Has it really been two weeks since I posted last? My goodness, time really does fly. I’ve been SO busy with work and school — but busy in a good way.
My classes are intellectually stimulating and I am getting so much out of them that I can apply to my job. And my group-mates for each class? Well, they’re flippin’ *amazing* – I can’t even express in words how blessed I feel to be connected to such incredible individuals.
Seriously, having a solid group is huge. Your group-mates will either make or break your experience… and this semester my group for each class is spot-on. They are all equally invested and contribute whole-heartedly to each assignment we have. Last Fall semester? Ohmyword. Horrible. I don’t even want to talk about it. Let’s just leave it at that.
But yes, classes are awesome. Job is awesome (just had my review!). Boyfriend is happy and well (and has gained some major boyfriend points this past week for surprising me with flowers for no reason at all one night when I got home from work).
Happy is still her adorable little self and lovin’ life (and is spunky as ever!).
Marathon training is going well and right on track. (In fact, today I’m knockin’ out 20 miles!).
Dare I say…. life is good. Stressful (ohhhh boy can some nights be stressful with those damn deadlines). But overall? Yes… yes, life is good.
It’s no secret that I am as busy as ever, though. I’ve picked up some extra hours at work since our office moved upstairs. School is in full force. Sleep has been sacrificed. And as a result, the ‘ole bloggy-blog has kindasorta (okay, definitely) taken a backseat. Home-girl needs her downtime. So when I’m not reading text-books or journal articles, or writing papers for class… I’m chillin. Straight up chillin’. Resting my eyes and mind. Which translates to less blogpost writing. Ah, well, what can ya do?
Anyway, I’m sure some of you are wondering how my half-marathon went the other weekend. In a word — it was *awesome!*
Now, for the details…
As I mentioned in my last post, I didn’t have anyone supporting me at this race. Well, that’s what I thought. Turns out… joke was on me.
Let me explain.
The second I hopped out of my car, I heard someone call my name .
“Hey!! Are you Allison?!”
I looked over at a girl two cars over from me, and thought she looked super familiar. I couldn’t place her, though, and was wracking my brain trying to figure out how I might know her.
The YMCA? Maybe? No… that wasn’t it.
I just knew that I knew her. Somehow…
Then it hit me – duh—blogland!
She introduced herself as Katie. As in – Katie from Keeping Up With Katie! I then of course immediately knew exactly who she was so excited that I ran into her! (Let me tell ya, us bloggers are an interesting breed!). She was one of the first bloggers I connected with when I first started blogging, and I’ve been following her blog for quite some time now. (BTW, if you want to see an amazing engagement story – check out hers, here! That Nick is one heck of a guy ).
Anywho, Katie was at the race to cheer on her fiancé, Nick, in the 10K race. This race was no biggie for him, though. He was just getting in some mileage in preparation for his half-ironman the next weekend (aka, he’s a BAMF).
Of course, Katie made him take a picture of us in the parking lot as we gabbed away about races, public health (she’s getting her MPH at UNC-Charlotte!) and how crazy-small the blogworld is.
We walked to the packet-pick up area and Nick and I got our race bibs and D-tag (my first time ever using a D-tag, btw… I LOVE that thing and still have it attached to my shoe!).
After attaching my race bib and D-tag, I decided to get in some warm-up miles before the race started. I didn’t get too far, though. I actually ran into another one of my blogging friends – Tanya from Vegan Faith! I met Tanya at the HLS (oh my, I still need to recap HLS…) in Philadelphia and hung out with her a lot there, and let me tell you, this girl is incredible! Tanya was there to support her husband who was also running the half. I was so, so, so excited to see her there and spent the minutes before the start of the race catching up with her.
She said that she’d keep a look out for me on the course, and told me she’d try to stick around to watch me finish, too. I warned her that it might be a while, since I’m a major slow-poke of a runner, but she said not to worry!
Before I knew it, the group of people at the start line began to move and we were on our way!
It was a very small race (read: 400 people max) and I don’t believe they had an official sounding “start.” If they did, I totally missed it.
The course was just as I remembered – it followed neighborhood streets and climbed up and down many rolling hills.
The weather, in my eyes, was perfect. Even though it was a bit rainy and only 52 degrees, it was very refreshing. Compared to Charlotte’s brutal summer heat, I welcomed this drastic change in temperature with open arms.
True to her word, Tanya found me on the course! I recognized her with her rain boots, and was so tickled to see her cross the street to get closer to me and snap a picture
One of the things I liked about this course so much was how low-key it was. Sure, there were big groups of college kids working the water-stops (and I’m not gonna lie, I loved the fratastic guys who were flailing around on the ground making complete fools out of themselves, all the while blasting rap music from their trucks), but the majority of the run just felt like your every-day run through the neighborhood. I didn’t feel any pressure whatsoever to go fast or “keep up” with the crowd. I settled in nicely to pace that was right for me and felt like I ran the entire course very strong. And staying true to my running mantra, I of course made sure to listen to my body and stop and stretch whenever I felt the need.
When I crossed the finish line, I was completely all smiles. I kept thinking back to three years ago – when my aunt was still alive and I had yet to tell her about my race experience.
This time was different.
It’s been three years since she passed away. But the thing about this time? I know my aunt was with me. I know that she was looking down at me as I crossed the finish line once again. (And you know what’s crazy? I finished with the exact same time as I did when I ran this course 3 years ago—2:24. And I ran without ever glancing at my Garmin).
Another neat thing? The fact that Tanya was there waiting for me at the finish line!
Talk about a surprise! It meant the world to me that she parked herself at the finish to support me as I came through. I definitely had a few tears in my eyes!
After the race, I hopped back in my car and called Ryan to tell him to get ready for some fun! As I mentioned in my last post, I built my 18-mile long-run around the half-marathon, so I still had four miles left to run (I was able to get in 1 mile before the start of the race). Ryan agreed to keep my company along the way .
Ryan has spent a few months visiting a sports doctor, and now that he’s done with treatment (for now) he wanted to test out his legs and run a little bit to see how his knees and achilles would hold up. He ran one mile with me and felt pretty good! We ended up popping back at home so he could switch over to his bike, and we finished out the last 3 miles together bebopping around the park.
I absolutely LOVE having him tag alongside me on the bike when I run.
So, when it was all said and done, I had a most excellent 18miler, and completed my 6th half marathon
And of course… I gotta show off the bling
I’m just about a month out from the Savannah RNR marathon, and ohhhh my word, I am getting SO excited! I can’t believe the high mileage of my training will be ending soon (I only have one more 20miler left after today’s 20miler, and then taper begins with some 13 milers in about two weeks. I’m kind of sad to see the end of training – I really enjoy the process!
Oh well, at least the holidays are almost here! And with that comes amazing food and time spent with family. In fact, my parents are coming to visit next weekend as they drive down from Ohio to Florida for the winter. I cannot *wait* to spend some quality time with my mom.
So yes, like I said, life is good.
Do you find certain times in your life super busy and hectic? What makes you feel burned out? What types of things rejuvenate you?