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New State, New Race

Two big items crossed off my 30 before 30 list this past weekend! I traveled up to Ohio (#13 – a new state) to visit friends and run the Capital City Half Marathon (#2 – a new half marathon)!

I was very pleasantly surprised by Columbus, OH – it was homey and cozy and fun! I don’t know exactly what I expected, but it was a great city. All of the food we had was great and we visited the conservatory (which was free for me thanks to my local garden membership). The tulips were in full bloom and beautiful. We drove around campus and some different little neighborhoods, and between that and the race I pretty much saw all of Columbus!

As much as I was impressed with the city, I was blown away by the Capital City Half Marathon. It was the best race I have ever done. Not only was it my personal best – crushing my old best time by 9 minutes – but it was SO well organized. There was great music and audio at the start line, the course was beautiful (and mostly flat – thanks Columbus), and most importantly, the finish line was ideal. If you’ve never won a race, the finish line/area is super important, especially for a longer race like a half or full marathon. You don’t want to run for hours then come to a stop in a pack of people. This race was the best finish I’ve ever seen – medics on hand as soon as you crossed the finish (that I luckily did not need), medals being handed out on both sides, water available right away, fences to keep the spectators out of the way, food shortly after the water, and they kept people moving to not block up everything (which is usually the major issue). If you are trying to find a race, I highly recommend this one.

 


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3 Birds, 1 Stone

Tess, my parents, and I took a vacation this past weekend. A flat out vacation. To a brand new place: LAS VEGAS!!!!! It’s been a while. Naturally I wanted to be able to cross some things off my 101 list, so I made it a productive trip and crossed off 3:

  • #9 – half marathon other than Nashville
  • #32 – a new state – Nevada
  • #33 – Las Vegas

Neither Tess nor I had been to Vegas before, and Tess had never run a half before, so it was a trip full of firsts! We ran the strip at night, which was incredible. I expected it to be easier than Nashville since it is completely flat…..but I actually felt ten times worse after. I think it had a lot to do with the time difference and the fact that it was a night race, and we’re going to blame it on that. But I did finish in 2:16:25 – which is not too bad at all!!

We spent the next couple of days exploring alllll of Vegas. And I mean all. Old Vegas, new Vegas, all the hotels, different casinos, different games, different restaurants, a show, and even the Hoover Dam. We saw Criss Angel – maybe not the best show I’ve ever seen but it was pretty incredible – he made a lot of things and people disappear and sawed a girl in half. Run-of-the-mill magic. 🙂 And the Hoover Dam was just an amazing wonder to see.

The trip was great, and I might go back with a group of friends as long as it is warm (not freezing like it was the whole time)! Viva Las Vegas!!

Half Marathon success!!

MGM with Mom and Dad!

Wonder of wonders Hoover Dam

Best show of all - Fountain at the Bellagio


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Half Marathon Round 2

I really thought my half marathon participation would be a one-time gig in 2010. However, I enjoyed it just enough to go again this year. After 16 weeks of tough but fun training with the Run Barefoot team, 7am Saturday long runs, and raising over $22,000 to help send kids to camp this summer, we made it to race day last Saturday! Meghan’s mom came into town, so we moseyed on over to Expo together on Friday to get our bibs, swag, and buy some cool new running gear.

Countdown at the Expo!

Saturday morning brought a gorgeous cool 53 degrees. We got up long before the sun, donned our blue Run Barefoot shirts and looped our D-Tag chips through our shoe laces.

Packing up our Ipods and Gu Chews, we met the Run Barefoot team at the park for a little stretch, photos, and pep talk.

Team Barefoot!!

We made our way over to West End Ave. (along with 30,000 of our closest friends) to Corral 19.

Linda and I - training partner!!

They started the race right on time. With a rolling start, we crossed the start line around 7:30am and were of to a strong start. Most of us (except the couple of real runners up in Corrals 3 and 4) started together and slowly split off into groups. They changed the course slightly in a few parts…mainly to help with there being so many runners. I loved that the end was slightly flatter than the previous year and that they moved the finish line closer to the last turn.

I didn’t really have a goal other than finishing, but thought it would be fun to try to beat my time from last year. SUCCESS. I crossed the finish line in 2 hour and 13 minutes, beating last year’s time by 3 whole minutes. 🙂 Meghan finished (her first half!!) shortly behind me and we met up briefly before I swept away to get ready for a friend’s wedding!

Needless to say, I think I’m sucked into the races, Though I will NEVER have any interest in running a full marathon, the halves are perfect. Not to mention, per my 101 list, I have to complete on that is not the Country Music. I am pushing for the Strip at Night in Vegas…..who’s with me??? 🙂