Monday, July 20, 2015

A Marathon of a Weekend

What a weekend!  We tour guided, we celebrated a wedding and then I ran a half marathon. Whew. It seems only fitting that we would have a jam packed weekend a year to the day of my first trip to Anchorage. The one where I flew up to meet Nathanial who was already in town for a business trip and put an offer in on a house.  Happy adventure anniversary, Anchorage. I have really grown to love you!

These two had no idea what life in Alaska would be like.

We spent Friday night showing one of Nathanial's former teachers and his wife around Anchorage. Nathanial spent many summers biking around Oklahoma with Mr. Ingham and the two have stayed close.  It was so fun to see the Inghams and even more fun to see their reaction to Anchorage.  

Saturday morning my training group met up for one last practice.  Training with the group was such an incredible experience. I can't say enough about the wonderful coaches and encouraging ladies I got to train with. Saturday we did a short run, all of our strides and some tempo paces. We finished with some stretching and group pictures.  It was a great way to get mentally prepared for the race.

After practice, I headed over to the bib pick up and shopping expo.  This race definitely had some great swag.  Brooks even made tons of custom apparel with the race logo. I've already worn both sweatshirts I bought.

 The list of people doing the race. I forgot to take a picture with my name, but I bet you can find it. :)

 The tech tee and bib were so cute! The water bottles were custom for my training group. 

The two jackets I bought at the expo.

Nathanial picked me up after the expo and we did some more sightseeing with the Inghams.  Then Saturday evening, we headed to the Hotel Alyeska to attend the wedding of one of Nathanial's coworkers.  It was a lovely wedding with incredible views. It didn't hurt that I had a hottie of a date too.

Earlier in the week, I realized there wasn't much left on the couple's registry. I decided to get creative and make them a framed print.  We gave them a gift card too but it was nice to give something a little more from the heart.

I woke up pretty early on Sunday to start getting ready for the race.  Even though I've done a race every month this year, and this was my third half marathon, I was still so nervous.  Once I got to the race and saw my coaches and running buddies, my nerves switched to excitement.  

There was such a fun, empowering vibe in the air.  There's definitely something to be said for an all women (& 1 lucky guy) race.  

All smiles with my running buddies before the start.

This race was a tough one. I started out strong but shin splits reared their ugly head pretty early and the pain only got worse as the race went on. My legs have never hurt so bad.  The course was hilly - in fact the finish line was 100 yards from a 3 block, 100 foot tall hill.  My running group trained the hill several times but not after 12 miles. It was such a blessing to see my coaches at the bottom. I was pretty teary eyed as they ran up the hill with me.  

The elevation chart from my running watch.

As always, my biggest cheerleader was waiting for me at the finish.  I couldn't wait to see Nathanial! 

I didn't PR with this race but I did beat my last half marathon time.  Progress, not perfection.  I am proud of the improvements I made and know I'm a better runner because of this race.  

I'll wear my finisher bracelet with pride.

    These are the coordinates for the finish line.

The cute bottle it came in.

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