Runner’s World Recap Part Four- The Epic Half Marathon

 

Well, it’s about time isn’t it?

Holy smokes. Really, it’s already been two weeks since my big Runner’s World weekend extravaganza. I can’t believe it. I also can’t believe I haven’t written my recap about the best race ever. What is wrong with me?

Wait, don’t answer that.

I won’t even bore you any sweet spaghetti squash or kabocha squash pictures right now. Just this one because filling up this jar with creamy dreamy ice cream (and a few other goodies) was just that exciting tonight.

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Smile

Hmmmmm, where to begin? If you missed the other recaps, you can check them out here:

Too Much Pre Race Excitement to Write About

Runner’s World Recap Part One- The BBQ

Runner’s World Recap part Two- More Pre Race Excitement

Runner’s World Recap Part Three- The 5K and 10K Races

 

Okay, so back to the night before the race……

It was a long day Saturday as I had run both the 5K and the 10K that morning. I rested for the a bit in the afternoon before we headed back to the expo and to a pre race dinner. While at the expo I met Robert who was the pacer for the 1:30 group.

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I told him I was going to do my best to keep up. I’m sure he was thrilled.

I also had a second chance to try to take a better photo for my magazine cover since the first one looked like this.

It came out a little better with the arrow placement. Ha ha.

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Afterwards my new FitFluential friends and I headed to the special pre race dinner.

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It was my first time ever going to a special pre race dinner. I usually consume an entire whole wheat veggie pizza without cheese on my own the night before a race.

It was a good change though. They even had some crushed red pepper which I’m pretty sure was just for me.

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I had some Cholula and nutritional yeast in my purse, but we were sitting with editors and I was trying to impress editor John Atwood and Bart Yasso so I decided to not fly my freak flag for the evening and keep my goods hidden in my purse.

Smile

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At dinner we got the opportunity to meet Matt Long.

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Then after dinner we got to listen to his amazing, inspirational story about the long road to becoming an elite athlete again after a horrific accident. I promise to share more on his story later because it’s just that empowering and I bought an extra little something something to give to one of you. Hint hint.

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Okay, so race day morning.

It was a good thing I brought 6 pairs of Pro Compression socks since my race outfit changed at the last minute.

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I thought I was going to go purple Handful Bra Tank and purple compression socks to match my racing purple Mizuno Elixirs, but decided to sport my new Free Motion tank shirt instead.

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Good thing I had those socks to match.

Good thing I can cook oatmeal and make coffee in less than 5 minutes in my hotel room.

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I even had a few extra minutes in the lobby to force someone to take a picture of me. How convenient.

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I like to fuel up on the go.

Katherine and her boyfriend, Tappan, drove a group of us to the race.

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This time we braved the port a potty lines since there were no other bathrooms in sight.

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It was a wee bit chilly out there. Thank goodness Mizuno had sent me this awesome jacket.

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Have I mentioned before that I love Mizuno?

Smile

We made our way to the actual start line with about 15 minutes to spare.

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Everything was really well marked. It wasn’t too crowded and it was easy to make our way to our various pace groups.

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I thought I’d challenge myself and try to maintain a 7:00 min mile pace. I looked for my man Robert, but found a little someone else instead.

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I thought I’d just cozy right up to Shalane since we had met a couple days prior and in my head we hit it off just fabulously. She was just out for a little training run and was going to run an “easy” 7:00 minute mile pace. I decided I wanted to run along side of an Olympic athlete for as long as I could during the race.

I gave myself a little pep talk while trying to maintain my cool and chat up my new best friend a bit. Then I closed my eyes, said my little prayers of thanks and decided I was going to give it my all. Heck, I was across the country, had a big job to do to represent as a FitFluential Ambassador and for goodness sake had to bring home something impressive for STUFT Daddy and the boys since our last texting conversation looked a little like this.

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Smile

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Well, once that start gun went off, that is exactly what I did.

