which was wonderful) and some breakfast and drove around Jamestown, Chautauqua to see where Katrina's family worked and where she lived during college. Later, when we got back to Katrina's parents we laid down for a few minutes which turned into a 3 hour nap. (Whoops! I guess I was sleepy from watching them run?) I'm not going to lie... I missed my animals but it was nice laying down to nap without having to chase a dog around the house.
My mom sent this because I missed my babies so much on Saturday night. Note: I will not be leaving them again.
After waking up, Katrina and her mom took us to the Chautuaqua Insititution to see the lake and take pictures. The Chautauqua Institution is an adult education center and resort that is only open to the public after summer.
It was so beautiful.
We took down photos by the lake.
Then we went to see the fountain where St.Elmo's Fire was filmed.
We walked around and took more photos because it was so beautiful.
Then we went back to Katrina's parents where they made us dinner.
Carbo loading for race day. It was delicious. I tried my best to calm Katrina's nerves since this was her first half marathon and she has been sick for the past two weeks. ((And by sick, I mean, sinus infection turning into bronchitis turning into bruised ribs from coughing.))
We ate, hung out with her family and friends, are some more and then got ready for bed for race day.
Sunday is here!
It's race day!!!
I woke up at 6:50am and the first thing I did was a breathing treatment. Once that was done I got dressed and ate breakfast. By this time I could tell Katrina was really nervous so I tried to get everything ready the best I could and take lots of pictures to take her mind off of it.
On our way! It was a cold 35 degrees and I was wishing I had brought pants. Katrina kept telling me that once we start running it will get warmer so I listened because I made her listen to me all training season.
It was such a beautiful sunrise. I was feeling really good about this race.
Then we hit fog and I was a little nervous about running in that.
About 10 minutes later we arrived at the ice arena where everyone was preparing.
I can honestly admit that at this time I was not nervous. This was the first time ever before a race that I felt confident in myself and my running partner. I think my nerves were okay because I knew that I had her with me. Someone with me the entire 13.1 miles to keep me from being alone and lost. ((Because, let's face it...I suck at direction and my biggest fear during a race is getting lost on the course)) We got a few pictures taken and headed outside for the national anthem.
Then out of nowhere I heard Osielle runner, Natalie call my name. I was so happy to meet her! I was looking for her but I'm the worst at trying to find a runner that says wem meet up together.
Then it all began...
They walk us to start line where "Lucy" blows the horn to start. ((My least favorite part of the race was that they rate you on gun time and not chip time. But I had my Garmin, so it's all good.)) We started.
About .10 of a mile I looked at Katrina and said,"Welp, there's no turning back now. Next stop..finish line." And we ran. We ran the entire hill as I coached Katrina through it because I only made her run the hills through our town. We ran through parts of her area that she had never been to before. It started to warm up and we had a good pace going. We walked through the second water stop at about 3.50miles. And kept trucking.At about mile 4.50-5, we saw the winner coming back through and he was at about mile 10-11. We talked a little and made sure each other was feeling okay. I think adrenaline got her through the first 5 miles because she kept saying she felt good and I was just rolling with it. ((I had a lot of calf cramping but since she was doing okay I wasn't stopping.))
At about 6.5, our second water stop I had an asthma, panick, chocking attack for a second. I could hear myself wheezing and all of a sudden I couldn't stop coughing. (The great thing about running with someone that knows you is that they usually know when you're having an asthma attack and my not be able to help you but can tell you to take yor inhaler) so I listened and walked for a second. After I regained composure we started running again. A few minutes later we saw Katrina's parents and sister. (Our other photographers for the weekend)
We look pretty good for what just happened. ((This is my favorite race picture of us.)) We kept going and saw them again when we looped around.
We're doing okay. We made it to mile 10ish were Adam and Danielle were. Danielle was and is our photographer. She takes our action shots and posts them to Facebook so our families know we're alive on the course.
At this time I thought we were going in for a PR and we were doing really well. They cheered us on and told us to keep going because we were so close. Just about 3 miles left then we could go back to Tim Horton's. At about mile 11 I was losing it. The bottoms of my feet were killing me because my shoes were too tight and I was ready to be done. I started to give up when I realized that I wasn't going to make it to my PR but Katrina kept me going.
We rounded the last hill and saw the finish line. At exactly mile 13 we saw our family and friends waiting for us and we pushed.
We kept getting a little closer to the finish line and then we crossed it!
Being that it was gun time and not chip time, our "official time" was just over 2 hours 31 minutes and a few seconds... But I stopped my watch at 13.1 miles and got 2 hours and 29 minutes so we're going to go with that.
And then we took celebatory photos with "Lucy", our medals and each other.
The course was beautiful and the race was pretty perfect. If you ever have the chance to visit and run this race..do it!
I couldn't have had a better running partner. I am so proud of the work that Katrina has put to finish her first half marathon. I'll never forget when I first met her and she thought I was crazy because I love these races. This race wasn't about me. It was about her. I hope I was a good running partner for her (and not too bossy) and I hope she plans on running more in the future (hopefully with me) even though her and Danielle say they have retired.
This weekend was so great because I got to meet so many new, wonderful people and watch my friends and husband cross the finish line.
Thank you, LucyTown for having me. It was a great weekend and I hope to be back next year.
And thank you to Katrina's wonderful parents and sister for putting up with us all weekend, cooking us dinner and welcoming us into their home for the weekend. It was a wonderful trip.