You may remember some nonsense from a week ago about my running a half marathon in a few weeks. I was (mostly) whining about running, not running, then running some more.

So naturally, I decided to do this. Last Saturday.

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What was that quote I posted? The results you didn’t get with the work you didn’t do? Ahh yes.

And as icing on my I-prefer-to-do-things-the-hard-way cake, I completely forgot about going to the expo and picking up my race packet until several hours after they were closed and gone Friday night. So I spent a good bit of time between 10pm Friday and 6am Saturday completely frazzled, imagining worst case scenarios in my sleep-deprived brain. “What if they don’t let me run? The website CLEARLY says you MUST pick up your packet at the expo. NO race day pick ups. Maybe I could sneak in. With no number. Is that wrong? I paid! I’m just dumb and forgetful!”

It will surprise no one to find out it all worked out more than fine. I made my sweet family get up and get to Bentonville by 6:15am Saturday morning so I could “beg” for my race bib, but they handed it over no questions asked. Crisis averted!

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I’d seen on Facebook the night before that my friend Amanda was in town for business and running it, too, so I tried to find her in the mob of people on the Bentonville square that morning. We chatted for a bit and then it was time to go!

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There we are at the start, waving like goofballs. We have never run together — Amanda lives in Ohio — but we started out at the same pace so we decided to go with it. Neither of us had any specific time goal in mind. Amanda wanted to beat her time from this race the year before, and I wanted to run a respectable “comeback” from my marathon. Nothing crazy. So we cruised for the first few miles.

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I’m not exactly sure when we saw him, but Jeff managed to find us somewhere between mile 2 and mile 6ish and snap this picture of us running, waving, and smiling in sync. Isn’t that cute??

At some point, we got separated and I ran the middle portion of the race by myself. It was windy as all get-out, but not hot and not raining. I knew I wasn’t trained like I should be, but I knew I wasn’t injured or anything like that — I was determined to enjoy the run.

I wasn’t around, obviously, but here’s a little taste of the nonsense that went on during the race. My sister Becky often comes with us to races to help wrangle Colt, but I’m not sure who is really doing the wrangling here…

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Oh my.

But back to business.

There is a hill at the end of the Bentonville Half Marathon that makes grown men cry. It is awful. And this year, I knew it was coming! I knew to expect it, but it kicked my butt anyway. It’s in the last mile of the race, and by that point Amanda and I had found each other again. Here we are huffing and puffing our way up the hill. NO picture can do justice to how steep it is, or how long it seems to last…

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That picture makes it look flat, but here’s the elevation map.

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{click to enlarge a bit} Seriously — check out mile 13. It’s just mean.

The last tenth of a mile or so is flat as the course rolls back into the square and – of course! – I was joined by my favorite running partner.

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(Somewhere in the excitement of catching me to run the last stretch to the finish line, the camera decided to get stuck in “soft” mode so the last handful of photos are a little dreamy.)

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This one isn’t glowy and “soft”. It’s an official race photo from my friends at Podium Images.

Official time 2:35:04. 120 out of 154 women ages 30 to 34.

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And though I’m not exactly one to race for the bling, I’ll go ahead and admit the Bentonville Half medal was a SLIGHT factor in my decision to run this race. But come on! It’s the other half of a cute little pair of running shoes!

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2012 Bentonville Half Marathon medal on the left in blue. 2013 Bentonville Half Marathon medal on the right.

So… part 1 of 3. Yes, friends. There are more half marathons in the very near future. Half-a-palooza is ON.

6 thoughts on “Half-a-palooza: Part 1 of 3

  1. Great job! You have the best action shots! I always look like I’m about to die when my hubby gets pics of me.

    1. Lisa, the trick is in volume. My hubby is such a good sport — he takes SO many pictures in hopes that a few are good :)

  2. I feel obligated to point out that while you may have been huffing and puffing up that hill, Dude behind you is clearly walking. You, my friend, are a stud. :)

    1. He totally is! I didn’t even notice! He appears not only to be walking, but STROLLING.

  3. Nice job!!! Hills at the end are just plain cruel!

    1. Hills are mean anytime, but at the end… BOO.

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