This past Sunday I ran my 9th half marathon at the Erie Marathon.
This is my hometown marathon and I just love it.
Here's a little truth for you- while I'm out there I think about what I'm going to write here. I wonder what sorts of stories you'd like to hear. Do you want me to tell you about the really sweaty guy who stopped to pick up discarded shirts on the side of the course? Do you want to know about the girls who were singing songs behind me while I was running? (it was cute for awhile)
Ultimately I decided you just had to see this view from somewhere near mile 4:
This was just one of many amazing views I enjoyed out on the course. You seriously could not have ordered up a more beautiful morning to run. I'm so glad I was there.
So, I got to the starting area early and snapped a little make-up free selfie for you.
There was a time when I wouldn't have posted a picture without make-up.
Now I hope that when you look at it you can see how happy I am.
I walked over to the starting area and it was easy to see that I was in the right place.
Yes, they all had big long lines. But, I had stopped at a McDonald's on the way down to Presque Isle State Park where the race was happening.
Thankfully, my local runners club had plenty of ports-potties ready for the marathoners & half-marathoners.
Plus, the restrooms at the State Park were open.
Someday I will be able to run a half marathon without taking a potty break.
But, it hasn't happened yet!
I'm happy to report that I remembered to pin on my personalized bib...
Last year I left it on the kitchen table. This caused me no small amount of stress. Even though the race is chip-timed and my chip was secured to my shoe, I still hated that I looked like a bandit.
My training wasn't as stellar as I had hoped it would be. During the month of August I really struggled with migraine headaches which derailed some of my runs. Worse than that, they sort of beat me down mentally.
I was no longer feeling very confident in my own ability to go the distance.
I started this race feeling strong and for the first 9 miles or so my splits were pretty good. But then I really started to struggle. I was tired and my legs were not happy with me. So I took a few more walk breaks than I had planned and had a little chat with myself.
I made it to the finish line feeling pretty proud of myself.
My time was okay for me, although not what I would have wished for.
I struggled more than I would have liked, but I finished under my own steam.
I collected my medal, a water bottle, and hugs from Ken & the girls.
And I remembered that I love to run and that I am blessed to be able to keep moving forward.