2016

2016

1 year…

12 months…

52 weeks…

366 days (it was a leap year)…

8784 hours…

527, 040 minutes…

31,622,400 seconds…

All those numbers, just little moments of time, helped shaped one big number: 2016.

A year I will always remember.  A year that will always hold a special place in my heart filled with joy, fear, new beginnings, bigger aspirations, exciting adventures, friendship, family, and love.

To me, 2016 was many things.  There’s many moments of this year that will always mean a lot to me.  Those moments have added up to one unforgettable year and I’m writing this blogpost, my 20th blog post of the year, to tell you about it.

I started 2016 as an intern for a medical fitness facility 20 minutes from my house.  I needed an internship to fulfill my undergraduate requirements so on January 19th, I became known as “the intern”.

In early January I registered for two races – my first ultramarathon scheduled for May 15th and a half-marathon scheduled for October 16th.  I was drawn to a 50k race distance because I wanted to try a race distance longer than a marathon.  My intentions for signing up for the half-marathon in October were to potentially PR and to set a mid-point race for the Philadelphia Marathon in November which I planned on signing up for as well.  Not even a month in to 2016 and my race schedule was set for the year.

I started a new part-time job at an assisted living community in the activities department.  I really enjoyed creating bonds with the residents and my co-workers were really nice!

With a combination of working at my internship (unpaid) and my part-time job I was extremely busy all the time.  Life became crazy, but I was learning a lot and still tried to make time for things I enjoyed doing.

On February 14th, I went for a 13 mile trail run with four crazy trail runners in 10 degree weather.  I probably wore six shirts on that brisk Sunday morning.  We even crossed a frozen stream where I was wished a happy valentine’s day by the man that would become my boyfriend three months later.

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Altra Lone Peaks

I fell in love with Altra.  My toes adore the wide toebox and the zero drop is perfect for my feet!  The Altra Lonepeaks are my favorite, but on road group runs I always wear my Torins!  I also really like their slogan: “Zero Limits”. [Fast forward to December 28th and I was chosen as an Altra Ambassador for 2017!  YAYY!!]

On February 28th, I ran 19 miles with my dad in the Pine Barrens.  My love for trail running continued to grow.

I visited my best friend from Bloomsburg in the beginning of March in Bethlehem, PA.

I discovered a new park down the street from my internship because I was organizing a 5k for a group of employees from the corporation I was interning with.  Discovering new places is always a lot of fun!

On Easter day, I started to learn how to mountain bike with my brother.  I got off my bike a lot to walk across logs but I enjoyed finding a new way to spend time outside on the trails.  I remember being scared to death about crashing but for some reason I wanted to keep trying so that I could go out and ride whenever I wanted.

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White Clay with Josh

I began training with the man who wished me a happy valentines day on that frigid February morning.  He (Josh) led me around trails I’d never been on as I tried to keep up with him.  We learned a lot about each other on these runs and found a lot of similarities between our personalities.

I worked my first of four expos with Sparkly Soul with Angela on April 1st.  These expos were always an adventure.  During our first expo together (Hot Chocolate 15k), we lugged heavy suitcases up and down staircases because we couldn’t figure out where to go.  We also received a huge box of mini Apple Pie LaraBars that lasted me for the next 4 months.  Then we ran at 9 PM and I fell and scraped my knee on the sidewalk.  Blood was dripping down my leg.

I trained hard for my ultramarathon coming up on May 15th.  High mileage, long runs, and lots of mental preparation!  I even started teaching my dog how to run off-leash.

I ran a one mile race on a track in 6:24.  I was VERY happy with that time, although I was completely out of breath!

I organized and directed my first 5k walk/run in late April.  I concluded my internship and was given positive feedback about my work ethic and knowledge about the fitness world.  I was told I would’ve been offered a job if they had a position available, but unfortunately they didn’t have a position available at the time.

I travelled to Hyner, PA to spectate the Hyner 25k/50k with my trail running friends.  We camped in an airfield with a bunch of other rugged trailrunners in tents, campers, and big RVs.  We went to a church that provided a free spaghetti dinner to the racers.  I climbed Humble Hill at 7 AM alone in order to reach Hyner View before the racers did.  That hill definitely humbled me.  I waited at the top of a very windy Hyner View for over 2 hours waiting for the racers I was cheering on to get to the top.  I talked with some photographers and other spectators at the top and I rung my cowbell when my fellow trail running friends ran by.  I traversed down Huff’s Run to get back to the bottom.  I toted a beer in my CamelBak to the finish line for Josh as he requested.  We waited patiently for the 50k racers to finish.  I kept ringing my cowbell.  We ate free pizza and cookies and I attempted to drink beer at the finish line. I took one sip and called it a day.  I stargazed with Josh, sat around a campfire with about 15 other trail runners, and shivered in the chilly April mountain air.  But somehow, even shivering, I was perfectly content.

