Charlottesville Half-marathon Recap

Happy Hump Day friends!

This week is flying by and, brand name viagra to be honest, I need it to slow down! There’s so much to be done before summer break and even more to be done during — it’s time to kick it into high gear, y’all.

Anyways. This past weekend I was in Charlottesville, VA with my mom and some friends of her’s our’s for the Charlottesville Marathon (half and 8K included).

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Friday 4/5/13

After two wonderful flight delays *sarcasm intended*, I finally arrived in Cville on Friday afternoon, greeted with warm air and beautiful Virginia scenery.

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Our group stayed at the Omni Hotel where the starting line was conveniently located right outside along with Main Street and the race expo.

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Shortly after setting my bags down in the room and cleaning up a bit, we all made our way over to the race expo to pick up our packets and browse around. There wasn’t a whole lot to offer so we didn’t stay very long.

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Can’t decide if Charlottesville is ready to welcome spring or not, haha.

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Since we had some time to kill before all meeting up at the restaurant for our dinner reservations, Mom and I decided to take a stroll down Main Street.

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Mom told me about this almond baklava she saw in a coffee shop earlier that day so we headed that way for a little snack to tide us over before dinner. Baklava is without a doubt my favorite sweet and this almond version did not disappoint.

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Dinner was at Sal’s Italian Cafe for some good ole carbo-loading. I ordered a pizza that came with artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, and spinach then added pancetta and requested light on the cheese. It wasn’t as good as I had hoped but it did the job carb wise so I didn’t complain.

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Once we finished our meals we took our time chatting before walking to Splendora’s for gelato. There was literally zero room in my belly after my pizza so I sampled the cookies n’ creme and ordered a decaf coffee.

When we got back to the hotel we called it a night and made plans to meet in the lobby at 6:25 am — five minutes before the start of the half and full marathon.

Saturday 4/6/13 

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The alarm on my phone went off at 5:00 am and after pressing snooze twice, I was up and spreading Justin’s maple almond butter on a plain white bagel at 5:18 am. While I was forcing myself to eat that early I thought I should probably snap a picture of my race day breakfast but the sleepiness in me dismissed that idea. Sorry. 😐

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The night before I put together a playlist to run to on my iPod and set out everything I would need for the race. In my ID belt I packed some tissues and Honey Stinger energy chews.

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Soon after breakfast and a cup of coffee, I was geared up and ready to go. 😀

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Left to right: Heather, Katie, Shelley, me. 

Out of the four of us I was the only one doing the half, the rest of the girls ran the full. Shelley has ran in a number of other marathons along with one 30 mile trail race but this was Heather and Katie’s first full marathon.

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Immediately after this picture was taken, we all headed to the starting line. Shelley and I made our way towards the middle of the pack while the other two opted for a start a little farther back. In no time the gun was off and I was officially running my first half-marathon!

I really wish I had a camera with me during the race. The trail took us by parts of UVA’s campus, down town, through picture perfect country roads on rolling hills, and past horse farms with amazing colonial style homes. All while the sun was rising.

At the two mile mark I realized my Garmin watch never got a satellite signal. Yes, it’s just my luck that the one time my watch decided not to work was race day. I tried to reset it a few times during the run before ultimately deciding I didn’t need to know my pace to accomplish my two goals: run happy and finish.

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I was in the middle of giving my two thumbs up face for this picture.

The race was very well organized however, I could’ve used a few more water stops. For my next half I’m going to invest in a Camelbak belt.

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My mom was like the freaking paparazzi when I finished.

Once I caught my breath I headed for water and grabbed a banana then went up to the hotel room with my mom. In the room I did a few sun salutations and stretches to take care of my legs. Next race I’m definitely bringing my foam roller — my muscles need it bad! My mom ran the 8K with Wendy and Karen so we both showered up before heading back to the finish line to watch the other girls run in.

I ended up crossing the finish line in 1:58:00! Along with my other two goals, I secretly had the hopes of finishing under two hours so I was ecstatic when I saw my chip time. The course was TOUGH and by the end of it I was cursing all the hills under my breath. I can’t wait to run another half with a time goal on a flat(ter) course.

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Mom and I waiting on the marathon runners

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Left to right: Mom, Wendy, and Karen

The 8K ladies

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Shelley finished with an awesome time!

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Next was Shelley’s younger sister, Katie!

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Shelley was extra chipper after the race. I think she was high on GU shots after she told us she took one at almost every water stop they were offered. 😉

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Soon after Shelley and Katie, in came Heather with a strong finish!

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By the time everyone had finished I realized I was starving. Wendy, Karen, Shelley, my mom, and I had lunch at Eppie’s. I made it a point to eat here after seeing this mouthwatering Santa Monica salad with a baby pumpkin loaf on Kath’s blog.

Along with lunch at Eppie’s, I also wanted to make a visit to Arch’s Frozen Yogurt and Matt and Kath’s bakery so me, Mom, and Shelley set off for a walk around Cville.IMG_5349

I knew about Arch’s brownie batter topping but was beyond pumped when I saw they had a yellow cake batter(!!) topping. For my Arch’s treat, I went with vanilla froyo and topped it with brownie batter, yellow cake batter, cookie dough, Oreo’s, Reese’s, and a drizzle of caramel sauce. I needed to replenish my glycogen stores, after all. 😉

Frozen yogurt bars of Alabama: you need to get on it with the batter toppings!

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At Great Harvest I sampled the pesto swirl bread and a salted caramel cookie (uh holy deliciousness) and ended up taking home a bag of Cvile Cluster Granola and a Great Harvest mug. 🙂

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Dinner Saturday night was at Common Wealth where mom and I ordered a salad and shared the mushroom, spinach, and cheese empanadas. The whole tabled shared a few banana bread puddings and a peanut butter torte before we made our way to the roof top bar. We rounded the trip off with a few drinks and some talk before calling it a night.

On Sunday morning we all parted ways and headed for home. All in all I had an incredible weekend spent with a great group of friends. Can’t wait for the next race trip!

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