Holiday Half Marathon & 5K

Celebrate the finish lines not the finish times is my race motto. Well, I got to celebrate TWO finish lines with finish times that I was pretty darn pleased with. This weekend was the Holiday Half Marathon & 5k Golden Snowflake Challenge. I had never participated in a 5k race the day before a half marathon. I found that I did surprisingly well completing the 16 mile weekend. I won’t say the races were both ideal, since every race does have points of struggle. I have wisely learned it is just a matter of staying mentally positive and pushing past the suck. See… that is why you need to keep reading…yes, the details!

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I had the honor of being a race ambassador for the  Holiday Half Marathon.  All the Ambassadors met up for  pre-race pics. It’s always nice to see these runner friends. I find each one of these wonderful people to be true running inspirations. Plus they are photo taking crazies just like me!
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Both race mornings were absolutely chilly, but were perfect race weather when the sun came out. The 5k  was awesome because I got run and chat with Megan. She is a motivational runner, an outstanding pacer, and an amazing friend.
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The highlight of the morning though was watching my Littles complete the penguin waddle one mile run. They are both crazy fast! Honestly, they must get that from their daddy.
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Now on to the half marathon details. As the race started I found my way to the 2:20 pace crew. I stayed right behind the woman with the pace sign for about seven miles. I kept saying to myself, “just focus on the run and stop thinking about anything negative!” Yes negative and discouraging thoughts easily creep into my mind when running. I shake them off and find a happy pace to lose myself into.  Then my picture habit got the better of me, I stopped for a snap at Puddingstone Lake.
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My ultra running husband has told me many a time that if I put the camera down and just run my race the finish times would be better. However, part of the fun for me is capturing those moments along the course. It is my crazy, I know.

After taking a few pics for other runners, continued along my way and ran through Frank Bonelli Regional Park. The hills were challenging, but since I ran this race last year I knew what I had to mentally prepare for.

As I came to mile eleven I knew I was on track to meet my goal of a 2:20 finish.  I stopped for a drink of water at the last hydration station and made my way to the finish line. It felt so good to be done! I collected my finisher medal and found my way to collect the awesome golden snow flake challenge medal.
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After I collected my bling, I worked my way to the post race massage line. It was totally worth the wait!
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So I wrap up my 2015 season having completing three 5ks, two 10ks, five half marathons, two full marathons and one 50k. That is 170 miles of racing and many wonderful memories to last a life time.

A blog write-up for each race experience all began last year with the Holiday Half Marathon. I’m glad I chose to journal the details because it has allowed me reflect back on my running journey. This coming year I plan to train smarter and listen more to my body. Thank you for reading and I hope you’ve enjoyed coming on this journey with me. I looking forward to the adventures of 2016!

XO Charlotte

Wait! Here are just a few more pics from the weekend!
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