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The view from the top of Humble Hill

I became a Sparkly Soul ambassador in late April at the Broad Street 10 miler expo.  At this expo, the 2nd expo of the year for me, I met the owner of Sparkly Soul!  We also had a thief in our midst at this expo.

Josh made me dinner and asked me to be his girlfriend.  Of course I said yes!

I graduated from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science.  I was awarded a plaque for earning the highest GPA in BU’s Exercise Science graduating class of 2016.  I was shocked!  I also officially became an adult because now, as a college graduate, I entered what people call “the job world”.

I started looking for a full-time job because I was only being offered about 8 hours per week at my part-time job.  I was applying to anywhere I thought I might have a chance.  I became frustrated with the limited job opportunities so after much thought I decided to pursue my health coach certification to make a future for myself.  I hoped to start my own health coaching services upon becoming certified.

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1st Ultra

I finished my 1st ultramarathon on May 15 side-by-side with Josh.  It was a perfect temperature for race day.  After running the first 25k loop in under 2:30, we knew a sub-5 would be in our reach as long as we didn’t slow down too much more.  We finished in 4:58 in 34th and 35th place.  I was the 3rd overall female finisher in the 29 and under age group.  I was awarded a German weather vane.  We had completed our first ever ultra together and dominated on the trails.  This was the start of our ultra running futures!

Since my legs needed a rest from ultra training, I started mountain biking more often.  Slowly but surely I was getting more confident.

I was offered a full-time job from another assisted living community as the activities director.  I resigned from my part-time job and started my full-time job in full swing.  For two weeks, I worked both jobs since I had submitted two weeks notice of my official resignation.  Life got crazy and hectic again.

I began liking wine more and more.

I explored more trails at Fair Hills with Josh on a steaming hot summer day.  We even decided to take a break and cool off in a stream.

Other than trail running, star gazing became one of my favorite summer activities.

I celebrated Global Running Day and National Trails Day.

I spectated my brother’s first ever road cycling race.  He didn’t win but he did great for a rookie!

I created a chair exercise routine for my residents at work to music from the 40s, 50s and 60s.  It was a lot of fun to apply my exercise knowledge in this setting.

Wanderlust hit me hard, especially on Mondays.

I did a lot of runs and bike rides at 6 AM since that was the only time I could get out and exercise.  It was a great start to my day!

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Patriotic

I ran the traditional 4th of July 4 mile race in a patriotic singlet from Sneakers and Spokes.  I didn’t run a personal best (I ran a 28:40), but I had a lot of fun!  I had to rush home to shower before my shift at work.  I didn’t enjoy having to go to work on a holiday.

Josh and I explored French Creek State Park.  We got lost but eventually found our way back to his Jeep.

I wrote letters to Angela who was spending her summer in California.  Snail mail is the best!

I began attending more and more Sneakers and Spokes group rides.  I only owned a hybrid bike without clip-ins but I tried my best to keep up with the rest of the group.  I learned proper cycling etiquette and how to ride in a pace line. Time on my bike became good cardio for me without the demands of running on my muscles.

Josh and I took our first official camping trip together at Worlds End State Park. We ran up trails that led to beautiful vistas.  We became intrigued by the Loyalsock Trail.  We camped at a campground in a tent.  We ran every trail in the park, crashed a wedding party, and dipped our feet in a stream.  It poured the entire afternoon after our run but we made the most of it.  We made a pizza over the fire.  On our way home we stopped at the boulder field at Hickory Run State Park.  Josh loved the boulder field!

