This weekend was one for the books! I seriously cannot stop smiling and all the fun and accomplishments from the trip keep playing in my mind like a great movie that you just want to watch over and over again.
Five Woo Hoo Crew girls (Carole, Kathy, Katie, Amanda and me) and Five Sole Sisters (Christie, Cindy, Christine, Amy and Sarah) all headed down to Myrtle Beach, SC for an all girls Dasani Half Marathon weekend. We all traveled early in the morning and most of us arrived around lunchtime to the Grand Strand. We met for lunch at River City Cafe for some grub and a few celebratory beverages. The EXPO was right near where we had lunch and we went there after to pick up our bags, bibs and swag. I really didn’t know what to expect, having heard some horror stories, about the MB race shirts. This year’s shirt is awesome! It’s a blended shirt that can be worn as a tech tee or an every day shirt. I was thrilled! We all grabbed our goodies and Cindy checked in at the pacer booth. She was pacing the 2 hour half group, which was exactly the pace I was hoping to run! How cool is that to know the pacer, but to also have someone who is personally rooting for you, you can’t beat it!
After a grocery store trip and dinner run, we settled in for an early night with Cindy teaching us some relaxing yoga. For me, planning out what I’m going to wear on race day is always fun! The weather was going to be about perfect in the morning, 42 degrees with partly cloudy skies. I gathered my outfit, pinned on my bib and laid everything out. With a 4:30am wake-up call, most of us were in bed by 9:30. Christine also had a surprise for all of us! She got each of us a pocket stone from Lift Your Sole. We all randomly picked one from the bag and all ended up with the one that suited each of us perfectly.
Race day morning was finally here! We all woke up and got ourselves ready, making sure we all had our flowers (Fellow Flowers) pinned in our hair. Cindy had to go earlier to be in place for her pace group. Though our plan was to all go together, we ended up falling behind. We left later than we had planned and the two cars ended up getting separated as we headed to the race start. The 4 of us in my car all stayed together at the start and only separated when it was go time. Kathy and I started near the 2:15 hour banner, Carole and Katie moved to their starting corral. I wanted to start a bit slower out of the gate with the hope of catching Cindy and her 2 hour pace group by mile 3.
Once the race started, I went. I had the goal of catching Cindy and just found a great pace early and stayed patient, knowing that I would eventually catch up to her. Around mile 3.5, I finally made it to her group. I was so happy to see her! Knowing that I had started behind them, the time on my Garmin (chip time) would be less than her group and my goal was just to stay with or slightly in front of her group so that I could finish under 2 hours and hopefully, PR (personal record). I stayed with her group through mile 7. Right at mile 7, I pulled ahead by just a bit, which in retrospect was not the best decision, but I felt good so I went.
Mile 11 is when I knew that was a bad decision…
I started feeling bad and I was getting tired quickly. I realized that I hadn’t taken my 2nd Shot Blok at mile 10 as planned so I quickly popped a blok and hoped that the caffeine would kick in soon! I was starting to head into a few dark miles, questioning whether or not I could keep going at this same pace. I struggled through mile 12. Cindy’s group passed me by this time and I just had to keep them in sight. By the beginning of mile 13, I regained my composure and just talked myself into finding a pace that I could keep without having to stop to walk. I ended up going from a 9:33 pace for mile 12 to a 8:55 pace for mile 13. I finished strong for the last .10, pushing as I neared the finish line. Seeing Christie and hearing her yelling at me on the bend helped me to kick it and I ended up finishing in 1:58:03! A new PR by over one and half minutes. Everyone had a great race day! Some girls also had personal bests, other met milestones they set for themselves. Overall, it was an awesome race experience! After the race, we took the time to take some fun pictures, sit on the hill and enjoy some post race brews.
Back at the condo Saturday night, we all just hung out and watched it snow (yes, it was snowing at the beach!). Ten girls in one condo might scream disaster and drama to some, but not for us. Some girls met everyone for the first time this weekend, others of us have known each other for years, but when we all came together this weekend, the whole group all had an amazing time and the memories we made will be with us all for a lifetime. We spent all weekend laughing, telling ridiculous stories, teasing each other and just enjoying each others’ company, a PR for an awesome weekend!
In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.