Happy Monday! I have posts ready to go, but was without an internet connection last week. Hopefully this week fares a little better.
We had a fabulous weekend here. On Friday we drove back from Northern Wisconsin, just in time for some of our Chicago area friends to arrive for a visit. We were super excited to see them.
It was a quick turn around for Saturday as we ran our traditional Cherry Festival Of Races in Traverse City. For years we have done the 15k (I love the distance). But this year I wanted to avoid one of the massive hills, and was looking for a little challenge to push me through the summer. So we signed up for the 1/2 marathon. Saturday also marked my being 27 weeks pregnant.
Later, I remembered why I never did the half marathon. The race starts at 7:00am and you have to take a bus from the local high school out to the end of the Old Mission Peninsula by 6:15am. We also live over a half an hour from the bus location, making for a very early wake up call.
However, I decided half way through this race that we would be doing this one again each year. Despite the early start, I loved the drop off point for the race, a local winery!
The first two miles weave up and down and all around this local vineyard. It was a bit of a challenging trail race to start. Then the race pops out on the road that runs along the shore of West Grand Traverse Bay, all along the peninsula back into town. It was flat, cool, and just beautiful. The weather was nice and dry and the early morning temperatures were perfect.
I stopped at mile 6 to use a port-a-potty (I e-mailed the director to make sure the course would have plenty) and was super appreciative of all of the water and Gatorade along the course.
Funny story: Around mile four, I was breathing through my mouth when a bug flew in and I had zero chance of not swallowing it. My gut reaction was to start heaving. However, being almost in my third trimester, I started freaking out because the hacking was making me have to go to the bathroom. I managed to pull it back together but it was a rollercoaster of emotions there for a minute or two!
I absolutely love how this race comes off of the peninsula and right into downtown Traverse City. People are lined up along Front Street to cheer on all of the runners and wait for the Grand Royale Parade to start. You go from a quite run along the lake to feeling like you are in a big city race.
The finish ended with beautiful medals, water, bottles of cherry juice, bananas, cookies, cherries, and a food truck handing out chocolate milk and granola bars. Busses were also there to deliver you back to the parking lot.
I was also really impressed with the beautiful technical shirt in our goodie bags. Even better, the local winery had a stemless wine glass for all of the participants, along with coupons for tastings. The race was truly well thought out.
My goal was to finish in under two hours, with my B goal being to finish in under 2:10. I was thrilled to cross the line at 1:53:03. That is a time that I am really proud of. Being pregnant and running is truly a great gift. After being injured in May, I had been afraid there was no chance I would be able to run 13.1 miles by this weekend. In fact, I was worried I might not even be running again by now.
What made the run even better was having Rock by my side the entire race. He ran ahead a few times to take some pictures of me and for the rest, he held back behind me and gave me some space. He knew this was a special time for me to get one big last mileage push in during my pregnancy. He was there to support me, but also gave me my space to run as I wanted. I feel so lucky to have a partner like him to run with!
A special thanks also goes to my parents who hosted Mary for a sleepover Friday night so that we could get up and on the road super early. They brought her to the finish to cheer us on. She promptly asked for my medal.
Did you race this weekend? Ever get a wine glass for a run?