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First of all the course was beautiful. Bethlehem is an awesome little town. We got to see all different parts of it. We were downtown for a bit, up by the college, then we went by some parks and some really cute residential areas. I pretty much think I could move there (and work for Runner’s World if they would ever offer me a job).

Smile

I didn’t take any pictures along the course because I was in race mode.

I ran side by side with Shalane for the first mile or so. We chatted a bit. when we got to mile 1 and I realized we were running around a 6:47 pace instead of a 7:00 pace I decided that I just might not be able to keep up. I stuck with her up until about mile 2, and then had to slow down a bit.

 

I have to say, this race was the first race were I was physically uncomfortable pretty much the entire race. I started off fast. Faster than I ever have in a race in fact. It was tough even at the first mile marker, but I just made myself keep going. I was hoping I would catch up to Shalane again or find my pacer friend Robert, but that never happened.

I did my best to keep my head in the race and focus on just keeping my pace. I talked to a few other runners along the way only because I can’t help myself. Plus, everyone was just so darn nice there.

Smile

It wasn’t an easy race. It was hilly at the beginning, but then was pretty flat and fast the last few miles thank goodness.

As hard as it was, it felt good to really push myself and to test my limits. I didn’t know what to expect since I hadn’t been training hard and was coming off the Nike Women’s Marathon the week prior, not to mention the 5K and 10K the day before. I didn’t have huge expectations going in, but thought I’d go all out to see what I could do.

When my body wanted to slow down I just kept telling myself that it I could do it. Just one foot in front of the other.

Why hold back when there is an amazing opportunity to prove yourself right in front of you?

I actually remember somewhere around mile 9 I thought to myself that I could just slow down to a 10 minute mile pace and still get a pretty decent time. I was tired. I was hungry. Then someone shouted at me that I was one of the top ten ladies and it was on. There weren’t that many other women around be that point in the race. In fact, I don’t remember seeing any others by then except for one around mile 12. When people on the sidelines would say “Yay, a girl!” when I ran by, well, I felt like I had to represent.

Smile

I am one lucky lady with one amazing God given gift to be able to run and to run hard. Gosh darn it, I got a PR of 1:30:49.

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Oh, that finish line was a very special sight.

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Ahhhhh……….

I found my man David pretty quickly. He took such great care of all of us all weekend.

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Then I finally caught up to Shalane after trying to catch up with her the entire race.

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Check out her “easy training run” time.

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Hmm… something tells me she’s not 99 years old. Hey look though, I got 9th out of all the women. Yippee!!!

I also found Dean Karnazes at the finish line.

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I’ve always wanted to meet him. He was the nicest guy. We talked a little about Boston and the Boston to Big Sur Challenge. Um, yeah, I TOTALLY want to do it. Like I REALLY want to do it. Unfortunately it’s a bit pricey and I can’t afford it, but Dean, if you need a crazy mama who will run her heart out and join the challenge I’m so in!

 

I met up with Robin who’s a rock star and got PR herself.

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Oh hey, look at all these awesome ladies and an awesome gentleman who also rocked the half marathon. (In the picture- Jess, Robin, Harold, me, Miss Zippy, Tina, and Elizabeth.)

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Jess, my GNC and Reebok partner in crime.

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It was a bit windy after the race. Luckily they were giving these cool capes away to keep us warm.

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Gotta love races with the warmers at the end. Not to mention Clif Bars and Michelob Ultra.

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I didn’t partake in the beer drinking as I had a a plane to catch (or so I thought). I did manage to stock up on more than enough Clif Bars though. I showed Tina a thing or two about how to shove as much as possible in a recycled box.

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He he.

Oh and hey, I finally found my pacer friend Robert also after trying to chase after him 13 miles. I never did catch him on the course, but happen to find him by the beer tent afterwards. Go figure.

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The finishers medal was pretty darn fancy. It just might be the best one I’ve ever gotten. Runner’s World sure knows how to treat a race finisher.

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Yeah, so I should’ve left right then to go get ready for my flight, but word on the street was that I got an award. Luckily, the wonderful Katherine stuck around with me to find out and take a million and one pictures for me.

