Cellcom Half Marathon 2014 is officially in the books!

I just realized that it’s been a few weeks since I have posted an update!  I guess I have been busier than I thought!

Today was the big day… Cellcom Marathon 2014 was finally here.

5am the parking lot is still pretty empty

The last few weeks have been filled with PT appointments to help get me into the best possible condition for the Cellcom Half Marathon this weekend, a few Chiro appointments to make sure everything is where it belongs, not as many miles run, but more strength training to get everything working the way it should.

Now here we are, the day of what should have been my first Full Marathon but I would only be running the half.  To be honest with you, for the first time every, I woke up on race day and DIDN’T want to get out of bed. Granted part of it was the fact that we left the bedroom window open last night and it was only 40 degrees outside (and in the bedroom) now… so my toes did not want to leave the warm blankets!    I woke up feeling like I was going into this unprepared. The last time I ran more than 6.5 miles was on April 12th, when Matt and I ran 10.  This was the first time that I ever recall actually waking up on race morning and NOT excited for the days event.  I just wanted to stay curled up in my nice warm bed, and sleep for another 3 hours!

myTEAM TRIUMPH early on race day

However that was not an option!  My son was volunteering with myTEAM TRIUMPH this morning and needed to be at the stadium by 5am, so I was also there at 5am!  IT WAS COLD!  I think it was 43 degrees outside when we got to the mTT truck.   I was rethinking the short and tank that I put on to run in!  All I was thinking was that it better warm up!

Hanging out with the Angels and Captain with mTT will definitely put anyone if a good mood!  The excitement and energy around the mTT trailer on race morning is contagious!  You can’t be around there and not find yourself caught up in everything.  Seeing this crew dive in and work together as a well oiled machine is an amazing thing. This was the first time I was present on race morning, watching a great plan come together!  As the Captains and their families started to arrive, things really started to get fun.  The endless smiles and laughter was everywhere!  For several of the Captains, this was their first event and there was no stopping us now! The sun may have been just waking up, but everyone out there was up and ready to move!  This was the day they had been working for all spring!

By the time the Full Marathon started at 7am, any pre-race jitters or doubts were gone.  It was slowly starting to warm and and I was ready to go.  I still was having some apprehensions as to how my knee was going to hold up but I was going to do what I can.  I dug out my race fuel from my bag, took a relaxing walk around the parking lot, did a lot of stretching, rubbed some BioFreeze on my knee and did what I could to get myself mentally into the game.  At the start line I ran into several fellow runners, coworkers, as well as fellow Twitter friends!  It was shaping up to be an awesome day!

3/5 of the Fox Cities 2013 Marathon Relay Team

Overall it ended up being an unbelievable day! I started out running my own race, at my own pace and for the first time ever, I didn’t let myself get caught up in the adrenaline rush of the race.  I knew that I needed to make this my race, not whomever was running in front of me or behind me.  After the first water station, I found my groove.

Around Mile 2, my race day took a slight change.  One the course I met Crystal.  We both commented on each others Fellow Flowers shirts and were wearing matching turquoise flowers.  (the story of our run can be summarized well here on the Fellow Flowers FB page HERE) We realized that we were running at about the same pace and fell into step with one another.  We ended up spending the next 2 hours sharing local race stories, laughing and enjoying the beautiful morning.  We also the morning encouraging and pushing each other to make this the best race day that we could.  We both suffer from some of the same knee/IT band injuries so it was nice to be out there running with someone who knew exactly what I was dealing with!  Plus, we both live in Green Bay, so now I have someone else to go running with!!

Crystal and I just before mile 8!

Crystal and I finished the race together and were still smiling at the end!  I was well beyond surprised at my overall finish.  After all of the knee issues I had been dealing with, I was not pushing for time… I just wanted to run the best race I could, not push myself too hard and just finish.  In the end, I ended up finishing in 2:33:40, just 3 1/2 minutes shy of my Half Marathon PR!

Many thanks to my awesome family and friends, my chiropractor, physical therapist and fellow running friends that helped prepare me for this awesome day.  Plus major kudos to Crystal, who helped push me through those hill and last few miles when I really wanted to walk!  We kept running and ended up finishing strong in the end!

Overall this was an awesome day!  I met a new running friend, I finished in a near personal best, then spent the afternoon relaxing and enjoying the day with my boys as some great friends with a cookout in the back yard!  Cellcom 2014 turned out better than I excpeted it would and now I am ready to roll!

Here is to the start of another summer of running, adventures and challenges! Many thanks to my awesome husband and son who support me in this crazy adventure!

Post Race and still standing!

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