Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Grand Finale

My final race of 2013 took me to Savannah, Georgia for the Rock 'n' Roll Half-Marathon. My friend Traci and I flew to Atlanta and stayed with my sister, Maryanne.  Traci and Maryanne have been friends for years and we were all excited for a girl's weekend!

On the plane, Traci and I sat with my friend, Ellen, who I hadn't seen in ages. We flapped our jaws about horses and running, our favorite things. Funny how you never know who you'll run into when you're traveling!

Traci and I had a three hour layover in Denver, so what did we do to pass time?  Thirteen minutes of planking! (We went upstairs to a corner of the mezzanine where there was minimal foot traffic and witnesses.)

After a night in Atlanta at Maryanne's house and an interesting trip to the grocery store ("Maryanne are you buying a squirrel?"), we took a three hour road trip to Savannah. 

Our hotel was amazing, but the race packet pick up was not. They had lost Traci's number and she had to be issued another one, causing her race day tracking not to work (which she found out after the fact). 

Just for the experience, we ate at Paula Deen's restaurant which wasn't anything to brag about. Plus, there is nothing quite like gambling on eating fried food the day before a race....

Race morning came fast and it was cold, dark, and crack-of-dawn early (insert jet lag here).  We stopped for a quick photo op on our way to the gear check and porta-potties. 

We were gifted with a corral 6 start, my best yet, but that joy came and went as we were still standing in the porta-potty line when the race started. So much for our prime starting group!  By the time we got to the start they were on corral 10. We quickly gave each other hugs and well wishes and off we went. This was Traci's first half and my sister's second!

In my rush to the starting line, I made a rookie mistake and forgot to double tie my shoelaces. By mile 1, my laces were flapping and I had to stop to tie them. Seriously? I know better!

It was a beautiful course with SO much history surrounding us.  We ran through a full spectrum of neighborhoods and everyone was very friendly.  Downtown the trees draped over us creating a tunnel for the sea of runners. Neighborhoods rallied together to cheer and the funniest sign I saw read: "You're running better than our government!" 

Savannah was a magical race with all of us getting personal records! Traci ran a 2:15, I ran a 2:20, and Maryanne beat her last half marathon time by 14 minutes! 

On our road trip back to Atlanta, we took a detour to the beach. It was the first time I'd been to the Atlantic Ocean.

I could have stayed there for days, but the Coach outlet mall was calling Traci's name. Well, that was what I thought until I was the one who bought so much stuff I had to buy a second suitcase just to get it all home! ("If you're looking for me I'll be in timeout in the car.")

Great trip, beautiful location, friendly race, and memories with my sister that will last a lifetime!

May 2014 bring you all the joys that comes from a balanced life and putting family first!


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