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Worlds End

In early August, I was offered a job by my internship site.  I was struck with anxiety, fear, and worry because if I chose to accept the job, I would transition from my current full time job to a per diem/part-time job requiring me to work every weekend, both Saturday and Sunday.  After talking it over with my parents, Josh, and Angela I decided to accept the job and leave my full time job.  I craved working in a fitness setting and my full-time job was a dead end job with no upward potential.  My new job would provide many options for promotions so I felt it necessary to accept the new job.  I once again submitted my two weeks notice to my current employer and started working two jobs again until my two weeks was up.  Since accepting the new job from my internship site, I’ve been happier and much more satisfied with the type of work I am doing.  I feel empowered.  I feel grateful.  I went from being “the intern” to returning as an employee within four months.

I learned trusting God is the easiest thing I can do.

I played many rounds of mini golf with my younger “cousin”.

I did my first ever road time trial “race”.  I finished a 10 mile practice time trial as the fastest female rider.  I was still on my hybrid without clip-in shoes.  I felt like I was going to puke, but I was happy!

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Appalachian Trail

I showed Josh part of New Jersey’s section of the Appalachian Trail.  We climbed to the top of Mount Tammany which overlooked the Delaware Water Gap.  We explored a lot of trails that day and I began falling in love with the peace of the trails even more than before!

I bought a new road bike since I was becoming more of a “serious” road cyclist.  I love my navy blue and purple Fuji Finest!

I participated in a paint party.  I discovered I’m not much of a painter.

Sneakers and Spokes celebrated it’s one year anniversary.  Also, Sneaker’s and Spokes won “best sporting goods store” in Salem County!

I became overly intrigued by the concept of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail.

I really liked eating pizza and nachos.

I attended my first ever Oktoberfest with Josh.  I didn’t drink from a stein but I had a lot of fun dancing ridiculously!

At the 3rd expo (Rock ‘N Roll Philadelphia), we were excited to see an Altra booth!  Nothing too overly crazy happened at this expo that I recall.

Josh and I travelled to the Cat Skills Mountains for his Cats Tail Trail Marathon. We camped in the tent for 3 nights and 4 days.  We explored the trail that started in our campground.  We explored the small town of Phoenicia.  It rained a lot.  I was stranded in an elementary school parking lot at 6 AM without cell phone service and then I ran down a highway just to get to our friend’s truck which I then drove up mountains just to cheer the men on with my cowbell.  I waited at the only road-accessible aid station for hours waiting for all our trail friends to come through.  I cheered Josh on and I was a proud girlfriend!  I waited in front of a parish hall for hours waiting for Josh to run down the street. I even witnessed a finisher who had punctured his forehead with a branch run towards the finish with dried blood caked on his face.  Josh finished in 13th overall.  I was so proud!  In celebration, I spent a late night with five grown men who were drinking beer in a mountain cabin.  I was the only female (drinking my Mike’s Hard Lemonade of course).  That weekend was quite the adventure.

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Runner’s World Half

I ran the Runner’s World Half Marathon in Bethlehem, PA in 1:43.  Although it wasn’t a PR, I was content with my time.  It was a hillier course than I expected.  I also got to say hello to Tiffany – our former Altra rep that had moved to Utah!  I felt prepared for my marathon but still knew I needed to put in hard work for the next month before my race.

I started paying my student loans.

I visited Smithville with my mom and my mommom for the first time ever.  I bought special peanut butter.

I visited a winery for the first time as a girl’s night out.  Wine is good!

I carved a pumpkin that simply said “run”.  I’m not that creative.

I handed out candy to eager trick-or-treaters for the first time in my life.  It was so much fun!

I struggled through a 22 mile run which left me feeling physically defeated but mentally humbled.  I knew I had what I needed to complete the marathon, I just needed to ignore the pain for as long as I could in order to race a PR.

I craved trail races and ultra-marathons.

My brother decided to enlist in the Air Force.

I became more and more grateful for my new job despite having to work weekends.  I knew I had made the right decision.

I earned my ACE Health Coach certification in mid-November.  I plan on starting my own health coach services in 2017.

At the 4th expo of the year (Philadelphia Marathon), we moved our booth three times before we were officially settled in and were given about 10 bags of Herrs pretzels!

I ran the Philadelphia Marathon on an extremely windy Sunday morning.  25-30+ MPH winds pushed against me during the last 10 miles of the race but I hung on to all the time I had banked during the first half of the race to finish 1 minute and 17 seconds faster than last year’s finishing time.  I was happy with my time (3:45:08), happy to be done, and happy to look forward to trail races in 2017.

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Last Sparkly Soul Expo
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Phila. Marathon

I celebrated my 3rd year of vegetarianism.

