Wednesday, December 26, 2012

St. Jude Memphis Half Marathon Recap 2012

I've fallen way behind in blogging (as usual) but can't let the recap of my second time running the St. Jude half go unwritten.  I always find myself rereading these posts the night before a race or when I need a little running motivation.  I also enjoy seeing the how the 13.1 distance has changed for me over the years.

Mike and I made our way to Memphis Friday afternoon and I quickly fell in love with P&E's new house.  We were without our J and A (from team J.A.K.E. of last year) due to a horrible virus keeping J from traveling and something about getting married this year and being out of vacation days for A ;).

race expo
Friday night we went to look at some awesome Christmas lights before enjoying a yummy spaghetti carb fest and an early bedtime.  Patrick ended up getting night shifts for the weekend so he was able to drive us to the race start first thing Saturday.  The morning was surprisingly warm for December and the time pre-race passed quickly.

We took a few photos and met up with our Louisiana friends who were there to run their FIRST half marathon!

with Mary!
Before we knew it we were on our way!  Erin had mentioned a 1:55ish goal to me and I knew that was probably a little out of my reach but decided to hang on to her as long as possible and just try to break 2 hours.

high quality borrowed race photos
We ran the first 5 or so miles together but my legs and lungs were not thrilled about the 8:20ish pace we were keeping so I dropped back a bit.  I kept Erin in my sights for the next 4 miles.

Patrick did a great job of spectating/cheering/and photo-taking.  High-fives from friends are so uplifting during long runs.  

I was finally catching back up to E as we exited the park somewhere between mile 9 and 10.  I was literally about to reach out and grab her when she slowed to walk.  I yelled "I don't think so" at her and did my best job to be encouraging and convince her she was going to crush her goal if she just held on.  The race photographers must have been all around us at this point as they captured quite a few serious friendship photos that make me smile.

forcing shot blocks and water
Running these two races with Erin have meant so much to me.  Racing 13.1 miles is never easy for me and is always a battle between my heart and my body.  Being able to push through the pain beside a friend and root for each other is awesome and makes memories I will always cherish. 

The last three miles went quickly in spite of my slower pace.  It helped that I knew to expect the long, straight stretch of rolling hills this time around.  I entered the stadium this time determined to not fall apart on the silly gravel track.  I gave it all I had and crossed the finish line in 1:57:47.

"sprinting" on gravel
I found my speedy hubby and made it over to watch E finish in under 2 hours! Yay!  Mike was even more ridiculous than usual beating his goal of 1:45 by almost three minutes and finishing in 1:42:14.  I haven't quite figured out how he races at these crazy speeds when every one of his training runs are with me at my slower pace.  I'd love to see what he's capable of if he actually trained to be fast. 

We rested on the grass with our shiny new medals and lots of water for a bit before posing for some photos and heading through the food lines to find Patrick at the finishers area.

memphis has LOTS of Elvis lookalikes

yay finishers!
This race has the best post-race food.  The hot soup was just as yummy as last year (even if it wasn't cold this year) but the Krispy Kreme really made my day.

Once again, St. Jude put on an awesome race.  I absolutely love everything about this event.  This is my favorite 13.1 and I hope to be able to return again!  

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