Thursday, January 21, 2016

First Light Half Marathon: State #26

I'm officially more than half-way to completing a half marathon in all 50 states + DC!
Woot! Woot!

The trip to Mobile, Alabama was a blast. Both kiddies came - and I have to say, both Ron and I were impressed that they wanted to go. Yes, of course they wanted to cheer me on ...at the finish, of course - neither one wakes up any earlier than 8am to see Momma off! God forbid we lose some of our Winter Break sleep. But really, I was impressed that they were genuinely eager to see what it was like in Mobile. Running these half marathons is such a great way to see parts of the country that I would most likely never visit, or experience. Did I tell you I also joined the 7 Continents Club? (I'll save that for another post!)

And, wow, I'm glad they came! The Gulf Coast of Alabama is beautiful! I didn't expect it to be so beautiful! We saw dolphins, and pelicans, and this beautiful sunset!
Sunset on Ferry from Dauphin Island, Alabama
Gulf Coast, Alabama
This of course, was after my big race upset!
See, I wanted to run the race 1:40 or better. I planned on keeping a 7:40 minute mile pace. I was going strong until mile 8. Then, I couldn't hold the pace, and I sunk to 7:45-7:50. I should have been able to hold this pace - especially since the race was a pretty flat, and I trained pretty hard. In and of itself, the race was very sweet  - it ran through very quaint residential streets and neighborhood of Mobile.
Yes, I would recommend it!

About mile 12, out of nowhere, came these two young girls. It was as if I were standing still when they passed me. I joked and said, "As long as you're not 50 or so, you can pass me." What I didn't see, but heard, was another woman behind them who yelled, "I'm 52!". She blew by me with the young girls. Grrrr!

But every cloud has a silver lining and mine was Meredith O'Brien. Meredith ran the 2016 Back-To-Back Challenge. I thought I heard her say that she was a pacer the day before(?). I had my eyes glued to Meredith's back for the last 5 miles. Somewhere around mile 9/10, Meredith started to take little stretch breaks, to stretch out her calves or ankle (?) Personally, I can't even imagine running back-to-back half marathons at that pace! As I caught up to Meredith, I'd yell, "C'mon girl, Let's go!" Then she'd start up again - and once she did, she'd blow by me only to have to stop, and stretch again. I'd shout out to cheer her on, and off she went, like a little EverReady Bunny! 
This went on until Ms Stimpson (aka 52/F) passed me.
Then Meredith started coaching me, 
"C'mon, you can do this. That's it, that's it!"
Thank you, Meredith, during that last 1/4 mile - I really tried to push. I wanted so bad to come in under that "1:42 my hamstring still hurts" rut I've been stuck in for a year now. I truly appreciate your shouting out me as I sprinted into the finish!
Meredith is in the red shirt!
It's all good.
I took Second Overall Female Grand Masters!
Yes I am freezing,
and No, I didn't drink that beer - well, just two sips!
 And I got to spend a great weekend with both kids during their winter break!
Luvuguyz!
Train Smart Today!
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