This is the second Half-Marathon I've run. I guess that means I can say without a doubt that I am a runner.
But please don't understand that statement to mean in any way that I am a fast runner.
I am not.
But I do it.
It's cheaper than therapy.
So, this is my second big race. I've done a couple 5K's for fun, and a 10K to keep me going, and a 10 miler as a "long run" race. Those are all place holders for the big stuff.
I've run this particular race twice now. I like the course, I like the medal, and this year I LOVED the weather.
Have I ever mentioned that I am extremely competitive?
Or that I will do almost anything for a shirt and a medal?
So, running one of these things gives me everything I need: a goal, something hard to do, and when it's all done, validation.
And free chiropractic adjustment.
And free massage therapy.
And lots of free beer:)
So. You know where I was.
This is me with the nice lady who was just making sure that I had all the required documentation in order to enter the Expo. She really didn't check me in. But she was nice enough to pose with me.
Do you see how the Tin Man is pointing at me? I planned that.
The witch is faster than me. And you know what? That's okay.
At the Expo I picked up my shirt, my pacing times, a couple free vials of hand sanitizer, free chap-stick, free bio-freeze samples, and almost purchased a 13.1 sticker for my car, but in the end, decided I didn't like the font, much to my husband's relief.
In Olathe, I stayed in the La Quinta.
My grandmother always mispronounced the name as:
She's from Texas.
Since I last set foot in a "la kwintuh", say, 15 years ago, they have made some improvements.
I actually had a decent night of sleep.
Except for the alarm that didn't work.
And I was paranoid that I wouldn't work.
So, I got 1.5 hours of decent sleep, 4 times in a row.
Maybe not my best night.
But at least I had cute fingernails.
My friend, Sara, brought me a race-package just before I left. She gave me this minty color nail polish and told me she was calling it "Mint Sprint", so whenever I got tired, I could look at my nails and go a little bit farther.
This is me. 5am. Race morning.
This is me. 6am race morning. Heading out to breakfast, then to the start line.
Me at the start. It was perfect weather! Sunny, no wind, chilly. Exactly what people who like running in the cold want to run in. I was so happy. But you're having a hard time seeing my face because it was so gosh darn sunny.
I ran a nice, slow, steady pace, just fast enough to beat my time from last year by 2 minutes. I PR'ed!
At around mile 6, I put in the headphones.
Mile 8, I started mouthing along to the songs.
Mile 9 I was singing softly and "rundancing".
Mile 10-ish I was full on singing at the top of my lungs. I'll bet money it sounded like I was shouting. But I was actually just trying to keep on going.
Let me tell you something- people give you two different kinds of looks when you run by them singing at the top of your lungs.
One: Smile and chuckle. I got this 14-year-old-ish boy to break into a huge dimpled smile as I ran by sing/yelling "We Are Young". Proudest moment of mile 11.
And Two: they look around as if trying to find where 'that sound' is coming from. When they look your direction, they get a very confused look and then they whisper bitterly to their friends, with words that express what I can only assume is jealousy. Jealousy that they aren't as awesome as you; you who can run 11-13.1 miles and somehow still have enough breath to sing such sweet sweet songs.
When you run the final "chute" people are crowded all along the finnish line, shouting encouragement, and the announcer says,"Here's a strong finnish by Ashley Daily, from Lincoln, Nebraska!!!!!" The crowd goes wild because they understand that you are the best thing since... well, since the person who finished 2 seconds earlier.
It's a thrill.
Me and Wendy, my traveling companion and friend. This was her first. She is AMAZING!!
After the race, the adjustment, a banana, a massage, a big bottle of water and some pretzels, a final picture and that's it folks!
I am planning on running another in the fall- October-ish. If you'd like to run with me, I'd love to have you.