I had no idea I was even in the running for this one, but I got second place overall for the Hat Trick over the entire weekend. (The 5K, 10K and half marathon combined.)

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Woo hoo! I was hoping Andrew and the boys might be impressed with my new trophy since Andrew keeps threatening to melt my medals and turn them in for money.

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Smile

I got to go up one more time to claim my award for 2nd place in my age group for the half marathon.

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Oh hey, no one else is coming up to claim their award with me? I‘ll just stand here and try to act cool and smile for a bazillion more pictures.

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Well, okay, if you gentlemen insist. I guess we can take one more picture of just us.

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Yeah, I’m not going to lie, I felt pretty cool about that one and the next one with editor-in-chief of Runner’s World, David Willey.

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A huge thank you to Katherine for sticking around with me forever while I got to get my awards.

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I got to take home some good hardware to my boys all because of her.

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I can’t even express how truly amazing The Runner’s World Festival and Half Marathon was. It was EPIC.

It was the opportunity of a lifetime.

I loved every single thing about it. I have to say too, that for an inaugural event, it was done really well. The expo, events, seminars, parking, the actual races themselves, the beautiful courses, etc.

IT WAS AMAZING!

I can’t wait to go back.

A-MAZ-ING.

Smile

 

Unfortunately my trip back to CA was not so extravagant and turned out to be 12 hour ordeal complete with lost baggage.

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Lovely.

But…… that doesn’t even matter.

 

This trip and the races gave me a new spark for racing and running. Not only was the event just incredible, but I really challenged myself and pushed as hard as I could for the first time in a race.

I got out of my comfort zone.

I recently heard somewhere that if you’re comfortable, it’s time to step out of your comfort zone.

I was uncomfortable the entire half marathon, but I proved something to myself. I proved that I can set goals and reach them.

I think the same goes for life in general. We’re supposed to get out there and get uncomfortable. Things aren’t easy.

If there’s something out there that you want, but it scares you or makes you nervous, just GO FOR IT!

Things in life should take work. Certain things (goals and dreams) should be hard and entail some commitment and sacrifice. That’s what life’s about, right?

Oh man, I could go on and on here, but I won’t. Not now. I’ll save that for a different post.

For now I’m signing off.

 

A HUGE thank you to Runner’s World, Altra, iFit and FitFluential for making this whole trip possible for some silly twin mama from California.

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Thank you to YOU for being with me along for the ride, putting up with a bazillion pictures of me and letting me share my adventures.

Thank you to my family for supporting me, making sacrifices and letting me race and live my dreams.

I am so blessed.

 

Okay, now it’s your turn.

Find something that’s going to make you uncomfortable and go for it. You’ll never know unless you go after it, yes?

Smile

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Comments

  1. 1
    Miz says:

    I LOOOVE how Im not a runner but have been reading running blogs for so long I finally know the whole cast of characters!

  2. 2
    Jen B. says:

    Wow, Kristin! What a wonderful weekend and great post! I need to do a Fitfluential event like this someday! I raced in Ohio that same day and had that planned beforehand or I definitely would have been there.

    I think there is an unwritten rule that if you have the most amazing weekend ever, your luggage will get lost. The better the weekend, the longer it is lost. Same thing has happened to me. Luckily you don’t care too much because you are riding the awesome weekend high!

    I love all of your pictures and the humor you bring you each one. The race trophy was very cool, very unique! And a PR for you- congrats! Your RW cover looked great. ;) It just sounds like it was a perfect weekend!

  3. 3
    Becky Przy says:

    Awesome job Kristen!!!! You are so inspiring! I loved reading this re-cap…it was worth the 2 week wait;-)

    I hate being uncomfortable. However, I love the feeling of accomplishment when I over-come my fear and face it head-on. Its when I get uncomfortable that I see my true potential and realize I am never truly alone because God is there guiding me.

  4. 4
    rachael says:

    Congrats! Super impressed with your times!

