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1:58:25 Personal Record on a tough hilly course and I'm wiggin out inside :)
Now to truly appreciate that time is to look at last years time, same race at 2:49:17. Yes, I was 3 months post baby, but wow.

Whats crazy is that going into this race I didnt know what I had planned. All year I thought I was going to run/shuffle with someone ... not until the week of that Coach had me worked on some speed work did I maybe think "Hey, I could run this on my own and see what happens".
There wasnt a doubt in my mind that I could do it around 2 hours. But not until the day of I decided with a friend to stick with the 3:40 pacer did I try and commit to a sub 2 hour.
Race morning was great. Other than a very loud nights sleep, getting up was smooth. Had a energy bar (thank you Denice), and started grubbing on all the goodies I had gotten in my registration bag.

We were a 2 min walk from the start, and hopped into the 8:30-8:59 section and played the waiting game.
Then it was the start, and we played the mad dash to get through people. Wasnt as bad as last year. My friend Denice pushed the right pace and I stayed behind her as she plowed through the crowd.
The first 6 miles were great. Spent time mostly dodging people and keeping pace. Didnt do much scenery watching this race, I felt as though I was in a zone and stayed there.
According to Denice's Garmin we were sticking an 8:30 pace, which was very nice.
I was in shock that I was "pushing" it at that pace ... cause I wasnt really "pushing" it ... just cruising.
Then we hit mile 6 and start the mega climb, stayed with D through the first hill, then split up after that.
Though everyone around me was "ringing" with heart rate alerts I felt very calm. Yeah, the hill wasnt easy but I didnt feel overwhelmed. Felt good to feel strong and I started my "Im a mountain goat" chant.
After watching the clock and seeing where I was it was totally possible for a sub 2 hour. So I pushed it. Decided I would tackle the hills strong, keep my turnover the same and whenever I hit a flat I would pick up the pace.
With that mindset, I was making good time.

( #1 Goal this year was to SMILE. Last year I was crying at this point coming down this hill. This year I was so happy to be 45 lbs lighter and pushing my self to a new personal record! )

Now I REALLY enjoyed that race. I gave it a strong effort, not overwhelming but I made sure I was on empty by the time I was finished. I was so happy. Only one time did the little voice in my head try to get to me at the end of the racing questioning why I needed to prove anything. With hearing that I picked up the pace, and came to conclusion that I wasnt doing this to prove anything, I was doing it cause my body COULD do it, and it WANTED to do it... so why not?
Crossing the finish line, I again was in a mindset to accept my awesome Tiffanys necklace, get my goody bag, grab all the free goodies, make sure I get my chocolate milk and pick up my sweet finishers shirt. Every other breathe I almost wanted to cry I was so happy that I did it! But I didnt cry because ... well because I knew I could go faster. Just KNOWING that made me happier.
So I lived in the moment. Took my finishers photo and shuffled to the bus.
Now on my way to the shuttles I bumped into the authors of RUN LIKE A MOTHER! I was psyched! I had been wanting to meet them, and viola they came up to me. They were taking video of women and asking them to finish the races phrase "I RUN TO BE...". So I showed off my rad shirt I had made at Niketown the day before . Very cool.

So that is my experience.
I love that race! Last year it HURT. So wasnt ready. But the views and the swag is unbeatable.
The day after my husband posts this on my FB wall: Totally going to hold him to that, next year I'll be flying in from good ole Mississippi, he will need a friendly reminder :)

"OFFICIAL TIME: 01:58:25...Christina is asleep and still doesn't know this. I am so proud of my wife! This is over a 51 minute PR from the same race last year. She has come so far and I think can do around 1:40 on this course...I just may push her to come back and try next year if she can get in".

Totally going to hold him to that, next year I'll be flying in from good ole Mississippi, he will need a friendly reminder :)

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