What started out as a simple idea of running a spring marathon, quickly grew into an amazing girls weekend away. 4 friends, 48 hours, and a little race in between. We got up very early on a Saturday morning, flew into Toronto, picked up my Mom and drove to Niagara Falls.
We started out with kit pick up. This race had one of the best race kits I've ever seen. Not only did it have a full bottle of wine, but it also had Epson salts, hair spray, mascara, lip balm and nail polish. Everything you could need to freshen up after running a half marathon.
We also got to meet Kathrine Switzer of Boston Marathon running fame. We bought her book and got her autograph.
We spent Saturday taking pictures and relaxing, getting ready for the Sunday morning run. Sunday morning as we got ready we added in some motivation in the form of temporary tattoos. Looking down at "Actually, I Can" got us through a few rough patches.
We also had our team t-shirts, with our regular running motto: 1) Have Fun, 2) Don't Die, 3) Finish. They were a hit with the crowds.
I also dyed my hair just for the occasion. I got a lot of comments on my hair, and even had someone stop running to take a selfie with me.
The route was flat and we went through the mist of the Falls twice. Those were glorious moments of being cooled off while listening to the roar of the Falls. Otherwise it was fairly warm out, with a lot of humidity. The entire route followed the Niagara Parkway, winding with the river the whole way. Jeannette and I had planned to stick together no matter what, something I will be eternally grateful for. Our first 5k was great, clocking in at 49:41, one of our best times. It's no surprise that both trips through the mist happened in the first 5k. There was also an amazing water station full of energetic people cheering us on.
Things started to go south for me around the 7k mark. My knee, which has not bothered me in months, started to hurt. I tried to keep going with my run/walk plan, but it wasn't meant to be. The pain got to the point that all I could do was walk. So we walked. Jeanette was my rock, sticking with me, encouraging me and just being amazing. By the time we reached the 16k mark I was done. Mentally and physically, I did not think I could go on. Everything hurt and I broke down in tears. Jeanette and I hugged it out and she talked me into walking to the next km and then the next and got me to the finish line.
We crossed the finish line in 04:12:28. My slowest half to date, but I'm still proud of it. I had fun. I didn't die (even if that seemed iffy at times). And I finished.