Monday, March 14, 2016

State #16 Arkansas: Little Rock Marathon

I honestly can't believe I'm writing about my 20th marathon. 11 years of running marathons and I made it to #20 in Arkansas!

I was beyond excited to have Brad and our dogs along for this trip. We made the 14 hour drive from Pittsburgh to Little Rock on Friday.  I think we lucked out with the best travel dogs ever. They slept most of the trip (we did not, haha). 

We left at 2:30am and got down to Little Rock in time for the expo and to get my race packet. If I wasn't so exhausted I would've stayed longer because they had sooo many great vendors to check out, but it just wasn't happening this trip. I loved how they decorated with this years slogan of "Game On". 

We checked into our hotel, grabbed showers & food and it was lights out! 

The next morning I made it to the starting line with a very energetic crowd. The starting line tossed these balloon dice into the crowd before the start and got everyone pumped!

I ended up running the 5k 12 seconds faster than the one in Alabama. Progress is progress! 

After the race Brad and I had Waffle House fir breakfast. If you've never had them and you're down south, GO! I've been eating there ever since I was little. 

My cousin goes to school about 45 minutes away from Little Rock so I picked her up so she could spend the rest of the weekend with us. We all took the dogs walking along the riverfront area which is so clean and beautiful. 

With my cousin Mckenna. 

We walked all over this neat bridge that has two levels. 

My little family.

We lucked out and found a dog friendly restaurant downtown so we had dinner on the patio of Dizzy's. 

After dinner we headed back to the room so I could go to bed early. People who travel with runners are pretty awesome. They put up with our crazy schedules of running to expos, early bedtimes, and talking nonstop running.

Now the marathon...lets just say we will keep this part pretty short. It was a scenic course, but it was so HARD. I'm sure I took over the legal limit of ibuprofen and if I never run a hill again in my life I will be happy. I now understand the reasoning behind the 8 hour time limit! I felt as though a toe in my right foot was going to crack in half and My right hip was inflamed the whole second half.

I met a reat nice runner, Melanie, and we finished the last 7-8 miles together. Thank goodness for her! When I crossed the finish line I found Brad and cried into his shoulder due to pain and relief. I got my finishers medal and another medal for running the 5k/marathon combo.

We met up with Mckenna. 

And took more pics.

Now this medal business. Little Rock does not disappoint with their race bling. This medal is HEAVY and the size of my head. When I got back to Pittsburgh I weighed it on my aunt's food scale. Over 2 pounds!

Even though I ran a terrible time (like my worst ever) I did enjoy my time in Little Rock. I had a bad race but most definitely would run this one again. I probably won't run a marathon 3 weeks before it again though :) Hooray for state 16! And congrats to all the runners that weekend! 

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