Day 1 – Arrival Day and Rodale/Runner’s World HQ Tour
Day 2, Part 1 – Run, Yoga & Food
Day 2, Part 2 – Kid’s Races!
I woke up with much excitement. I knew I would be seeing my brother this AM. We had hoped to connect the night before, but his plane arrived so late and our hotels were 3 miles apart. Since we did not know the area, we didn’t know if it would be safe to walk, in the dark to see each other.
Katie F. and I left the hotel, with plenty of time to spare. It was a quick and crisp walk. Dropping off my bag at gear check, I could see my brother walking my direction. Soon, we were hugging each other and I felt a complete sense of relief to know he was there.
We started our warm up in the corrals and I did a few sprints. Legs felt good, ribs felt okay. Still naggy from the BCW Marathon falls in September, but certainly nothing to worry about. Bro’s goal was to run a sub7 pace, he could do that. My goal was to finish in the 23-24:## range. I didn’t see any reason I couldn’t achieve that goal. Nothing felt off or sore. Even my breathing felt good in the cooler temps.
We nestled into our respective corrals and before I knew it, the gun was off. It felt so wonderful to run in cooler temps, again! I was pushing and I felt great, my breathing was not overly labored and I didn’t have any pain that was hindering me.
We made our way onto a slow incline, which wasn’t the greatest, but I have been through worse. I had made the decision not to look at my Garmin and run by feel. My first mistake was looking at the gun time clock when we reached Mile 1. I was 45 seconds-1min off of my usual pace, by then. I was in utter shock, there was NO WAY I was running that slow. Just no way.
As we came down the other side of the incline, I went into my Mile 2 kick. I knew I could make up any lost time on the decline and my kick. When I reached Mile 2 – I did not look at the clock. Not sure if that was a good or bad thing to do.
I see the Finish Line and in the distance, I can see the gun clock…it was ticking away at 25:##. To say my heart sunk, was an understatement. I crossed the finish line at 26:10 and feeling like a complete failure. I have no explanation of what had happened out there. I felt great, I pushed hard and I ran my 5k on my Half Marathon pace, not my usual 5k time. I have not had a 5k finish time like that in over a year (excluding my post-injury time)
I picked up my medal and felt I didn’t even deserve it. Yes, I finished, but it’s a race – I failed. I completely failed. I would be lying to say, I didn’t have tears in my eyes as I received the medal.
(I wore my RW shirt for the race. I know, I can hear the gasped and grumblings right now. I wore a race shirt on race day. I had no problems doing so because 1) it was not a Finisher shirt. 2) RW sponsored me to this event, so I wanted to show my appreciation and wear their shirt.)
Quickly, I changed my focus to find my brother. I prayed, PRAYED he had a better race than I did. I couldn’t handle 2 failures in one race.
After I picked up some bananas – I found bro and he was all smiles. He had a KILLER race! Of course, he wanted to know how my race was and I brushed it off. I wanted to focus on his accomplishment, not my failure.
Of course, I couldn’t keep him from looking up my results and said, “what happened?” – again, I brushed it off and asked him to look up his results. He was first in his AG! That’s my bro!
So, we waited for the awards ceremony and he didn’t get 1st in his AG 🙁 – he earned 3rd in Masters Overall! 🙂 Sweetness! Here he is with his trophy.
After his quick shirt change, he was back into the corrals for the 10k. I did not register for the 10k, so this was going to be a treat to see him finish. Which I never do, since he always finishes before me.
A short 35-40 minutes later, he was at the Finish Line and ran another sub7 race! We had no idea his place, but he ran 2 races at sub7. How can we not be excited!
Results were in and he won his AG! 2 races = 2 awards! My momentary pity party was turning into a great celebration for us. I was giddy beyond belief.
After the 10k, we made our way back to the Start/Finish to watch the Doggie races. This was the highlight of my Heartbreak Hill Festival in June, I couldn’t wait to share it with the Bro,
The doggies lined up
I wanted to hug them all! Moments like this, I really missed my puppies. I know Daisy Mae would of loved this, while Honeybear would of been a great cheerleader. haha!
And they were off. 1/4 mile down and 1/4 back. 2 laps.
What a joy! Bro and I were constantly smiles and laughing. Nothing makes me happier than seeing doggies.
After the doggie race, we made a quick stop into the Expo. I visited re-visited some of the sponsors to thank them again for their support of the event and the blogging team.
Bro and I had our faux Runner’s World magazine cover. I have officially declared this weekend as a very un-photogenic weekend, for me. I have yet to take a good photo.
After the AM’s races and expo time, we freshened up and went out to eat at the same Pizza place Katie F. and I ate the day before, this time – we had gluten free pizza with vegan cheese. It was the best pizza I have ever had, and Bro agreed.
After a quick wandering around Bethlehem, we headed back to the race event location for a comedy show by Liz Miel, who is also a runner. At the show, Bro had a chance to meet a few of the others. I was happy he had to meet those who I have raved about since Boston.
Next, onward to the dinner. Once again – with great Runner’s World Cookbook recipes. If you don’t have this book, buy it! Make it your go-to resource for healthy and DELICIOUS food the entire family will enjoy.
While standing in line to get our food, we had a wonderful chat with Amby Burfoot and his wife. In case you don’t know, Amby was the 1969 Boston Marathon winner. In addition, Bro got to meet Bart Yasso. I think Bro was in awe (sorry, I forgot to get a photo)
(see, another bad photo of me!)
Once dinner was done, we went our separate ways to our respective hotels and called it a night.
Next up: Half Marathon
Every moment of this experience, was wonderful, so far. I am so grateful for this opportunity that Runner’s World has given me.
*Disclaimer: I was an invited guest blogger to the Runner’s World Half Marathon & Festival in Bethlehem, PA. The views, reviews and opinions expressed are my own and not influenced by the organizers nor sponsors or any other company/individual affiliated with the event.