What a weekend in Steamboat! I am certain that each one of us needed this weekend very badly...and for many different reasons. I needed time with some of my favorite people...time to explore a new place...time to remind myself that I can still run.
We arrived in Steamboat Saturday afternoon, and after Jill and Beth picked up all of our packets, we decided to sit down for a family-style meal in our glamorous four story condo! After a tasty, pre-race dinner we participated in some ever-important toe nail painting. Staci, Dani, and I started painting our toe nails the night before the races we did a while ago...and we decided to pass on the tradition! There is just something about knowing you have pretty, fresh nails in your running shoes when it comes time the race the next morning...:). After many laughs and "that's what she said" comments...it was off to bed as we new a 5am wake-up call would come awfully early.
Race morning we all tried to put on our happy camper face trying to wake up! Staci, Jess, Beth and I were downstairs in the kitchen first, shoveling in some oatmeal...bagel in Beth's case. The littlest things were making us laugh...the spewing refrigerator water dispenser, paste-like oatmeal, and my proper oat preparation. By 5:45am we were walking down to the buses. We were presented with the best race weather ever...overcast and cool! Since they drop you off at the start line so dang early (probably 45 min or so)...we did the typical pee when you get off the bus...pee 4 minutes before the gun goes off....so annoying! We posed for some pics with our matching Herizonz/CRC shirts (which received many compliments)...and before we knew it the gun went off. It was so neat starting a race with all of my friends...never have done that before. We laughed watching the people maneuver awkwardly...trip...yell...and chat about their upcoming fears ahead.
Started off the race not knowing what to expect. I still feel hesitant after the big IT injury in January that prevented me from running my first marathon in Austin in Feb...so since the bod is still not fully healed, the last 2 months of training have been sort of hit or miss. All I knew was that I was just going to start and finish and enjoy the time with those around me. At 6 miles I was feeling pretty good and decided that maybe I'll shoot for as close to 2hrs as I could. Then, at about 4 to go...I realized I could get close to my PR. I will not lie...the last 2 miles hurt. But, the last few blocks I saw my friends on the sidelines...in their hot pink/purple shirts...cheering for me, and I crossed the line at 1:56.
After showering/warming up...we headed back downtown to "The Rio" for some yummy golden margaritas and Mexican food! As we were walking in the restaurant, I think we all were inspired as we cheered for some 5 1/2 hr marathoners that were finishing in the rain. Tummy's full, we headed to find Jess a cowboy hat! She found a cute one...and so did Jane and Beth. We had lots of laughs and funny moments as we shopped! Next, we were off to the hot springs! Man...this is how everyone should finish a day after a race- total relaxation and glory for the body! We were tucked away up in the mountains, surrounded by trees at Strawberry Hot Springs, and wow was it ever gorgeous! After a few hours of soaking we grabbed a tasty bite and hit the hay pretty early...it was a long day and we were rightfully exhausted!
The next morning we set out on our final adventure...a 2.6 mile walk to the coolest breakfast place- "Freshies". After searching and searching for the hidden bike/walk path, we finally arrived and one of the ladies that was working at Freshie said she saw us three times while she was driving within the last hour! All of us thoroughly enjoyed our meal...and soon after it was time to head out of town:(.
I enjoyed myself completely on this trip...couldn't have asked for a better time with these outstanding women. What a gift each of them are. I already hear there is talk about making this an annual event!
5 hours ago