    Btw I just started reading your blog- love it! I am a running mom with two little boys too. :)

  5. 5
    Kat says:

    Great job out there K! You kicked major butt at an awesome race weekend! but you already knew that…lol. I have my first half in 2 weeks and am so nervous and excited! I kind of just want it to be over with and on to the next one haha

  6. 6

    You are just flat out amazing! Way to go on that run. I think it was that super cute outfit that did the trick ;-)

  7. 7
    Linda says:

    What an awesome job you did! Major congratulations. I must say, that Runners World weekend may be a goal of mine next year. Looks like it was such a well planned and fun event!
    I got my first marathon completed on 10/28, the Marine Corps Marathon. It was an amazing experience! We ran slower than our training pace as we just wanted to finish. And finish we did! Now my goal is to set PR’s in my 5k, 10k and half marathons. Setting a 1:45 half goal that I know if I push myself into that uncomfortable place I will achieve it! Thank you for constantly inspiring me and all your readers. I always look forward to your blog!

  8. 8

    You are amazing! I’m so incredibly happy for you! You are such an inspiration to me!

  9. 9

    Kristin, I am SO proud of you!!

    I LOVED getting to meet you and it was my pleasure staying around to see you get your awards (you totally stayed for my dinky 5K award!)…you deserved both awards in such a major way. You worked your butt off and you sure did represent!!

    My legs also felt miserable the entireeeeee half marathon too, but I certainly did not pick it up like you did. You are incredible!

    OK and just stop to think for a minute….what sort of PR time would you have had if you were racing on fresh legs?! Something insanely fast, that’s for sure.

    You are an inspiration. I mean it!

    • 9.1
      STUFT Mama says:

      Oh goodness, Kat, thank you. You’re an inspiration to ME. I can’t thank you enough for staying for me and your award was not dinky lady. You DESERVED that award speedy.

  10. 10
    Jess says:

    Oh, I loved absolutely everything about this post! You’re just amazing – I also thought you were adorable onstage when no-one else showed up to collect their award.

    Sorry to be cheesy but you really do inspire me – I have been trying for so long to go sub-1:30 for a half but I’ve actually gotten slower over the past two years (sadly I’m carrying too much excess body fat and it’s slowing me down – your point about getting uncomfortable really resonated with me not only in terms of my running but also in terms of getting my act together with the way that I eat). I was so close in 2010 with a 1:30:22 but this year I haven’t gone under 1:34, and even that was a struggle. You juggle so much with your job and your kids, while I have very few commitments at all – you are also so humble to credit genetics for your amazing times. I definitely am not a natural runner (I started 4 years ago after being the stereotypical ‘fat kid’ growing up) but I would really hope that one day I can be half the runner that you are.

    And check out that 48 year old lady with the 1:29 time! I hope I’m in similar shape aged 48 (heck, I wish I was in that kind of shape now, and I’m 26!)

    • 10.1
      STUFT Mama says:

      Jess- Give yourself credit for coming as far as you have . You will totally get that 1:30. Life is just a roller coaster ride for all of us I think- we get close, then we fall back, etc. It happens to me too. I didn’t notice the 48 year old lady. Thanks for pointing that out. I always feel like I’m the old one, but I also feel like there is so much more I can do, you know?
      Hang in there. You ARE a natural runner now!!!! :)

  11. 11
    Samantha says:

    I am WAY out of my comfort zone right now…I hear you. One way or another it makes us stronger.

    Anyway, thank you for this inspiring and lovely post. I was so totally proud of you and that second place for the hat trick. That is no small deal of running!

    These are the sort of posts you should revisit when you are having a bad day and want to inspire yourself. :) Sam

    • 11.1
      STUFT Mama says:

      Good idea to revisit this when I’m having a bad day. I had a few too many since the race which is why it took me so long to post. How are you out of your comfort zone? I’ll keep you in my thoughts!

  12. 12
    Kristen says:

    I have truly enjoyed your RW Weekend recaps! Thank you so much for doing them for all of us that wish we could’ve gone, but didn’t!

