Finally the day of the big half-marathon came! After a sleepless night and lots of butterflies in my stomach, my alarm rang at 6 a.m. to get ready for the big event. I rolled out of bed and started the clothes layering process for our run in the 28 degree weather (though it did warm up to the 30s by the time we started). My "team" (the friends I have been training with for months now) showed up a few minutes later and we drove up to the Charlotte Convention Center to check in and get ready for the race.
We were overwhelmed at all the people there to run the race especially the people we called "professionals" - the ones wearing tight spandex pants, also the old wrinkled men were professionals and the people already wearing t-shirts and shorts. Needless to say, I didn't look like a professional. It's ok though because I was there just to finish. The starting line was different than I expected, because there were so many people running the race, it was basically just a big crowd of people waiting to start running, we barely heard the shotgun and then finally we were off!
Alison kept us to a speedy pace for a couple of miles and then I started getting a bit of a sideache so Michelle and I let her go ahead and kept to a slower pace that I could handle - no pride here, I just wanted to finish without having to stop and walk. Then at about mile 4 something really fun happened, we were running on one side of a busy street that was closed down for the race and I heard two of my friends scream my name. They were driving to come cheer us on and were stuck in the traffic. That was a much-needed boost, especially since someone turned to me and said, did you know them? I felt like such a celebrity.
Then those same friends kept showing up at different mile markers along the way to cheer us on. I appreciated that SO much, it totally kept me excited and going. Also Austin and the kids made big signs and came to cheer me on - that was motivating too.
I truly enjoyed the entire race until about the last .2 mile when I just couldn't believe it wasn't done yet! Then I crossed the finish line and stopped on my wobbly legs and enjoyed a band and free food and drinks. Then my family and friends congratulated me so I felt special and the rest of the day I took naps and ate lots of chocolate and dreamed of my next race (probably in April and I know Tricia, Heather and Molly are dying to join in!)
Thanks for my cheerleaders and my team who made this such a fantastic and life-changing experience!
Cooper all bundled up to come watch the race.
Will and the sign he made for me.
The sign Austin and Cooper made - notice Cooper wrote, "I hope you can do it."
We decided to start a family tradition of driving to the mountains to get our Christmas tree! It was a couple hours away and a lot of snacks and dvd watching later, but we found the perfect tree. We rode up to the tree farm on a tractor-pulled hay wagon with some other friendly NC folks. The trees were beautiful - we could have chosen any of them and would have loved them. We even got free cocoa and cider at the country store afterward! But no rhubarb-strawberry pie, peach cobbler or soup - they were all out of everything warm and yummy so we settled for a peppermint-chocolate chip shake from Chick-fil-a on the way home.
We recently started giving Cooper and Will allowance every week so that they can learn to pay their tithing and have money for the little things that they always want me to buy them or they can save up for bigger things.
So far the results are interesting, Will has already lost his allowance from his first week - not hard to do when he changes his clothes 10 times an hour and has piles of junk all over his bedroom. So I will be holding on to his allowance for him.
Cooper has been learning the value of money lately when I say that he can use his allowance to buy stuff that he asks me for, all of the sudden he doesn't want that item much anymore. The other day he wanted a Gatorade and we said, sure you can buy it with your allowance, and he asked us,"Do I have to make a living with my allowance?"
Yes, Cooper you do, time to start saving up for the mortgage.