Monday, October 21, 2013

Runner's World Hat Trick, Half Marathon

I would love to start with a plea to all well meaning volunteers: PLEASE never tell a runner, especially in those last few miles, that "it is all down hill from here". It's just mean. Especially when you turn the next corner to see yet another hill. And then another. And then another. AND then another. For real.

Our morning started off, once again, with a 5:00 wake up alarm. We were out of the house by 5:20 and on the road back to Bethlehem. We cruised right in, with very little traffic, and scored another free parking spot. Same area, but this time on the street next to the Skate Park, which was the meet up spot for the Half Fanatic pic. It.was.freezing.
I went over to the porta potties, which had NO lines, did my thing and headed back to the car to finish getting ready. I taped my knee, put on my throw away gloves (thanks, again Deer Park Water for providing them at the expo!) , and then waited for the meet up to start. My friend Lisa organized it, but she ran late, and missed the meet. This has happened to me before, when I got stuck in traffic at Long Branch Half and started the race 16 minutes late! I feel her pain!
Some other Half Fanatics started showing up, and decided to hit the potties before the race, so we waited a bit. Some of the gals wanted to get to the corrals, so not everyone made it back for the picture.
I am wearing my shirt, but it is hiding underneath my Swirlgear jacket! My good friends, Gigi and Danielle, arrived after everyone left so we took our own picture!
These gals are the reason for my race being SO much fun, instead of dreadful! We had a blast, from start top finish! I met Gigi briefly in April at the April Fool's Half, but we have been Blogger Friends and Facebook friends for awhile! Gigi blogs at Running on Candy.  I know Danielle through Gigi and Half Fanatics. We met for the first time on Saturday morning and ran the 10K together as well. Shortly after we snapped this pic, we headed over to the corrals. We had decided right off that we would walk the hills and run the rest, and just enjoy the day. Danielle is running MCM and the NYC Marathon, and didn't want to overdo it, and none of us are really prepared for the hills, so it was a great strategy!
The race began, Danielle slapped Bart Yasso five, and we were off!
Of course, we turned the first corner and saw our first hill. This was not going to be good. Danielle and I were hoping the course would be similar to yesterday's course. We passed a very pretty cemetery with a very interesting...statue? marker? obelisk?....and we wanted to show Gigi. The course was very different, though. We did pass most of the things we passed during the 5K and 10K, but spaced very differently.
The hills were insane. Gigi took a lot of pictures, but I forgot all about my iPhone for the first 5 miles or so. What made me take it out? This crazy hill! I wanted proof that these hills existed! Right after we hit the mile 4 marker, it seemed like we did a whole mile uphill! A local who was running had warned us about it, but holy heck! It was vicious. You would turn a corner, and it would still be going uphill! Yikes!
 Part of that hill led us to these signs, put up by Running Skirts. They were at the expo, and a lot of the runners were wearing their skirts that day. We were laughing the whole way up the hill.

Danielle was already wearing a Running Skirt!

my favorite!

pretty house among the signs
 One sign said you could twerk for a skirt. Hmmm.... intriguing. When we topped the hill, Running Skirts had a tent and water station. They had great music, and a Twerk Camera. We asked if it was true, and they said yes, we just had to shake our booty. So I did. For real. And they gave me a skirt. No lie. A volunteer actually put it right on me, while I held on to her shoulders. These were triathlon skirts, and mine is light blue with tiny white polka dots. I am wearing it in one of the pics below. I was so excited, it kept me going for quite awhile!
This lady also kept me going:
 She was playing that thing like crazy. I have never seen anything like it! The kids were playing on pots and pans, too. It was so fun! It made that hill they lived on almost bearable! We kept running, mostly uphill (at least, that's how it felt!) and we were starting to worry that we might never pass the cemetery. We also started getting helpful hints from locals at this point.
You're almost done! ( at mile 10? Not so much.)
It's all downhill from here. (ummmmmm no. We hit at least 5 more, possible more than that, after the first person made that remark.) "Bob" even swore to us that it was the last hill. Bob lied.
There was a very lovely Aussie on a bike who was cheering on his cousin, and he sort of adopted us as well. I just liked listening to him talk, which I told him, and he cheered us on for most of the last 3 miles.
Right around mile 11, amidst hatred and complaining for Bob and the cop (who also lied!) we found it. The cemetery. I'm not gonna lie, we were whooping it up something fierce about this cemetery. The volunteers must have thought we were completely insane. But look at it. Now, imagine you are delirious after running almost 20 miles in the last 2 days, through hilly Bethlehem. Why do you think we were so amused? Appropriate? Not so much. Amusing? I think so. After all, we are all grown ups, right?

the hubs does not agree with our silliness. He thinks I'm nuts.
Shortly after we passed the cemetery, we hit very familiar territory. This bridge was on all 3 courses,  and on all 3 courses you crossed it twice. Going out it is just a bridge, but coming back it is just beautiful! Danielle says it makes her feel very small, with such large mountains behind her. Views like this are why I love Pennsylvania so much!
 There was only about a mile to go at this point. We knew it well and were telling Gigi how close we were! We just needed to loop around the Steel Stacks at this point, which felt like forever, especially with one last hill. But we made it. In just under 3 hours, and with Danielle cartwheeling across the finish line. It was amazing! I cannot wait for the official photos because we really hammed it up for the camera! We posed like it was our job! We posed for one last finish line photo, hugged, and went our separate ways. I miss them already! Once the official photos come out, I will share them!

posing with all 3 medals, wearing my new Running Skirt.

the medal, a larger version of the first 2, and with a bottle opener

fitbit stats for the day!

Race #12 0f 2013 in the books! (well, half marathons, anyway) and I couldn't have asked for a better race! I hear that the twerk camera was live, and if I ever find the video of myself, I will share. The teenie says I was twerking like a mom, whatever that means. I don't care, I won a skirt, and that's all that matters!
Today, I am a little achey, especially my calves, but if I ever get motivated I will do some yoga and stretch some of the ache away. I am still amazed that I pulled off 22.4 miles in 2 days. It definitely makes me feel better prepared for Dopey. It actually makes Dopey feel less intimidating for some reason! I may not say the same thing when I start doing back to back longer runs during my training, but for now I am pleased about the experience!
Only one Half Marathon to go, and I will hit my goal of 13 in 2013! I wonder what my big goals will be for next year?

What is your goal for 2013? Have you reached it yet?


  1. Those hills look like NO JOKE. I'd love to run the race next year but I guess I might want to train on hills a wee bit more. ;) Congrats on your 12th race and way to go with the twerking. Amazing!

    1. Thanks Meridith, that wasn't even the biggest hill! Definitely train on hills for these races, it will be a big help!

  2. BEST.DAY.EVER. Hills, liars and all :)

    1. YES!!! I cannot wait til April, when we can run together again! Such a great weekend!

  3. OMG, THANK YOU. One of the volunteers handing out water said the same thing to me around, oh, mile was "all downhill from here." Then I turn the corner, and what do I see? Another hill. And then another one. And then another one. Seriously, NOT COOL!

    Anyway, I'm so glad you had such a great race, and it sounds like you guys had so much fun. Wish I saw you out there! I had a really hard time on Sunday -- I was just NOT feeling it. But, whatever, Hat Trick COMPLETED...and now on to Dopey! :-D

    1. I'm telling you Jen, it was all we talked about for the last three miles, was how many people lied to us lol. It was sort of obsessive by the end, but it got us through!
      SO excited for Dopey now. We totally have this in the bag, Dopey will have very few hills, so we are so prepped and ready to go ;)