    I have to say that I really appreciate how you challenged us to push outside of our comfort zone. I “play safe” way too often and I think because of that I don’t truly know what I’m capable of. I’m training for my third half marathon and even though I’m slower than most, that doesn’t mean I can’t push that envelope. Thank you!!!!

  13. 13
    Krista says:

    Wow sounds and looks like an exciting weekend. You should be extremely proud of yourself for your accomplishments this weekend. I’m jealous of your arms one day mine will look that good. Cheers!

  14. 14
    Laura says:

    I’ve been waiting for this! :) Ahh, epic weekend is right. And I’m so amazed and proud of you for your incredible new pr! Congrats, Kristin! I also love your words about being uncomfortable in life… that is a lesson I’m learning as well. Stretching ourselves is necessary at times, and it can lead to surprising results! Hope you’re still riding the pr high!

  15. 15
    Kathy says:

    I too have been waiting to hear about all of this….thank you from the bottom of my heart for your inspiration!!

    You ~almost~had me crying at the end of this post with your kind words and encouragement. You don’t realize how often I tend to sit in my comfort zone and hear the voice in my head saying, “God has a purpose for all of us..this just must be mine”….now….I am thinking I may be making excuses….it may just be time to push myself in that new direction. What ever it may be…with fitness, work, my faith…who knows…time to reflect for sure!

    Thanks Kristen! (and guess what I just had spaghetti squash, baked kale and some crushed red pepper ..with salsa and salmon…salad……yum! Thanks to you…) ;-)

  16. 16

    Yay! I finally get to read about your race. Haha. I’ve been waiting two weeks to read about it :) Haha. Obviously.

    My mind keeps on going back to that jar at the top though. It’s so fluffy!!! (Hehe. Cue Despicable Me Unicorn… Did you know that they are coming out with a Despicable Me 2?)

  17. 17

    Oh yea! I thought I might have missed your recap – what an amazing weekend. I know I say it a lot, but you are such an inspiring lady! And super-fast. I’m pretty sure I would have been done by mile 1 trying to keep up with you. :)

    And couldn’t agree with you more – getting out of your comfort zone is where we grow. We may not always succeed when we do, but it’s so important to try!

  18. 18
    Jennifer Murphy says:

    Ridiculously proud of you Kris! Love you!!!!

  19. 19

    What a great recap!!! I wish I could have been there with everyone!

    Thought I’d let you know, too, that I got my Enigmas from Mizuno Friday! I’ve been super busy catching up post NASM exam, so I’ll write a post soon. Wanted you to know they’re here and I LOVE them! Thank you so much!!!

    PS: Anyone ever tell you that you’ve got a contagious smile? :)

  20. 20

    Finally! I’ve been waiting for this recap. You did so awesom and I loved reliving it all again.

    And yes. You did teach me a thing or two about shoving things in boxes. Haha!

  21. 21

    Congratulations on your PR!!!! You are AMAZING and have inspired me to run harder for my workout tonight. Thanks a million. :)

  22. 22
    Kerri says:

    So happy for you!! But I cannot believe you have kept this to yourself for 2 weeks! Sounds like you “left it all on the course” this time and that is simply awesome! Way to go there Mama of Twins!!

  23. 23
    Sara Grambusch says:

    Amazing!!!

  24. 24
    Allison. says:

    Since you are basically my hero for completing all this I have a question! What do you do for recovery and for pain after the race has finished?!?!

  25. 25

    OMG! OMG!! congrats
    you are beyond amazing!!! I could never keep up with you ;)

  26. 26

    So proud of you! VERY deserving of this EPIC weekend. AMAZING, gifted runner!

  27. 27
    chacha says:

    Congrats on your huge PR and all your medal/trophy bling! Neon Blonde Runner is a sweetie for hanging around – I’ve heard good things from Margot about that speedy lady.

  28. 28

    Congratulations Kristin!! That time is just phenomenal….I’ve learned so many lessons through running (by training and racing especially)–the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that I can truly achieve any goal I set for myself, it just takes a lot of hard work!