I towed a trailer of canned goods from Sneakers and Spokes to Xfinity Live in Philadelphia with a group of determined road cyclists.  We had collected 234 pounds of donated food for WMMR’s Preston and Steve’s Campout for Hunger for Philabundance.  I was terrified pedaling across the bridge and yelled at a lot of Philadelphia drivers who were threatening my safety.  I completed my longest bike ride to date on that day – 67 miles; half of which I towed canned goods with me!

I took Josh to his first ever Flyers game with my mom and one of my best friends.  I lost my voice within 5 minutes – the Flyers scored 3 goals in less than 90 seconds.

I celebrated an amazing Christmas with my family.  It was also Josh and I’s first Christmas together.  It was perfect.

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My Family

This is my 2016 – a year I will never forget.  2016 was the year I’ve had three different employers.  2016 was the year I ran my first ultra-marathon.  2016 was the year I yearned for trails, adventure, and mountains.  2016 was the year I truly found my best friend.  2016 was the year I pushed my limits and overcame my fears.  2016 was a year I could have never predicted.

There were times in 2016 when I felt weak.  I shed a lot of tears (both happy and sad) this year.  I became anxious and fearful of my unknown future.  I questioned where my life would be leading.  But I also felt strong at times – out on the trails, in the job world, and having day-to-day conversations with my closest family/friends.  It wasn’t an easy year, but in retrospect, it wasn’t a difficult year either.  Yes, I was faced with decisions that left me feeling lost but with the support system I’ve been blessed with, those decisions weren’t lonely. When 2016 ends at 11:59PM, I’ll have no regrets.  2016 was the year I learned to go with life’s flow; after all, fate is real.

Here I am, on the 366th day of the year, publishing my 20th blog post of 2016 about all the adventures, happy moments, and anxious times.  I’ve become a better person than I was on January 1st.  A stronger person.  A (slightly) more confident person.  A loving person.  And most importantly, a person with a purpose and a drive to do more audacious things in 2017.

Happy New Year, everyone!

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Runner’s World Half Marathon – Race Recap

Runner’s World Half Marathon – Race Recap

This past Sunday I raced the Runner’s World Half Marathon in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  This was the culminating race of the Runner’s World Half Marathon Festival after a weekend of various races.

Because I had to work a 12 hour shift on Saturday, this race weekend was slightly different than most race weekends for me.  I wasn’t able to visit the 2-day expo hosted by Runner’s World as I was forced to pick-up my bib on race morning due to other “adult responsibilities”.  I also wasn’t able to run the day before the race which was a huge mental barrier for me.  Because I worked 6:45 AM until 7 PM, I had little to no choice than to skip a pre-race shake-out run.  I didn’t want to wake up at 5 AM and go for a shake-out run because I feared running by myself so early in the morning and I didn’t want to run at 8 PM after work because that would cut in to my sleep the night before the race – after all, we had to leave for the race at 3:30 AM.

I consumed my carbo-loading pasta dinner after getting done my 12 hour shift, packed up some last minute things for race morning, and was in bed by 9:30 PM.  My alarm was set for 3 AM which would leave me with 30 minutes to get my race outfit on and get out the door.

I was grateful to have my mom with me on race day as my dad and Josh were racing an adventure race at Brandywine the same day.  We left the house around 3:35 AM and started out towards Bethlehem with the full moon shining high in the sky.  We passed about 7 total cars within the 30 minute drive to the highway we needed to get on.  The roads were dark and the rest of the world was still fast asleep.

Half way to Bethlehem, I realized I forgot my red Gatorade in the fridge so we stopped at a Wawa off the Turnpike since we knew we would have plenty of time to spare once we arrived to the race location.  I opted for a blue Gatorade and continued on our way.

We arrived at the designated race parking lots around 5:25 AM and nobody was around.  The parking lots were dark and empty, and I actually questioned whether I had the right date for the race.  We asked a security guard where to park and he directed us to a different lot.  Still the only ones parked in a huge parking lot, we gathered our belongings and I double and triple checked that I had everything I needed.

All of the pre-race emails designated these particular lots as the only lots available for parking, so my mom and I had no choice but to walk 1.5 miles to the Arts Quest building for bib pick-up.  Here we were, at 5:30 AM walking down Daly Ave in the dark past the start, Sands Casino, and the outlets both layered with warm clothes.

