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Happy Thursday! The weekend is almost here! I’m looking forward to relaxing and spending time with my husband this weekend. We have decided to make no plans and be low key, exactly what we want/need. I left my last post at the starting line of the 4 Bridges 1/2 Marathon. You can catch up on Part 1 here. Now on to the finish! My lovely fellow curly headed friend, Erica took these photos below. She is a wonderful photographer in the Atlanta area. Hit her up for your next photo shoot.

When the gun went off, I started the race off smoothly and I was doing a steady 7:50/mile pace for the first 5 miles. The scenery was beautiful in Chattanooga and I wish I had taken some pics along the way but I was trying to focus on speed. Then the dreaded side stitch happened. I was super bummed because I really thought I might be able to do a 1:45 1/2 marathon but sadly my side cramp didn’t go away with my typical breathing tactics or other tricks. I ended up having to walk a little bit until I could breathe it out. Then once I got back on track I had hill after hill ahead of me. I had trained for 3 months for the race and nothing prepared me for the hills. I trained two weeks on hills, that’s it. There are no hills in South Florida and I hate the treadmill soo… you get what you train for. I was able to keep a steady pace but my legs were literally on fire on the hills and I thought I wasn’t going to be able to do it. Once I got past mile 10 I started trucking along. I could see this bridge in sight and knew I was almost done!

When I ran onto the bridge I was on mile 12 and my pace was around 8:15/mile. I started running faster and faster until I was hauling a** across the finish line.

Here I am running my heart out and trying not to let the muscle spasms in my calves get the best of me. That’s me in the tank top, not the hat.

Look at that curly afro puff flowing in the wind…

I crossed the finish line in 1:50:42 with a 8:24/mile pace! I PR’d this 1/2 Marathon!! The one I ran last year I did in 2:04:30 with a 9:30/mile pace. I was able to shave off over 1min/mile or 13:48 total! So happy with the results.

I was so happy to see my friends! And to be done πŸ™‚

I was also 9th place in my age bracket! So happy.

While I was on mile 4 running on the highway, Darin drove past me and yelled “Hey girl!”. I was like who the heck is that? And turned to see him πŸ™‚ It gave me extra energy to keep running! I’m so glad he was there to see me finish, such a great husband!

My mom and dad drove over from our mountain house just to see my run. They are the sweetest and a great support system. The sun was in our eyes a little bit πŸ™‚

I tried not to get too close to everyone in the pictures, sweaty hot mess over here. Alex & Erica were so sweet to get up early and walk 2 miles from our hotel to see us run. I love this dear so much.

Me with the lovely Photographer: Erica Jill. She is hilarious and I’ll always be her Zeeby.

After I finished we all went back to the cheering line to watch for Victoria. She was running her heart out and so focused we were practically screaming to get her attention. πŸ™‚

We were both so happy to be done! This was Victoria’s first 1/2 Marathon and she rocked it.

Photo from my Iphone. The only photo I have from after the race.

Two bits of advice: If there will be hills on the course, train on some hills before the race. And having a friend running too will give you the extra push you will need.

Also as my dad said on the morning of the race, “Run for those who can’t.”

See you tomorrow with some Link Love!!