Wow! What a weekend. I am still reeling. This has been one of the best Halloween weekends I have ever had.

Friday night the Redhead came to town and we shared our usual pasta dinner a la Lady and the Tramp. Guess which one of us is the tramp? I kid, I kid. But we did enjoy our pasta while we chuckled at Young Frankenstein. “That’s Fronkensteen!”

We were up dark and early on Saturday morning and got into our costumes. Redhead, a zombie runner, and I a runaway bride. Heh. We carpooled with Big L and Dr. N, a lovely couple who recently joined the BRA. Dr. N was initially just there to get in her training miles but wound up having a HUGE PR. Big L was there as a loving hubby and sherpa.

(Me, Dr. N, Redhead, and Maddy)Upon arrival we found Maddy and got our chips and numbers. My dear friend and training buddy, P-Funk, showed up as a surprise and rooted us all on. D, from Women’s Running Magazine and several other BRA members were out to race as well.

Initially my plan was to just have fun. I told the Redhead I was nervous as I hadn’t run over 10 miles since before the ankle injury. She told me not worry and so I figured I wouldn’t. My plan was to stay with Dr. N and just take it easy. Well, that plan was not to come to full fruition.

Dr. N and I stuck together, cruising at about a 9:40 minute mile pace, until mile 6. At this point I just felt great. I felt really relaxed and wanted to speed up a bit. I bid Dr. N adieu as I knew she had it in the bag for a monster (hee hee) PR herself. 40 minute PR what what!!

I looked at my Garmin and was running fairly comfortable at an 8:30 minute mile. WTF? I figured it was a fluke and I’d just see how long I could hold it. Well, wouldn’t you know it, I came up on mile 8 and just kept cruising. I recently read an article in Women’s Running about repeating three motivating words in your head during a race. I figured I’d give it a shot. I picked my three words and kept repeating them in my head. Strong. Tough. Powerful. Strong. Tough. Powerful.

At about mile 8.5 I was surprised to see the Redhead. She had gone ahead of Dr. N and I at mile 3. I knew she was struggling or else she would have been much farther ahead. When I saw her she said she was feeling very sick and nauseated. I hated to keep going, but she said she’d be ok so I continued on. (Her report is here.)

I see someone running toward me and look down and notice those odd running shoes that look like toe-socks. I think to myself, “Is that who I think it is?”


He nods and we high five and I am excited that I have met the amazing blogger Jamoosh. He was pacing his SIL and they were running strong. Lots of bloggy love at this race for sure!

It was hot. The back 5 or so miles had zero coverage and the sun was beating down on everyone. By mile 10, I was a bit worried but knew I could finish strong. I wasn’t sure how long I could go before I had to make a potty stop. I kept up the pace and chicked a fair amount of dudes. Heh. That term cracks me up.

At mile 11 I hit the bathroom and realized that I could finish with a pretty nice PR if I picked up the pace a bit. I thought I could possibly break 2 hours but the potty stop set me back a few.

As I got to mile 12 I was still feeling fairly strong. I kept repeating my words and picking off dudes. Did I mention it was hot? I met up with some really speedy looking women and trailed them for about a quarter mile. Then at about the 12.5 mile mark I just kicked it in. I don’t know what came over me and where this mojo came from but I had one of the strongest race finishes to date.

My final official time was 2:01:33 (UPDATED: I had the clock time before 2:02:05, not the chip time, duh). My previous half marathon was a 2:09:22.

I just had one of those races. I felt good the entire time, despite the stifling heat, and really needed this as a post-injury confidence boost.

Post race celebration could have used a bit more oomph and the race certainly could have use more water stations, but I was in post race PR bliss and enjoyed the dumb donuts and Gatorade. (Where the hell is the Coca-Cola people?!?!)

After the race my little Redhead headed back to O-town, still feeling quite under the weather. My sister and I headed to the Tampa Bay Lightning game. After the game we hit up a fabulous Halloween party and I was up for a full twenty four hours! To say I am a bit punchy right now would be an understatement. It really was a tremendous Halloween. Hope yours was too!For your viewing pleasure, I just felt the need to show you this guy from last night’s party. Yeah baby! Yeah! UPDATE #2: The race director, Chris, commented that I did in fact win the Best Beauty award AND the cokes never got put out. I appreciate his follow up and will certainly be back for more of their races.