We finally arrived to the Arts Quest building and I was able to pick up my race bib and race shirt.  I am quite disappointed with the size of the long sleeve shirt I received.  Usually I fit comfortably into a small, but the volunteers at the shirt pick-up warned me the sizes were running small.  So, heeding to their warning,  I opted for a medium.  When I got home and actually put on the medium, the sleeves were about 2 inches too short, and the shirt just didn’t fit right.  Believe me, I don’t do these races for the race shirts or the medals, but if Runner’s World expected me to wear this shirt around to advertise their race, they’re going to be quite disappointed in me.

Regardless, my mom and I hung out in the Arts Quest building until about 7 AM to stay warm before walking 3/4 of  a mile back to the starting line.  I used the bathroom two more times (my nerves were really getting to me!).  We started our walk back to the starting line and by this time, Josh was awake so I was able to update him on safely making it to the race with ample time to spare!  While we were walking my mom and I also got to talk to one of the pacers for the race who was pacing the 8:25 goal-pace runners.  I told him I hoped to be ahead of his pace group the entire time and I hope I didn’t offend him.  He didn’t seem offended and he wished me luck as he continued down a different road to a warmer place to wait out the remaining time until the start.

At 7:25 AM I decided to go on a 15 minute warm-up run to get the blood flowing.  I ran back to the bathrooms at the Art Quest building since no bathrooms were available at the start line but was appalled by the line and couldn’t afford to wait in line.  I located another bathroom which was just as bad of a wait so I decided to do some exploring on my own and located a much less popular bathroom in the outlets at Sands Casino.  Turns out, there were about one hundred runners in this building waiting inside to stay warm until the race started – it wasn’t even that cold out!

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Picture from the starting line

After locating and using the bathroom for the third time that morning, I ran back to the start to meet my mom before the race started.  At this time, I opted to run in my spandex shorts, my Sneakers and Spokes singlet, and arm sleeves.  I had been debating all morning whether to run in my shorts or 3/4 length tights but running in shorts was definitely a good choice!  I striped off my layers one by one as the starting time quickly approached.  I told my mom to head down the street a ways as she would have a better chance of seeing me in the mass of people further down the street.

At this time, I also found Tiffany, our previous Altra tech rep for Sneakers and Spokes, and I was so excited to see her!  She had won the 3.8 mile trail run on Friday, and also raced the 5k and 10k Saturday, and here she was ready to take on the 13.1 mile race as well (click here to read her race recap!).  We were both very excited that we found each other in the mass of people.  We wished each other good luck and by that time it was just about time to start.

I found myself towards the front of the crowd as nobody seemed too ambitious to start towards the front.  After the national anthem, the gun was shot off and the mass of runners started their way down Daly Ave.  The start was on a downhill so it seemed that everyone was moving pretty quickly.  I knew it was going to be a fast mile but I felt comfortable and knew once it flattened out that I could settle in to a pace.  We made a few turns and crossed a bridge, then the uphills started.

My goal for this race was to run a 1/2 marathon PR of sub-1:41 but I didn’t expect the course to be nearly as hilly as it was.  It seemed that every half mile was either an uphill or a downhill.  The uphills got my heart rate up, and the downhills destroyed by quads.  After every downhill, it would take me nearly a quarter of a mile to regain a consistent pace and by that time we were going back uphill.  It was a vicious cycle and I remember thinking numerous times that I just wanted the race to be over and done with already….we were only 3 miles into the race.

The course weaved us through some streets of Bethlehem – the main street in Bethlehem which was lined with about 100 or so spectators, and back neighborhood streets of Bethlehem that got me questioning where I was.  I had no idea where I was the entire race and the neighborhoods we ran through were quaint and quiet.  The course wasn’t lined with spectators like big city races and I was actually somewhat disappointed that not more spectators were out and about – I was under the assumption that this was a big event for Bethlehem.  I guess I was wrong.

Mile 6 brought a huge uphill that seemed to go on forever.  I knew at the 10k mark that a text would be sent to my family and friends tracking me so that motivated me to get to that point but I still felt tired and ready for the race to be done.  I knew how much the uphills were slowing down my pace so I tried to make up as much time on the downhills as my legs would permit.  Other racers kept passing me – I actually don’t think there was a single person that I personally passed from mile 2-11.  Everyone seemed to be passing me.  I kept thinking that I must really be slowing down and I had a feeling that 8:25 pacer we met earlier was going to also pass me (he never did).

