And I yet again fell off the blogging bandwagon. Sigh.
To say my Fall was crazy is a mild understatement.
The end of September I flew down to Orlando to visit good friends and run the Tower of Tower 10 miler at Disney. In 2010, I did the inaugural Wine & Dine 1/2, so I had done a night race before. Plan for Saturday was to do nothing. I laid around Katie & Steve's house, we went out for a big lunch, and I took a nap. I was feeling confident. And then the humidity hit me. I was not prepared and about 6.5 in I felt myself running out of steam quick. It hit Katie & Steve about the same time and we took to walking. I caught up with my buddy Sandy on the course, too. This was a miserable race and a PW by a long shot. While I was fortunate enough to feel ok after, many others did not. We did not stick around for the after party, and I'm glad as it was nearly 3am by the time we made it back to the house anyway.
Overall, I was not impressed with this race. I had heard great things about it's predecessor, the Tower of Terror 13K, and this did not live up to that. The course was boring. Granted, I've run boring courses before. But, I think boring in the dark vs. boring in the sunlight are two different things. There's not alot to look at in the dark to distract yourself. Disney did not live up to the on course entertainment I'd had at other races, either. And, the course got very narrow and crowded as we headed into and ran on the grounds of the sports complex.
I actually will be at Disney next year when the race is happening, but at the moment, am not planning on running it. I think night races in Florida and I just aren't meant to be.
Two weeks later was the Baltimore 1/2. This has traditionally been a strong race for me, and I was looking forward to running on a gorgeous Fall morning. Katie came up for Florida, and I started the race with her, Megan, and Kim. Sadly, due to crowding, I completely lost them a couple of miles in. I was keeping a pretty good pace and hit the hills pretty strong so just kept plugging along. After a couple of more miles I popped my iPod on (in one ear only and on low) to help distract me a bit. I did really get into the atmosphere though and quite frankly, had an absolute blast. My hometown made me proud. The crowd support and enthusiasm of people throughout the city was just awesome. And, I managed my best half time of the year!
The following weekend was the Army Ten Miler. This was my first time running it. I met up with Megan early early in the morning and we headed into the city together. She's an ATM vet, so it was great to have her show me the ropes. We hung out with ROTE friends beforehand, including our friend Rebecca who was in town from Germany. Yay! It was so good to see her. We were last together in May 2011.
My plan was to hang with Megan as long as I could. She has had amazing marathon training this fall, and was definitely more prepared than I. But, I was also still on a post-Baltimore high, so my confidence was up for a change. Our friend David started with us as well, but with MCM the following weekend, he fell back after awhile to conserve some energy for the following weekend. Megan and I got into a great groove and just kept pushing ourselves along. The 14th Street Bridge sucked as always. This was the third race I'd run it in, and it never seems to get any easier.
The atmosphere of this race was phenomenal. So many military runners and people honoring heroes. I teared up a bit when I saw a woman wearing a shirt honoring her son who had died in combat. The patriotism had some light moments, too, like the guy who played a fife and wore a tricorner hat WHILE running and got everyone pumped up. My first ATM, but definitely not my last.
That afternoon I hopped on a plane and flew to Florida to spend the week helping celebrate Katie & Steve's wedding. It was a wonderful week with special people I'm so lucky to have in my life. And, we were all brought together by running.