Sunday, April 17, 2011

An Epic Day

Yesterday was quite an eventful and epic day.

My morning started at 4:15 AM as I woke up to get ready for the Blue Ridge Half Marathon. I was more nervous than usual about it, not only because of the difficulty of the race, but the uncertainties involving the weather. Perhaps I should say that one thing was actually certain. It was going to rain. A lot. What I didn't know was how it could impact the race. If severe storms rolled through, they could call the race off and I might not get to finish. I didn't know quite what to wear because I wasn't sure whether I'd be cold or hot. I wasn't sure how my feet would do being wet the whole time. And what if I panicked again about getting through the porta potty line before the race started?!? So with all of this going through my head, it's no surprise that I think I only got about 4 hours of sleep the night before. Even though I knew I was physically ready for the race, I was still nervous.

"lucky" bib number!

So, fast forward a few hours to 7:30 and, after going through the porta potty line THREE times, we were standing in the rain ready to go. The beginning of the race is probably one of the most exciting times because it is a united atmosphere of nervous energy. Everyone stayed pretty close for the first mile until we hit Mill Mountain, then we all started to space out more and more for the rest of the race. I am definitely glad to have been running with someone, because there were some points along the course where it could have gotten really lonely, especially with the rain. We tackled the mountain fairly well and we were relieved once we knew we had gotten that over with. The rest of the course did contain some minor hills, but nothing compared to Mill Mountain.

One of the things that made this race so bearable in the pouring rain was all of the wonderful spectators (to include my amazing family) and volunteers who stood out in the rain supporting us. I tried to say thank you as we passed each volunteer and spectator cheering us on without even knowing us, but I will say it again: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!

Running in the rain!

We took some walking breaks throughout our run as we had planned, and we finished with an amazing time. Our goal was to finish the race in around 2:20, but our chip time was a little under 2:15! We were definitely very excited about our performance because it was obvious to us that all of our training had paid off!

Coming across the finish line

Me with my training partner, Grace

Me with my brother, Walter (who also ran the race and finished in 1:48!)

Awesome finisher medal!

Normally I would have loved to stick around and cheer on other people finishing and eat my fill of delicious bagels, but it was really wet and I was starting to get cold. So we went home where I finally got warm and dry. I stretched for a little while and refueled, then enjoyed a nice nap in the afternoon. We all met for dinner at Ruby Tuesdays, then we headed downtown for the Roanoke Twilight Criterium.

We have never been to a bike race before, so it was really neat to watch, especially downtown in the dark! We watched the professional race, so they were going FAST! So fast that it was hard to get a picture of them!

I also shot a video of the riders as they were going by (if you get our blog through e-mail, you'll have to visit the website to watch it):

Going to the bike race was an exciting way to end a great day, but I'm definitely exhausted today! Right now we're both looking forward to being on our way to the beach in less than a week. Hopefully it will be a good change for us to just relax and have fun.

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