At the 10 mile mark the clock read 1:18.  After some quick calculations, I realized a PR was out of reach but I could try my best to run under 1:45.  That became my new goal.  We crossed the bridge again to get back to the finishing area and a fellow racer was alternating between running and walking.  I figured he probably just was cramped up or maybe pulled a muscle.  When I eventually did pass him I asked him if he was ok and he said he was fine.  I kept running hoping he was indeed fine.

We passed the finishing area and looped back around for an additional 1/2 mile until the finish.  At this time, I saw a fellow South Jersey runner that I know by association (check out her race recap here).  She told me I was doing a great job but at this point I felt absolutely horrible and I was sure I was running very very slow.  In the last 1/2 mile I got a painful stitch right below my rib cage that pulled with every step.  It hurt but I had no choice but to keep moving forward.

The finishing stretch included a local high school band playing pep songs, and spectators lining the last 200m of the race.  I tried my best to look strong and to finish strong but my legs weren’t moving very fast.  People kept passing me.  I just wanted to be done.  I crossed the finish line next to a man carrying an American flag.  My finishing time was 1:43.

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after the race – check out my Altra Torins!

I was handed a medal and a heat blanket.  It didn’t feel nearly as warm as the one after the Philadelphia Marathon but I was grateful for it.  I walked over to grab from an array of snacks.  I picked up some veggie straws, granola bars, and a chocolate bar (mmm chocolate!).  I met my mom at our designated meeting spot and she congratulated me.  We walked over to a sculpture and she took a few pictures of me.  I tried my best to look happy even though I felt physically drained.

My feet felt great in my Altra Torins.  I didn’t get any blisters and I was happy to have raced in my Torins as the race was sponsored by Altra – this was actually one of the main reasons I signed up to run this race!

My mom informed me that there was a platform that ran along the steel stacks if I wanted to go up there and check it.  This required me to climb 3 flights of stairs but I made it to the top.  I got an awesome view of the finishing area and the rest of the runners finishing.

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view of the festival from the steel stacks

After that, we made our way back to the car which was yet another 1.5 miles away.  This was a much slower walk than earlier in the morning.  Luckily when we arrived back to the parking area there were actually cars parked in the lots from other races.  That made us feel better about our choice to park so far away – after all, we were only following the instructions listed specifically in the race emails.

I changed into warmer clothes and we started our drive back home.  My legs ached and I was exhausted.  Although I didn’t run a 1/2 marathon PR like I intended too, I was happy with the fact that I got in a solid training run for my marathon.  The marathon is my bigger goal and this 1/2 was just conveniently at the mid-point of my training.  My splits weren’t as consistent as I would have liked them to be, but due to the rolling hills throughout the course I have accepted them for what they are.  Now I know that the next 2 weeks of marathon training before tapering need to be solid training weeks.  My body needs to be ready for 26.2 miles.

Race Review:

Organization – I would give this race an “A” for organization.  Offering race day bib pick-up was convenient and the race was very well organized.  There are two things keeping me from giving this race an A+ – the inconvenience of parking and not having bathrooms available at the start line.

Swag – I would give this race a “B-” for swag.  Knowing how big of a company Runner’s World is, I expected quality swag.  I am very disappointed in the situation with the race shirts.  However, I do like the medals that were handed out for the race – it also functions as a bottle opener!

Course – I would give this race a “B” for the course.  I wasn’t overly impressed with where the course brought the runners, as there were very many desolate and quiet sections of the course  (“how the heck did we get here?!”).  If you’re looking for a more challenging half marathon this is the race for you! Do not expect a PR, but do expect a nice challenge for both your quads and your calf muscles!

Spectator-friendly – I would give this race a “B-” in regards to how spectator friendly it was. My mom was only able to see me at the start and the finish. There weren’t very many spectators throughout the course, however most of the spectators congregated around the start/finish area.  If you’re looking for a race that will keep your adrenaline flowing for the entire course, you may want to look for a different race.

Would I do this race again?

Simply, the answer is no.  This was a one and done race for me.  I wasn’t impressed with the course and I’d rather find a 1/2 marathon closer than a 2-hour drive.   It was fun while it lasted, and I’m happy with such a great training run leading up my marathon but I wouldn’t go back to this race time and time again.

I am 100% looking forward to my goal race – the Philadelphia Marathon!  Time to put in some solid work this next 2 weeks before I start tapering!!