Monday, July 7, 2014

July 4th Spectacular 4 Miler

The view of Charlotte from our 12th floor hotel room
Last Thursday, July 3, Mr. Marathon and I traveled south a couple of hours to the big city of Charlotte, NC for the July 4th Spectacular 4 Miler.  We traveled the night before so we could relax at a hotel and get a good night's sleep, considering the run would start at 7:30 AM.  After an enjoyable, stormy evening the night before, we woke up bright and early on the 4th of July, ready to run.  We put on our homemade Captain America-inspired tanks and patriotically made our way to the starting location.

Our homemade Captain America tanks
This race was a fairly big production!  There were over 600 runners in this event, but fortunately it was chip-timed.  Mr. Marathon still started close the front and I still started closer to the back, and we were off!  The weather was perfect in the morning.  Despite the horrendous Hurricane Arthur-related storms the night before, the humidity level was pleasantly low and the temperature was in the mid 60s..... ahhhhh perfect!  And it really showed in my attitude and my time.  I kept a wonderful pace of about 10 and a half minutes per mile, which put me at hitting the 3 mile mark at about 31 minutes!!!!!  That's the best I've seen in a while.  I ended up finishing 42:41, which I was totally happy with, considering I wanted to finish faster than 45 minutes.  Mr. Marathon was obviously awesome as well (like always).  He finished in 24:58, which he was satisfied with, too.  He had a goal to finish between 25 and 30 minutes, so he beat his goal, too!

Mr. Marathon got some good pictures of me coming in to the finish!

After crossing through the finishing chute, we were pleasantly surprised at what was waiting for us.  But let me back up first.  At packet pickup the day before, there were no packets.  All we picked up were bibs and tshirts.  No swag.  No bag.  No nothing.  We were a little bummed.  Now fast forward to the end of the race.  We crossed through the finish line, received a bag with a banana, bagel, and chewy bar in it, then we continued on around the bend to a whole EXPO!  There were lots of vendors lining the parking lot giving away tons of freebies.  So even though we didn't get a swag bag the day before, we sure got one then.  There was also a band playing, which added a fun atmosphere.  It was fantastic!
Panoramic of the vendors and the band and the crowd!

Our swag!
On the way home from all the race shenanigans, we were talking and we decided that this race was one of the best we've ever done.  I came to the realization that I had nothing, NOTHING to complain about regarding this race and my performance in it.  Usually, I think to myself, "Oh, I could have done better" or "My (insert name of a body part) was bothering me halfway through" or "My breathing was weird" or "It was too hot" (you get the idea....), but this race was different.  I felt like I had pushed myself as hard as I could, I was pleased with my time, and most importantly, I enjoyed myself.  Mr. Marathon agreed, and even though he placed 4th in his age group (no award....aww!) he really enjoyed this event.  But turns out, this was a good thing because he came in 4th place in his age group.... on a 4 miler.... on the 4th of July... cool right??We are even hoping to do it again next year!

The next race on the calendar is the Inaugural Martinsville Mustangs 5K this Friday!

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