On Thursday, October 18th, my little brother Jake and his wife Scarlet flew into town! Their arrival was a little chaotic as Kevin accidentally drove to O'Hare Airport instead of Midway in the middle of rush hour traffic to get them. But after waiting 2 hours in the pick up zone for his arrival, Jake and Scar finally got in the car and made it to our house to begin the fun!
That night Tio Jake read the girls stories and put them to bed...
and then we nerded out with each other till midnight before heading to bed for some much needed rest!
The next day we spent our time relaxing, eating, and prepping for our half marathon on Saturday morning. In the evening we dropped the girls off at our AWESOME friend, Arielle's house so she could watch them overnight and during our race, allowing us to actually get some sleep the night before and then leave early in the morning! During their stay at Arielle's house, the girls were able to attend Megan's birthday party! I'm surprised I ever got them to come home!
On Saturday morning we woke up at 5:30 am and started the long drive to McHenry, Illinois to participate in the Run for the Hills, Moraine Hills State Park, Half Marathon! The park where the race was held was absolutely beautiful and we couldn't have asked for better weather. Good vibes were definitely in the air!
Once we arrived, parked, and pottied, we grabbed our packets and got in the car to stay warm until the race started.
Well, at least me and Scarlet did. Jake and Kevin found other ways to stay warm!
Soon it was time to run! We snapped a before picture and then lined up in out corrals for our different wave starts.
Kevin started first since he was expected to be the fastest. I started 4 waves after him (I think I was accidentally placed in a faster wave) and then Jake and Scar started I think 2 waves after me.
About 5 minutes into the run, Jake passed me and I knew he was going to have a good race! As for me? Well, I came into the race with an injured shin and IT band, but I still wanted to reach my goal of holding a 12 minute pace and finishing in 2:40:00. So, I kept the faith and just kept plodding along!
Scarlet caught up to me around mile 7 and ran with me the rest of the race. It was so nice to have someone by me to keep me company and keep me motivated. The course was WAY more hilly than I had expected and I was struggling, but every time I saw little Scarlet hit a hill and start attacking it head on, I couldn't help but be motivated and inspired! She was awesome!
We kept ourselves entertained and distracted by cheering all the other runners on who were passing us...which was MANY since we finished like 8th to last or something. But anyway, it was a lot of fun and I don't think I've ever laughed that hard while running before!
Just as we were approaching mile 10, we saw Jake coming out of mile 12. Once we saw him we knew he was going to reach his goal or running a 9 minute pace cause he wasn't even tired yet! We, on the other had were pretty jealous that we still had 4 miles to go!
Around mile 12 both Scarlet and I started to hit the wall a little, but then we came up on this water stop that, because of the way the course was made, we had already passed 3 times before. The teenage boys at the water stop were particularly fond of us by now since we had cheered for them every time we passed, and as we inched closer we could see them lining up to greet us! They had makeshift drums and were pounding and cheering for us! Then a couple boys started running with us and yelling, "GO! GO! GO! You got this!!!" It was an awesome surge of energy and fun and it totally helped carry me through the last...longest mile of my life!
That last mile felt longer than the rest of the race to me. But eventually we approached the finish and busted through the finish line at 2:39:55! Oh yeah baby! Totally nailed my goal! Jake and Scar also nailed their goals. Jake wanted to run a 9 minute pace and he did, and Scarlet wanted to finish without ever walking, and she DID!
Oh yeah, and KEVIN (who was too fast for any of us to get pictures of) beat his goal of running the half marathon in 90 minutes... and incidentally won 4th place overall and 1st place in his age division!!! He is such a stud :)
After we had all celebrated our victories, refueled our bodies, and collected our medals, we drove home and picked up the girls. The rest of the day was spent limping around, begging Brooklyn to get things for us, and eating takeout! But no matter how sore we felt afterward, it was totally worth it!