Monday, September 8, 2014

Via Half Marathon Recap

Rules of the road: when coming up behind other runners, it is customary to call out "on your left" so that they know to move out of your way. Screaming, at the top of your lungs "MOVE! GET OUT OF MY WAY!" is rude and unnecessary, especially when no one is actually *in* your way. That branch that jumped out at you, dangling from that tree? That was karma. Yes, red shirted marathon woman, I am talking to you!

Now that I have gotten that out of the way, let's talk about what a great weekend I had with my running besties at the Via Half Marathon! My friend Eileen and I drove together from my house, it is about a two hour drive, maybe a little less, that I make all the time! Bethlehem, PA is on the way to my parents' house, so I drive past it every time I visit them!
I booked the Sands Casino Hotel, because it is next to the expo, and because I thought the race started there. It is where Runner's World started last year. Note to self: check these things out in advance! But I digress!
We parked easily enough, checked in easily enough, and walked over in the sweltering heat to the expo. We walked along the final stretch of Runner's World Half Marathon, which was fun, and brought back some crazy memories!

The expo was super small! We went inside and go tour bibs, as well as Gigi's and our friend Lisa's, because the expo closed super early and they couldn't get there in time. Then we had to go outside to get our shirts. This worried us because we were due for some thunder storms! Yikes! The shirt table was a disaster, they asked what shirts you wanted, not what you ordered, and then they didn't have Gigi's size. It was chaos. I managed to get shirts that I though would fit everyone, and the huge drawstring backpacks, and then we went back inside to check out the expo. It was the usual stuff, and we were in and out in about 10 minutes! We decided to go back to the hotel and walk the Outlet Mall, since it looked ominous outside!

 The Outlet Mall was smallish, but I managed to do some damage at the Peeps outlet and got the teenie a little change purse at Coach. Then it was back to the room to kill some time before dinner.
We decided to eat in the casino, and Emeril's didn't have a table until after 7, so we headed over to the  Carnegie Deli.

the menu!!!

They put pickles on the table while you wait for your food. This grossed me out but thrilled Eileen! I had egg salad for dinner and asked for bacon on it. They gave me a side of bacon. Yikes! We shared the cheesecake, they even sliced it in half for us!
Back up to the room to wait for Gigi, and she arrived with the storm! She just made it inside! Check out the spiderweb right outside our window!

We woke up way too early the next morning, got dressed, and started the 2 mile walk to the start. It was very scenic, and we got there with about 20 minutes to spare before the start.  There were about 1500 half marathoners, so it was very laid back, no corrals.  Of course, we snapped some pics....

And we were off! Eileen went ahead, but Lisa, Gigi, and I stuck together. Gigi and I were both running somewhat injured, and Gigi had forgotten her sneaks and was running in new ones! Ouch!

Being the mature individuals we are, we immediately veered off course for a selfie.

So we ran down the hill and around the corner, and entered the park that we would basically be in for the duration of the race. The first quarter mile was on the road, and then we were on compacted gravel until mile 8.  The scenery was amazing, although it rarely varied...

The temp was nice, and it was almost always shady, and the day was pretty perfect. I was nervous, since I haven't gone more than 5K since July, but there was never much more than an ache. The tiredness in my legs, from disuse, was actually worse! Yay!
We also got to meet Alvin the dog, who had his own bib and earned his own medal!

There was also my favorite sign of the day, held by these lovely spectators!

I must say, the course was darn near perfect. No cars to worry about, great water stops, and we got to mile 9 before the marathoners went by. They started 13.1 miles behind us.

Yeah. That was embarrassing. Maybe. I don't think we really cared though! We really were having as much fun as two gimps and a running buddy could possibly have! Lisa was a good sport to stay behind with us!

Soon we were approaching the finish, and we could hear the music and lots more marathoners and relayers were passing us. This is where the aforementioned rude lady passed us by.

We had done a lot of walking, but we ran the final third of a mile in, and finished in around 3:21 or so.

We got our bling and ice, and sat to ice our feet before we went for our food. Aaaahhhhhhh

The food system was awesome. You traded your ticket for a bag of food, and then they had some extras you could throw in. It really was awesome! Soft pretzel, Mike n Ikes, squeezable apple sauce, banana, granola bars. Perfection. After stumbling around a bit, we found the shuttle back to the start, and iced up some more, while Gigi picked up a new boyfriend.

Alvin was on the bus with us!
After a short ride to the start, we walked limped the two miles back to the hotel so we could check out. There were no shenanigans, we were too tired, but Eileen did spy this:

OMG Stephen King would be so proud!
What a great weekend! I am in very little pain today, mostly just morning after aches and pains, which makes me happy! I did ice it a lot yesterday after I drove home, which I think helped a lot. Today there is some stiffness, but they will work out as well! I will try a short run and PiYo tomorrow!

For more about Alvin, check him out on YouTube, he really is amazing!

Did you race this weekend?

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