  29. 29
    JennyV says:

    Simply put — FANTASTIC! Congrats to you :)

  30. 30
    SkinnyRunner says:

    girl, you are amazing and inspiring and your gratefulness for the gift of running is contageous.

  31. 31
    Cecilia says:

    Thank you so much for sharing about your weekend! I loved reading it. What an experience getting to run with Shalane. You’ll never forget that I’m sure!

  32. 32
    Emily says:

    Wow, amazing!!! Way to go. FYI: I want your arms. :-)

  33. 33
    Austin says:

    You are so amazing! Great job!!!

  34. 34
    EriGates says:

    You are such an inspiration! After reading your recap this morning, I wanted to register for a half right now and go for a PR. My fastest 1/2 time is a 1:46.02, so I have a long way to go:)! Congrats on your PR-you ran SO hard and it was worth it! Every time I PR, I feel like I am on cloud 9! I bet your boys were impressed w/ all your bling you brought home! Again, congrats!

  35. 35
    Amanda N says:

    I cannot even fathom a 5K, 10K, and a Half all in one weekend (or even a half at this point) awesome job – especially for 2nd in the hat trick and 2nd in your age group. You are one awesome running mama! Congrats!

  36. 36

    Awesome recap! That weekend was the best, I am so proud of you for running such an incredible race!

  37. 37
    Sarah L says:

    Congrats on such a fantastic half-marathon and weekend full of races! Sounds like it was an incredible experience. SO awesome that you got to run with Shalane for a mile!! :)

  38. 38

    Wow! Congratulations! You are such a beast!

    This is a really wonderful story. Honestly, I might just read it again later today before I go out on my run! Thank you so much for sharing.

  39. 39
    Kanoe says:

    OMG your times are AMAZING!!! You are one awesome mama!!! Love it!! You GO GIRL!! :-D

  40. 40
    elizabeth says:

    um, you failed to mention that you ran a marathon 6 days before and had just placed in your 5k and 10k woman. you are seriously such an inspiration. loved reading your recap. haven’t really told a lot of people yet, and it’s scary, but i hired a coach to teach me and help me BQ. there ya have it. oh, and totally google garden and gun. its a fabulous southern magazine. promise :)

  41. 41
    Denise says:

    I’m so proud to know you and call you my friend Kristin! It has been great watching you evolve the past few years and I see your talents shining brightly. Congratulations and thanks for always being so encouraging!
    Love you girl!

  42. 42
    Laura says:

    I know this comment is a bit late; I am a new reader to your blog. I loved reading about your experience doing the hat trick, as I am currently training to do the 2013 Hat Trick. I am a little nervous, but hopefully I will finish all three races :) You did an amazing job, and I am feeling inspired after your race recap. I know it is going to be a fun experience, and I am looking forward to it. I love your picture with the aardvark. He is the local running store’s mascot. (That is why there was an aardvark there, haha!) Thanks again for posting such a nice review!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] a little under the weather this morning. The fact that I was up super late writing that final Runner’s World recap post the other night on top of the time change might have something to do with it. Ugh. Never [...]

  2. [...] not looking to PR or anything since I haven’t really been running that much since The big Runner’s World Hat Trick extravaganza. I’m toying with the idea of pushing them again just for fun. It won’t be easy as [...]

  3. [...] the post-marathon blues ever single race. I actually think I still have them a bit after the big Runner’s World Half Marathon [...]

  4. [...] wore my Mizuno gloves and Mizuno jacket to keep warm. Dang I’m a wuss when it come to cold [...]

  5. [...] got a sample of them back at the Runner’s World Half Marathon and we recently got these to try [...]

  6. [...] Karnazes is running it. (We’re good friends you [...]

  7. [...] After our little shake out run it didn’t take me long to find my good old speedy pacer friend Robert. [...]

  8. [...] got this Wild Planet Wild Albacore Tuna back in October at the Runner’s World Half Marathon and finally got around to packing it for a snack. It was mighty [...]

  9. [...] first learned about the program and the Runner’s World Half Marathon and Festival last October. Then in April I got a little taste of what it was like to run a race with them VIP [...]

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