This past weekend I traveled up to Chicago and then to Kenosha, WI for the Wisconsin half marathon. I left Friday morning, when Kimberly picked me up at my house. Kimberly and I have met a few times before – once when I stalked her down on the streets of Fort Wayne and once when we met up with our boys for a playdate and Old Navy shopping excursion. And other than that we keep up with each other via blogs, twitter, facebook, and text. We planned to stop for lunch on the way and once we got past Gary, Indiana we started looking for options. We saw Red Burrito, which seemed like a sketchy day-before-the-race option, so we kept driving. We saw a McDonalds but thought we’d see what else there was. And then there was nothing – not a restaurant or rest stop to be found. Just highway and then, eventually, Chicago. Luckily I had come with some (lame) road snacks, so we held on by pretzel rods. Still searching for something other than a gas station, we spotted a shopping plaza off the highway, pulled over, and found a Trader Joe’s! We both scored some wraps, grabbed coffee and a bathroom stop at Starbucks, and got back in the car. To note: by this time it was close to 2 Indiana time, which is pretty much a record for Kimberly and I in waiting for lunch. Solid proof of our friendship: we made it through hunger and never got snappy with each other!
We rolled in to Bobbi’s house in the early afternoon. We loved getting to meet her super sweet kids – who were pretty excited to meet “The Kims” – and had so much fun hanging out with them. For dinner we went to Olive Garden with Bobbi’s family and enjoyed pasta and breadsticks and soup and salad. Perfection! Then we came home, talked a little, and crashed out to get ready for the race.
Saturday morning we left the house a little before 6am. The race started at 7am but Bobbi lives close and knows Kenosha well, so she drove us there and found a parking spot and got us to the race area with plenty of time to see people, go to the bathroom, and do gear check.
Going in to the race I had pretty low expectations. My running hasn’t been super consistent lately as I’ve been tired and I’ve mostly just been running 4 miles at a time. I figured I would run what I could and walk what I needed – hoping that I wouldn’t have to walk too much of the race.
I started out very conservative, going a little slower than normal. Around mile 3 I picked it up a little. At mile 5 the race came through town, with lots of spectators, which made things fun and gave me energy. Then we started an out and back along the lake – which was gorgeous – and also meant we could see other runners. I had so much fun watching the other runners and looking for Kim, Kimberly, and Bobbi! Around mile 7 I realized that I was feeling really good and thought I might try to go for a pregnant PR. I figured I might crash and burn out, but then I would walk. But instead, I kept feeling better and better, so I kept running! Miles 10, 11, and 12 I tried to hammer down as much as I could while still not really pushing it (better to play it safe for pregnancy). At mile 13 I went for it, making sure I was still getting good, deep breaths, but really trying to see what I could do. I finished in 2:13:02, missing my pregnant PR by less than a minute (2:12:06). But I felt fantastic and like I could have kept running! I was so surprised and so happy!
After the race I found Kimberly and Kim, both who had good races, and then we cheered in Bobbi, who was pacing her friend through her first half marathon. Kimberly and I wrapped up in the mylar blankets (it was chilly!) and hung out while Bobbi and Kim cheered on their running club teammates.
Around lunchtime the four of us – the Kims and Bobbi – headed over to Red Robin to grab lunch. It was my first time there and I loved it! I had an awesome boca burger with sauted onions, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and a fried egg. Yum!
Then the four of us headed back to Bobbi’s to shower and hang out. Saturday night we watched Pitch Perfect with Bobbi and her husband and daughter, then Sunday morning Kimberly and I headed out early to get home.
It was such a fun and perfect weekend. I loved getting time with Kimberly and Kim and Bobbi – all who feel like old friends rather than new buddies I made via blogs. And I loved the Wisconsin race. It was an awesome course and really well done. Definitely one I will be keeping in mind for the future!